The otherwise perfect blue sky was dotted with scattered powdery cirrus, reminding everyone of the impending autumn as the sun now began losing its intensity, turning balmier than scalding, something it had been only a few weeks ago.
‘Isn’t this perfect,’ she wondered, her eyes scanning the alluring sky with a silently loud smile on her face?
‘A perfect weather to explore the hills,’ she murmured; the Shivaliks appeared more bluish than green now; the plentiful monsoon tinged the mountains with a heavy green cover even though the raging forest fires of the past few years tried robbing them of their precious wealth.
The celebratory mood of the approaching festivals filled the air with a unique smell as the intermittent sound of bursting crackers; the annual cleaning of the homes all marked the imminent arrival of the long holidays, relatives, and friends not seen in a long, long time.
The window, which now opened to a completely different world, was like an oasis in a desert, the curious eyes flicked through everything they could see and tried making sense of whatever they observed.
The shrieking and squealing of the neighbourhood kids playing and fighting with each other; their struggle to quickly climb on to and get on the other side of the small boundary wall and into an empty ground, now occupied her mind, and she almost cried seeing the youngest and the shortest of those kids, finding it difficult to imitate what the other could easily accomplish.
‘I should rather help him,’ she shouted in her mind; the words, however, remained gagged, unable to find their way out.
‘Try, try again,’ she implored, murmuring softly, aware her voice is not reaching him, but still continuing to carry on with her utterings.
The kid tried again, it was as if she was conversing through telepathy and the kid heard her; the little feet of his, dragged forward, the small fingers held onto the top of the wall tightly and, with all the energy he could muster, dragged his body up to the top of that fence wall.
However, even before the feet could touch the tip of the top of the wall, the hands suddenly slipped and his body floated in the air for a fleeting second, tumbling down, as her mouth gaped in fear when suddenly the other hand of his latched onto the top of that boundary again.
She heaved a loud sigh as if it was her own life, which the child saved, even though the kid continued to try. Pushing a little harder, using both his hands and with one foot now firmly planted on the top, he was ready to slip over to the other side.
‘Hold my hand,’ an older child suddenly came for help, as the sweaty face of the little child suddenly immersed itself in a soft smile.
‘Why couldn’t he come earlier,’ she thought while breathing heavily as if she was the one who had to climb the three feet wall.
As the child jumped onto the other side, her eyes travelled to the sky and the mountains again.
‘It’s beautiful weather,’ she murmured.
‘Ritika, where are you?
‘Come here,’ a loud cry from the mother, suddenly forced her to abandon the long gaze at the sky. Pushing the wheels of her chair, she started wheeling away from her favourite place in that huge house.