Inkpot Charu  

When nature beckons you

Balvihar March 2021

Saumya peeked outside her balcony and waved to Savitri.
” Hello, can you pls. share your pulav recipe, my lifesaver Savitri. Today is my turn to prepare lunch, remember?”

The two women giggled like old times. It was so good to grow together and even better to be there for each other after marriage and having kids of the same age. Savitri’s younger son Ranveer was 11 years old, the same age as Saumya’s only child Ahaan.
Savitri had an older son Rohan who was 14 years old.

Saumya worked as a software consultant while Savitri was a homemaker. Both Savitri and Saumya had gone to the same school and college and spent almost all their life together in the same neighbourhood.

When they got married to Sujay and Sunil and became daughters in law of the same family, the bond just got stronger.
Saumya could barely spend time with Ahaan and it was a blessing to have Savitri around, who was just like a second mother to him.

Life had become very hectic, so monotonous and the two women barely got time to catch up with each other like they used to, in the earlier days even though they lived together.

So the family lunch on Sunday with their in-laws, their husbands, kids and their sister- in-law Shalini who was a college professor meant a lot. 

Shalini was also good with the kids and they adored her equally. Sunday evenings were usually Shalini’s time with the kids and she knew exactly how to keep them engaged, be it a movie, or any other pastime activity.

Shalini had been observing how her sisters in law were so engrossed in their daily duties that they never took time out for themselves. She often wondered if talking to them would make a difference. 
She also noticed that the boys were either glued to the television or to their playstations that they never went outside to play.

” What about going to the park today, guys?” Shalini asked the boys.

” Oh so boring!” Rohan remarked.

I think I am too old for that stuff” Ahaan whined.
Ranveer smirked and nodded.

Now whats’ with the two of you?”
You are not two tiny kids trying to get around on their own two feet.
And Ahaan, don’t you think it’s high time you rethink that idea of being a couch potato lifelong?” Shalini remarked.

Shalini had actually come up with an idea for her sisters-in law but she had to go with the kids first.

” I have planned for a tree walk with my students this evening. Around 6 of them will be joining me as we walk around the park and the neighbourhood carrying guidebooks for flowers and trees. My colleague Prof Ashish who is a bird watcher has agreed to show us some bird species too.”

The boys listened with a blank expression on their face.
Ranveer broke the silence” Can I ” bag” some samples of flowers and leaves Athai. I would love to make a scrapbook with them.”

“Well, maybe you can make a map, Ahaan. I am sure you can take help from me and Saumya Ma. Who else knows all the places in the neighbourhood better? Savitri’s eyes lit up.

Shalini was waiting exactly for this moment. “Oh.. so would you also take us to the secret place where there are hundreds of butterflies in the corner of the joggers’ park?”  she asked her sisters-in law.

What started as a tree walk, turned into a regular family walking time in the park. Saumya took an early exit at least twice a week to come home for this family walking time.

What else than spending time together with the ones who matter the most?