Waiting to hail an auto, Prerna saw Seema aunty who stayed in the neighbourhood walking towards her. Her husband had passed away five years back and Aunty lived alone. She was reserved by nature and didn’t mingle much with others around. Prerna was surprised to see Aunty as she stepped out of the house once in a blue moon. She relied on the grocers and vegetable vendors around who delivered everything she needed to her door.
“Good morning Aunty” wished Prerna.
“Good morning. Sorry I don’t know your name although I know you by face,” Aunty replied.
“Aunty, I am Prerna, your neighbour. I stay opposite your house.”
“Oh, yes! Sorry, blame it on old age. I was confused.”
“No problem, Aunty. Are you headed to the market? If so, we can go together.”
“Yes, that will be fine dear. I have some errands that need urgent attention and Geeta is on leave. Otherwise, I would have asked her to do them for me.” Geeta was Aunty’s domestic help.
As they boarded the auto, Prerna decided to find out a little bit more about Aunty. “Aunty, you hardly ever step out of the house. And where are your children?”
“My son is settled in the US. Married to an American wife, he doesn’t have time to visit India anymore as he is used to the American way of life. My daughter is here in the same city, but she doesn’t want to waste her energy on an old woman like me. So, I am left by myself.”
Hearing this, Prerna felt sad. She couldn’t even imagine the loneliness, whatever the personal reasons. She knew everyone deserved a little happiness and wished there was something she could do to help.
Suddenly, her attention was drawn to Aunty’s clothes and she asked, “Aunty, you are wearing such a pretty dupatta! Is it hand embroidered? Can you please tell me where you got it from? I would love one like this myself.”
“Oh, this is embroidered by me. I made it sometime back. I could make one for you too. I have embroidered cushion covers, bedsheets, saris too. In fact, I ran out of embroidery threads and am hence going to the market.” Saying so, Aunty blushed.
“Aunty, that would be great. You are so talented!” As Prerna praised Aunty, she had an idea.
“Aunty, if you don’t mind, why don’t you take some orders for these hand embroidered items? They are quite a rage now.”
“Beta, these days everything is online. Who will waste time and energy giving me orders? And I don’t know anything about technology.”
“Aunty, it’s not so difficult. And I could teach you. It is really simple. Please do try it out. If you are not happy with it, you can always stop.”
Aunty’s face lit up with a smile and she started discussing plans with Prerna. Prerna smiled back, she felt good that she had helped someone take the first step to a little happiness.
Beta – Child
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