The leaves are swaying in the slow, lazy breeze of a late afternoon. They are of different shades of green. The budding leaves are soft and red, protected by the stronger and stouter greens. Before leaving finally, the last ray of the sun is caressing the trees, its branches, silky and fleshy leaves, innumerable buds tenderly with love and assurance. It seems that the golden light is enjoying the game of hide and seek with the branches. The leaves too want to get drenched in its warmth. The azure sky is a perfect backdrop highlighting the tall branches flaunting their beauty.
The day has been sultry, dull and oppressive till now. But as the end is drawing near, suddenly there comes a change in its attire. For a short while, it gets decked up in a flowing sublime golden gown with a tinge of vermilion in it. The reddish gold is very overpowering. It transforms the shade of every earthly things into luring gold. The sky, the water, the hills, the trees get swept in the molten amber. Ethereal glow descends upon the otherwise common things blessing them with eternal beauty. Gradually the vermilion now gets crimson and the gold gets enveloped inside. Dusk then sets in. The birds come back to their nests. The sky loses its lustre and gives in to the dusky grey. Tiny silver dots pops up one by one letting the bigger ones standing out. Dusk then gets even darker and welcomes the evening. The evening might be cooler than the day. It might be longer too.
She is sitting by the terrace in her favourite armchair. She waits for this particular hour of the day. Everyday she witnesses the gradual take over. All her emotions are churned by the splendour. Her imagination takes flight to the wonderland where she sits idly keeping her gaze floating to the endless sky. Sometimes white clouds gather to tell of some distant tales. Memories of her childhood comes flooding in. She sees herself running wild and aimlessly in the rain with her hands stretching out. She used to love getting drenched in the rain and would hardly miss out on any chance to do so. She became so happy and overjoyed while feeling the rain all over herself…when it came down along her hair strands..over her eyelashes towards her lips. Then it started pouring heavily over her heart filling herself with wonder. Sometimes when her Mom would chide her, she promised never again to venture out in the rain. But as the cloud got darker and came down hovering over head, the cold breeze kissed her cheeks, she became oblivious to all worldly shackles and stepped out under the sky. She waited for the droplets to pierce her skin. She could feel the inimitable bondage with the clouds, with the sky far above.
She opens her mouth giving out a short breath reminiscing her past. Looking at the trees in front.. she now knows every movement of the leaves, the bees, the sun and the stars. She has become a part of their momentary beauty now.
This is the terrace of “El Dorado”, an old age home. The very name appealed to her when she applied to shift over here. Through out her life, she had always been in search of a rainbow. Although it was not at all easy, but she had left everything behind before coming here, let alone her name and some memories. She doesn’t want to remember now that she retired from a respectable and responsible post with huge benefits. Neither does she want to remember her 2200 sq. feet flat located in one of the posh areas of the city which offered her every comfort one can dream of. She had donated all her savings in an orphanage leaving a meagre amount for herself. Her only son is settled in abroad with very remote chances of coming back to the country. All these had been a past series of incidents for her, as if it was her past life.
Deep inside herself she has realised that life indeed is a game where nothing is real and nothing is permanent. She has chosen the inevitable and felt quite contented. She doesn’t have any regret for her decision, whatsoever. She is confident knowing that it is just appropriate for everyone around and herself too. She has now begun a new chapter of her life. She has now evolved like a Phoenix.