“Nandita, look there, the bird sitting on the tree is so colorful. Nature is so amazing, loaded with oodles of colors, making everything so beautiful”, said Jaya pointing towards the bird.
Nandita and Jaya loved their walks in the park every evening as they saw young people jog and run and some elderly people like them who had come to get some fresh air and talk about their day with their friends.
Nandita and Jaya have been friends from school days and their friendship has been over 50 years now. From dancing in each other’s marriage to being happy when Nandita had kids, they have always been together.
Nandita married Laxman and is now a mother of two children who are busy with their job in London. Jaya who got married a year later to Mukesh is childless after so many years. Jaya at times was envious of Nandita who was able to birth two kids while she was not bestowed with this happiness.
“Nandita, don’t you miss your children? Why don’t you call them and ask them to visit you?” asked Jaya.
“I spoke to Manav and Arjun last week and they seem to be very busy with their work and getting a leave right now is very tough for them. You know how it is. With so much competition, it’s better to prioritize work, right? Though they do call us regularly and ask us to visit them but its Laxman and I who always decline to visit them in London. You know I can’t handle the cold weather and the rains; they are so unpredictable in London. The weather is so gloomy. I did rather stay here and enjoy my golden days.”
Jaya was happy to hear that Nandita’s kids put in the time and effort to call their parents regularly and even wanted them in London to be with them.
“Will you hang-up maa, you know I am busy and I have no time to hear your stories and what you did yesterday and who came to visit you. I am not interested. So please stop calling me. I am busy with my life.” Stormed Manav over the phone.
“But it’s been so long since we last spoke, you both brothers’ don’t even call. You don’t have time to even ask about how your maa and papa are doing? Why don’t you both call us beta?” asked Nandita hoping for a reply.
“We are busy mom. We don’t have all the time like you and dad” and Manav hung up on his mother.
A tear rolled down her eye as Nandita hung up and stared at the old phone when she heard a sound. She turned around to find Jaya standing in the hallway who had overheard the entire conversation.
Jaya hugged Nandita who was feeling ashamed of the lies she had been weaving about her kids of how loving and caring they are towards their parents despite being miles away. Jaya didn’t say a word. She hugged Nandita as that’s all she knew when it came to comforting.
“Where did I go wrong Jaya, I raised my kids to be so respectful and independent and today they bang the phone on their parents so nonchalantly like it doesn’t even matter. How could they change so much?”
“It’s not you dear”, replied Jaya. “It’s your love. You went beyond your capacity to give them everything and now they have taken that love for granted. You have been the best parent I’ve ever seen.” Jaya wiped the tears off Nandita’s cheek as they sat down to sip their cup of tea before leaving for their evening walk. Their 50 years of friendship was the only thing that had stood the test of time.
At the park bench, Nandita and Jaya went back to reminiscing their childhood days, laughing and giggling like young girls as they talked about the beautiful memories that they have made over the years.
Not always is blood thicker than water. Sometimes water is all you need to sail through your life.
P.S. This is the first time that instead of taking a photo from the internet, I have attempted to draw the title image to give it a more personal touch to the story after which I have edited it a bit.