As human beings, we impulsively feel the need to connect sometimes with total strangers. A mystical affinity builds up instantly and the stranger becomes a friend.
There were four of them. Where were the other three of the famed Seven Sisters? Aware of the absentees, the four were chirping away with the strength of seven, hopping around and twittering up a storm, eyes darting here and there. My eyes were also darting here and there, looking for the missing sisters. They did not spy the missing birds, but instead saw a very endearing scene.
Three old ladies walking on the road, accompanied by a very handsome young man, probably the son of the woman, who, with a shock of white hair, a beautiful face, clad in an exquisite silk saree, stood head and shoulders above the rest, and bore a striking resemblance to the young man. When I smiled at her, I realised that she had a very warm smile. I could not resist the temptation of walking up to her and talking to her.
“Madam, may I say something?”
“Yes?” She said with a diffident smile, while the young man looked elsewhere and the other two women also stopped in their tracks and looked quizzically at me. For a moment, I dithered. Should I say it? I did.
“Madam, I just wanted to say that you are so beautiful and all three of you form such a wonderful group.” At this the woman looked pleasantly surprised and then again smiled warmly, saying, “Thank you.” A trifle shyly. The other two ladies laughed heartily, and the young man looked more sheepish than ever.
“She has always been the beauty queen of the family. All of us are sisters, and she is the youngest and I, the eldest.” The shortest of the three, said smiling, as George Eliot whispered in my ears, and I smiled.
Long years have left their
writing on my brow,
But yet the freshness and the
dew- fed beam
Of those younger mornings are
about me now
“Is he not handsome ? He is our nephew, and he is getting married in a week, we are here for his marriage. I have come from Hyderabad, and my younger sister from Lucknow, for our youngest sister’s son’s marriage who stays here, in Jaipur.” The shortest of the three sisters, again said, with a twinkle in her eyes.
“You are also invited for the wedding, we stay close by. When we meet tomorrow, I will give you the invitation card,” the young man’s mother said.
“By the way, your son is very handsome, though a trifle shy,” I remarked and the young man looked at me in happy bewilderment, probably marveling at the eccentricity of a stranger accosting them and heaping them with compliments. For a fleeting moment, Rajesh Khanna of Anand flashed by in my mind who used to just walk up to strangers and strike up a conversation. When a bewildered Bhaskar ‘Babumoshai’ (Amitabh Bachchan) would ask what he was trying to achieve, Anand had a scientific explanation ready that every human body is a transmitter and a receiver. The stranger transmitted a signal and Anand received it and it made him want to connect. I smiled at the thought that maybe I am beginning to look like a transmitter and receiver miniature tower too!
The sun was up, but I realised that it was in the ‘sunshine of sweet memories’ that their faces glistened and eyes sparkled, as they rambled on, lost in childhood and teenage reminiscences.
By the time, I came back after my walk, I was happy to see that the three of the absconding Seven Sisters had also come back and now formed one twittering, hopping sorority.
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