The first light of the day was never so beautiful. Last night her nanny had told her the story of a beautiful flower that would soon blossom at their backyard. Nanny would be a rather polished word to be used in this context. She was an eerie woman. A dirty scary crone to many who just gave her those passing looks. But for this kid, she was much more than that. She was her nanny. When an abandoned soul survives her age and lives on to become a burden in the family, loss in memory and irrational circumstantial behaviors are quite justifiable. It seemed like the only remaining mission of her life and the only solace of her delusional mind was taking care of this kid. Her anger and potent strength would surface even at a stranger’s misguided look at the kid. The kids’ parents scared if the lady would harm their baby, but little did they know their baby was the only reason the lady still lived. She was a hag to the world, but to that one kid, she was her first friend. While her nanny gave her first lessons on walking, she gave her nanny a few rounds of hide and seeks. While her nanny gave her love, she gave her smiles. While her nanny struggled to conjoin her thoughts, she pulled her leg and teased her to merry. The picture is mixed up. It would be unfair to judge the depths of their relationship. One side was a kid, barely a couple of years old and the other side was a lady, hardly a couple of years away from natural death. Still they seemed so much in tune with each other.
She felt her nanny’s lap was the safest place on earth. The only jewel nanny wore was a chain with golden bubble beads. Not sure if nanny would remember who gifted it to her. Bur it should have been someone special, because she clung to that chain like her most precious possession. The only person who had access to that chain was this kid. The kid not only played with nanny’s chain, but when she lay on her lap to sleep, she used to bite each bubble one by one to make them all disfigured. Nanny never stopped her, instead kissed her forehead and kept caressing her hair. While she ran her fingers thru the kid’s hair, their eyes kept looking at each other till slowly the kid slipped into her sleep. She never sung a lullaby nor did she ever pamper the kid with chocolate words. Their relationship grew like a nature’s law.
Last evening, while nanny took her for a walk in their backyard, she showed her a bud and explained. “This would flower tomorrow”. That should have been nanny’s favorite flower. The white lily tree had flowered before too, but it was the first time the kid was getting to know of this transformation. While she went to sleep, all she could dream of was the newly blossomed flower. She got up before nanny and ran to the backyard to see if the flower had bloomed. She picked a fallen flower and ran back to give her nanny a morning gift. Nanny from then on woke up to the lily’s fragrance every morning. This went on.
One day the kid’s parents who were working away came to board the kid to a nearby school. Like every child, her routines changed and she started to drift away from those innocent smelling lilies. Nanny, unaware of the schooling would wander during daytime in search of the kid at the neighborhood, under the cot, behind the trees and on top of the chimneys. Later, helpless in her attempt to find the kid, she would drag herself to the window of her room from where she could see the long stretching mud road and kept waiting for her dear playmate to appear.
Days passed on and her nanny slowly started to move out of her. While nanny came behind her, she ran to avoid contact. When nanny cried seeing her climb a tree, she laughed at her from top of a trunk and made faces of the senseless nanny. When friends came home, she never introduced them to her nanny. She cruelly hid nanny’s pillow and the half blind nanny crawled around the room touching everything around to check if it was her pillow. The older she got, the more the kid ignored her. Sometimes during vacations, a quick trip to her old house would mostly exclude even a visit to the by then bed ridden nanny. The face of her nanny slowly got blurred in time, by now leaving only an impression behind.
Years later nanny died an abandoned natural death attended by none much, not even her last ever playmate.
The kid grew up to a girl, a woman. Today, looking back at the minute attachments in her life, quite little of what remains, she remembers her nanny. In a very complex emotional feeling, she tries to figure out her nanny’s face on every old abandoned disregarded woman on the street. I wish I could accompany her once, back to her old house, where her old friend walked her around. I wish to see if nanny’s favorite tree still blossoms. If it does, I want to pluck one flower and place it on nanny’s grave and confess how much I missed someone like her and let her know how much her little playmate wished she could just hug her one single time again and leave a few drops of tears on her shoulder.