Nimi was sitting quietly near the window of her small house, watching people come and go. Silence in the room was broken by a bell. At first, she ignored but when it rang again and again, she got up to open the door.
“Were you sleeping Auntie? I have been ringing bell for so long.” Kaushalaya enquired.
“No, I was just sitting there, pointing her finger on the chair lying besides the window”. She replied.
“Auntie, bhaiya has requested you so many times why you don’t you settle there? With everyone, you will feel better.” She asked again.
“ I can’t Kaushlaya, I started my life here with your uncle and wanted it to end here . She explained to her, ” You don’t worry and get me bread from the market, I am feeling hungry”.
Her health has been deteriorating day by day. Her loneliness was killing her. After her husband’s death she lost interest in life and prays to God every day for his call. She spends her time sitting beside a window of her room sometimes even at midnights where you could hear her talking to herself, sometimes cry and smile without any reason.
One day she noticed that an old man was smiling, looking at her window. At first, she thought his smile was for someone else but when this started to happen every day she assumed it was for her.
Her confusion was broken by a bell again.
“Auntie, give me the money I will bring milk from the diary?” Kaushlaya said.
“No need, I will bring myself.”
“You will go”!!!! She was surprised but said, “O.K.”
She locked her apartment and went down taking her purse and a bag. Her reason of getting down was to enquire about that man. She went to the same place where that man used to pass daily. After a while she saw him coming from a distance, her heart beat started to pound heavily.
When he came near she asked, “Do I know you”?
“Yes, it’s a small world, we all know each other. But before I further give you my introduction I am getting very late, can you again come tomorrow?” asked he.
“No, my health doesn’t allow me to move so much”. She replied very rudely and went.
But next day she came down at the same place where he was waiting for her and has brought something with him.
“Hello, thanks for coming. I am Ret. Lt. Col. Khurana. We have shifted to Expresspuri just a month ago; I came to know about you through Kaushlaya. But before we talk further I have brought something for you.”
She was surprised to hear that he has brought a gift for an unknown person but something inside her was pushing her to take that gift. She accepted the gift.
“Open this now”. He said.
When she opened it, she found a stick in it.
“Can we walk till that coffee shop? I love having my morning coffee there.”
She agreed without knowing who this man was and from where he belong. While walking he told her about his family, army life and many more things. She listened to him quietly, it’s been long that someone has so much to say to her. At first she felt awkward but later she started enjoying talking with this man. When they reached the shop, he ordered two Coffees. While sipping their coffees, he asked her, “Will it be possible for her to come tomorrow again?”
She immediately said, “Yes.”
She waited all day for the next day to come. As soon as the clock struck 6 she got down with her stick to walk with the stranger. After that they started meeting each other every day. Their friendship grew stronger and they started visiting other’s houses too. After some day Mr. Khurana’s family stared liking her and in fact they became fond of Auntie and her dishes which she cooked all by herself.
Days, months and a year passed and their friendship grew stronger. She slowly started living again, doing all sorts of things like cooking, cleaning and of course smiling.
It was Sunday morning as usual, she quickly locked her home to get down. Then she reached at the same place where they regularly met. She waited and waited for him but he didn’t turn up. She moved back and all sort of bad things were whirling in her mind. Then, suddenly the door bell rang, she quickly got up to open the door. She was relieved to see, it was Mr. Khurana. She welcomed him with her famous smile asked, “Is everything alright? “
“Oh yes! But I must apologized first, that I didn’t came in the morning.”
“Please, don’t bother I completely understand. But I was worried for you.” Said she.
Actually we are shifting to Mumbai next month as Ramesh transfer has been done there. She stays there listening, unable to react.
In order to cheer her up he said, “I will make coffee today.” She was shocked unable to respond. Then he came back with two cups of coffee and said, “It been 5 years since she left me but I hold myself and decided not to break. But actually, it was not easy for a 65 year old man when his wife left him alone when he needs her the most but I decided that I will live till I am destined to live and now you can see the changed person, as I am. Promise me that after I will leave, you will continue meeting people and never stop going for a walk.”
She started crying hearing this but she promised him that she will.
Months went by, Mr. Khurana left -the town and Nimi but she kept her promise.
Now Nimi always make sure to go for a walk everyday but not alone as she inspired lots of people like her to live life. Sometime she even visited his son’s place to spend some time with them. But, she still waits for him sitting beside the same window to come.