A few weeks ago, I was feeling alone and a bit sad to be an adult during a festive holiday that brings forth memories of semolina noodles with cardamom, almonds, cinnamon and raisins, and mouthwatering kebabs that are glorious to behold and melt- Muthiya, boti, keema, sheekh, tikka, shashlik, bhuna, mutton chops, curried liver with puris, naans, raita, rotis, biryani and parathas.
Then I found a red balloon on the way home, and like a young girl I bounced and walked back, periodically playing with the balloon. Neighborhood children looked at me with curiosity.
Today, I found another balloon.
This one was a happier orange and much smaller. It looked tiny next to the two year old pear tree and the 83 year old ivy that landed on. Strange that it should come to the garden of the house I am currently staying at, from all the gardens in the tree-lined Street.
Balloons when one wants to see them- Balloons which invite frolicking thereafter with ease, while the sporadic stranger makes gruntled judgment calls about how I must be lonely and do I need him tonight, as I sit on a bench listening to the faint sounds of jazz.
I shake my head as he comes close. “Oh, lonely girl,” he says.
“That was smooth,” his two friends say. they call out for their poodle as they laugh and walk away.
I am left with crickets and buzzing bicycle wheels.
The night is young.
The balloon gives pause to smile.