Isha had a wish, to have a house.Yes you read correct, ‘house’ not an apartment, which we usually designate as a house these days. Isha wanted a big house, a family house, a forever house, a house where she had specifically designated areas to do specific things. Dining room, lounge, study room, guest room etc. Isha had big dreams by any standards, she came from a very average family, had an average education and looked average. This was a big wish and unless someone broke the bank for her, this wish would remain just that ‘a wish’.
Fast forward 15 years later and Isha was living in a big house with a garden and the rooms. God was kind and life happened to make Isha’s wish come true, even though this was a momentary thing, a passing-by phenomenon, the house was rented accommodation. Period!
For the moment Isha was happy. She lived on a street dotted with beautiful houses and interesting characters.
An old couple lived across the street, they were well into their nineties, yet fit and able to make their early morning trip to the cafe for their breakfast roll and coffee. Their spirit and togetherness was enviable.
The cottage on the main street, an elderly lady lived there with her seven dogs. Isha did not feel comfortable around dogs, yet the way this lady took her seven pets to the park , each day, was devotion exemplified. A habit hardly ever broken.
Then there was this couple with two children, the eight year old daughter a superstar, with modelling assignments and theatre shows already under her belt. Isha admired the mother’s grit and determination to be able to motivate her child and also be with her each step.
A middle aged couple lived just above them. The lady went out to work and the man mostly worked from home. Isha had been in the neighbourhood for a fairly long time and she noticed that they never entertained or had guests. The only person to ever visit them was the lady’s mother.This couple loved their seclusion and did not seek out company. A novelty to Isha, so complete were they that they did not need a third person to define them.
Each of the houses had a story to tell, and a lesson of life waiting to be deciphered. Most of all Isha got along best with her neighbour. She was an old lady who lived on her own and had multiple health issues, multiple sclerosis, arthritis to name a few. She had people who came in and helped her get along with her everyday affairs. Yet she always had a patient ear and a word of advice for her, whenever she came knocking on her door. Denise was a source of comfort for Isha. It was a symbiotic relationship of sorts and they both enjoyed each other’s company. While Isha took away a part of her loneliness, for Isha she was a person with whom she could share her thoughts easily.
Denise signified mental strength and independence to Isha. She was sick and old yet she lived alone and managed all her affairs single-handedly. She even entertained on good days and took time to keep in touch with her family strewn across, all over the country. Denise was a retired primary school teacher and even now she kept abreast of world affairs and local news by reading extensively and watching news. From the confines of her home Denise did not let her body take over her mind, she was alert and full of information. Isha admired her mental agility and willingness to not give up.
Days sped by and after a couple of years, a letter was dropped at Isha’s door. It was time to move, vacate the property and go somewhere else. Isha was emotionally torn. Even though she knew all along that she was not to stay there forever, yet the finality of it now bore down on her. She had come to love the house and the street. Most of all she was sad at leaving Denise behind. Life was speeding by her and Isha knew it was only a matter of time for Denise. Denise with her soft voice, comforting gestures were very few and far between in this world and Isha was lucky to have met one.
The day finally arrived and Isha packed her bags and stood outside Denise’s house one last time to bid farewell. Denise opened the door and her kind eyes and soft voice held a lot of emotion. One last time, one last moment as a sob caught in Isha’s throat, she gave her a hug and waved goodbye!
As the taxi sped away, Isha silently waved each of the houses on the street adieu. She had come to be like one of them and even though she never spoke with any of them it felt like family. Unbeknown to them Isha carried with her a whole host of positive thoughts and new ways of looking at living and living well.
All images sourced from Google.