Better Late Than Never

Reeta barely managed to avoid the concrete pillar of the parking lot.

“Thank god! My knees didn’t throw tantrums this time.” She reflected.

She smirked at the incongruity of life, admiring the bed of lilies, as she made her way to her apartment. The blooming flowers with their ethereal beauty attracted crowds, while the ones wilted, like jilted lovers, stood neglected. Waiting for the moment, till their last sepal withers and their stalk bows down forever.

Since, her soulmate of forty-five years, Rajan, had left for his onward journey, Reeta had shifted to this apartment complex. She, like her generation, loved to talk and socialise and would often look around for a friendly gaze. Unfortunately, there weren’t many takers for an old granny and her moral lectures. Alas! The wilted, jilted flowers waited.

**************

“Amma, please heed my advice,” begged Narayani, “if not for me, then for the sake of your grandchildren.”

“Narayani, I shifted to your apartment to make you, reassured of my safety, to which I’m still adjusting, now this… No, I won’t be able to handle it.” Bellowed Reeta.

“Amma, I would have come to you if it was possible in this pandemic, but unfortunately I can’t, so, please try. I will call you tomorrow, at least switch it on….” trailed her voice, Reeta had already pressed the red button.

**************

The wee hours of the morning hail new beginnings. Reeta, unwrapped the box kept, since Narayani’s last visit and lifted the iPad.
“Hey bhagwan, hope I don’t drop it, must be so expensive.”

She placed it at the center of the table attached to the charger, along with her cellphone which boasted of Rajan’s love. Like her marriage, the digits on the buttoned phone had diminished.

Suddenly, Rajan’s love, buzzed, exhibiting Narayani’s name.
“Amma, I know you love early mornings so…” her love drenched, unspoken words were balm to her soul.

“I give in, tell me how to operate this, but I’m not going to give up my phone, remember.”

Narayani was ecstatic, and guided Reeta.
“Amma did you do it?”

Reeta’s audible exclamation, answered her.
“Amma I have downloaded all required applications. I will explain you in due time, don’t worry. You wouldn’t have to go to the market in this pandemic, for anything.” Narayani explained.

“Amma, just touch the green icon that appears in a second, it’s a surprise,” said Narayani. Reeta waited with bated breath.

The iPad started beeping and reflecting ‘FaceTime’, Reeta did as instructed, and then she just cried! Narayani did the same at the other end. Seeing is believing!

As she peered down from the balcony, Reeta saw the wilted lilies dancing in the breeze, with the blooming ones; one’s own people, not waiting for an acknowledgment from outsiders.

Reeta’s new friend knew no bounds, from groceries to old songs. This new friend brought all her old friends closer too, via social media. She, too, was techno savvy.

It infused fresh breath of life into her stale being.
Reeta’s new friend, technology was here to stay.
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