05 June, 2009

Neighbours - Part 1

One of my colleagues had put his house on sale few years back. On casually having a chat, I learnt he had horrible neighbours which forced him to sell his house and move to a new locality. I have never had this problem since my younger days.

Few months before, I contacted one of my ex-neighbour who lives far away in India, and talked to everyone in their family. It was nostalgic. I plunged into more sorrow when I heard the plight of my other neighbours. Two of my ex-neighbours are no more. I heard both of them passed away recently. I felt very sad for the next few days.

Mrs.Savithri was a very hard working lady. I remember seeing her working always. After sending off her husband and daughter she used to indulge in cleaning her garden. She had a liking towards trees. She never liked cutting down any branches of her trees. She had two neem trees in front of their house. She had a very huge Badam tree in between our houses. She had many more trees at her back yard. It was a great sight to watch her sweeping all the dry leaves and cleaning her garden. I grew up in observing the way she used to water her garden. Once she finishes her gardening, she used to do shopping on her own and return. She was so helpful and I remember my mom leaving me under her care whenever she went out for shopping. I still remember the way she used to compliment my mom for bringing me up well. Once when I grew up as a young boy, she hesitated to talk to me. It is a typical nature of ladies from country side. She always had respect for the way I was brought up and I found it many times.

Once I was involved in an accident, and when one of my colleagues when to convey it to her, I was told that she was in tears. After all she had seen me growing up from childhood, and could not bear the sad news. It seems she was very much relieved on hearing nothing untoward had happened to me. There had been days when she was upset with us. We sometimes earned her anger when we requested to cut few branches of her trees which were protruding into our house and causing hindrance for growth of small plants in our house. She loved her trees so much and she never liked to cut the branches. I appreciate her thought. She was not well educated. But I recollect her love towards pets and trees. Few years before when I made a visit to India, she proudly introduced me to people who currently live in our old house. She took me around and showed me all her trees. She had gone down a lot and when I enquired about her health she did not respond. We had a chat for few minutes and her husband also joined in our conversation. I still remember the smile on their faces when we talked about our old days. She was a lovely lady who really cared for nature and animals.

I still remember the day when her husband retired. He was very sad on his retirement day. I was in my early 20’s. I went to their house and consoled him. He felt very emotional and was almost on tears. I gave lecture like an old and wise man. They liked it and they both listened to me. The next day she told my mom that my matured talk refreshed their mind and gave more confidence to both of them.

She always brought in some hot news that happened in the town. She was very religious and had pictures of all the Hindu gods, well framed and hanged on the walls. She worshipped them for few hours every day.

She did not like hurting even snakes. Since our house was on a country side, we used to see lots of snakes. She was familiar with different types of snakes, and my mom used to seek her help in identifying snakes. I wanted to kill poisonous snakes, and she prevented me from killing them, and taught me at my young age not to kill snakes. She told us that snakes are harmless, and will never cause any harm unless they felt danger for their life.

I still remember her usual conversations with my mom, held while standing between the fences of our houses. The last time I visited her, she told me that she did not want to move towards the city. I know that she loved her trees and nature. I am glad at least that she lived in a place which she loved so much until her last breath. I was told that her husband is being persuaded by their daughter to move to their home in City and he is reluctant to do so. I know his mind.

They both were a lovely couple.

They were one of my good neighbours.