My father used to make me run to the St. Mary’s old age home every morning with the tea pot. There would still be touches of sleep on Mother Clara’s face when she empties the tea pot to another. She would give me some money and I would run back to our tea shop.
During holidays, I spent good time at the old age home. Everybody there has different stories; stories of helplessness, stories of courage. The old lady with drooping shoulders called me.
“Hai ammumma. Any idea who am i?”, I asked
Another man came and asked her the same question.
“Anil”, she replied again.
I learned from Mother Clara that she was a retired teacher.
Sometimes I find the portrait of an old man looking at me from the side of stairs. He was dead an year ago. The eyes in the portrait hid some stories.
There was another old man who sings all the time. His sound was tarnished by his age. Nobody pays attention to his songs but still he sings.
One day, I saw a young man pushing a couple to Mother Clara’s room. They must be his parents. I stood outside and listen to them talking.
“We will take good care of them.”, said Mother Clara
Nobody said anything further. The young man walked out of the room.
“The best wealth you can have is a person who loves you.”, said an old rough voice.
A month passed. It was summer holidays. I saw a young couple walking to the old age home.
“More members to the home.”, I laughed.
After half an hour, I saw the young couple walking out with the same old couple I saw a month ago.