It was nearly midnight when the telephone rang. It was an old friend at the other end. “Did I wake you up? Sorry, I had to call you”. “It’s OK, I had just hit the hay”. “Er- Balan, um…you know, my mother loves flowers”, he paused. “She gets up early in the mornings and with a towel wrapped around her neck and a flashlight in hand, she goes to the garden and picks flowers, wet with dew”. What the hell, I wonder, waking me up in this unholy hour to tell me about his mother? “ Er .. Uh…Um… see, she passed away last week”. Shocked, I mumble sorry I was ill I didn’t know.
“I want you to do me a favour. Could you ask Parvati to make a list of plants or trees that flower all around the year? And get the saplings? For me? See, I thought I could plant them around her grave and – you know how she loves flowers! Every morning I could go there and see all the flowers lying over her and then I will clear them and – she loves flowers so much!”
Lying on the bed, head propped up with pillows, I ponder about love. I realize that all the maudlin sentiments about love are so true. I ponder about love and the opportunities I had missed to express my love - to my parents, wife, son, relatives, friends, acquaintances, animals, nature – all those who have passed through my life. I think with sadness, of those who deny themselves the need to love and be loved. I realize that there cannot be anything in the world, living or non-living, which cannot be loved. I pull the sheet over my head and go to sleep.
One should sit down once in a while and look over at the fundamentals.
******* Balachandran V, Bangalore, 09.09.2010