I squeezed my eyes and stretched my arms as the sunshine peeped through the vizors of the curled up oak tree. The roses smiled and the tuberose stood on their silhouettes. The ancient mango grove danced to tunes of the mynah. The money plant clambered up the terrace and swanked. The grass flaunted the dewy solitaires autumn had gifted. An anxious squirrel moved on the mahogany trees.

“Aloha! Mr. Sun is happy today,” I smirked.

Humming a song, Ramu the gardener, advanced towards the thick undergrowth of ferns interlaced with wild braky rose plants. He inhaled the fragrance and kissed them. “Go away Idiot!” I heard the roses scream. The gurgles from the balcony broke his reverie. “Memsab!” he said, as he folded his hands in reverence. The mistress curled her lips as she rocked the cotton ball in her arms. I so wished to see the baby’s face; her coos were like the chirping of a nightingale. Suddenly the murky clouds enveloped the smiling Sun. I saw Ramu enter the house for shelter.

Mmm… an arduous gloomy day!” I groaned.

As the dusk descended and the stone bench with a broken arm went into slumber. The sound of crickets darting to and fro, created an atmosphere of repose.

“The sky has worked the whole day. I need some sleep under the black blanket,” I said to myself. “Chap chap chap.” The sound of debauched feet and the rustling of the leaves irritated me. “What do you need now,” I grumbled in a tongue-tied tone. He stopped, as if he heard what I said. 

“Ahhh!” murmured the human as the vagitus woke up the muffled frozen night. The Sunburnt morning witnessed a deluge of blood on the crushed roses and tuberoses.  I felt a lump in my throat as I saw her angelic face and two shaken eyes. At that moment, I enveloped her tattered torso in my heart.

“Sia, Sia, Sia…….,” the mistress, the mother kneeled and buried her face in my bosom. “Here this pendant entangled in the thorns of roses belongs to the perpetrator,” I informed her. Perplexed, she looked at me as hot streams overflowed her miserable eyes. “Ramu bhaiya, I considered you as her Mama. How could you do this?” she wailed. 

All hell broke loose, and the police arrived. The evidence and cross-examinations were done. The culprit was arrested. “A three-month-old lured you,” the police officer hollered as he dragged Ramu by collar.

Was everything over? Was it her fault? No. An innocent soul sank deep into the oblivion and left a deep scar on the heart of the dear ones. I kept her safely swaddled in layers of love, as she basked in glorious sunshine.  “Born of thee, I crumble in thee. O mother! buried in your bosom I feel so free!” she murmured to me. The epitaph read “Baby Sia rests here!”

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