She sells guavas near the bus terminus. I was pulled towards her cart of guavas for the way she cared about them. She sorted them into two heaps. The ones with the reddish inside variety was kept on the right and the other normal variety to the left. She still sorted them as hard ones, somewhat crisp to eat and the ripened ones. One look at the cart, you will know what to buy and where to look for it in that cart.
She had a big smile, a beaming one. Her beautiful hair bun always had an encircling flowers around it. The big red kumkum circle on her forehead was attractive enough to pull me towards her. There was something about her. I have been buying from her for the past one year and her genuine smile always touched me.
Once she handed me extra change without realizing it. And I also didn’t check it till I reached home. So, the next time I saw her I returned her change and apologized. She was very confident that I will return it. And we hardly had spoken with each other. I wondered what made her think that I will return the money! She was very genuine in her warmth and thoughts.
For the past 2 weeks she was missing. More than the guavas, I missed her, her smile. Yesterday I met her again.
The story went like this.
Her father had boarded a bus to visit her, from Dindivanam. He had taken a wrong bus. So the conductor dropped him off in some place, instructing him to take another bus. In a similar fashion, he was taken into wrong buses and somehow reached Tiruvannamalai, the abode of Shiva for all those who are lost (in a spiritual way too). And he had no phone with him.
She and her three sisters along with their sons and daughter-in-laws went from one place to another, switched buses to possible places and finally found their father. Without a phone to trace, I found it a humongous task. But not for them, where the hearts were filled with love and an yearning to find him. She was so proud of her accomplishment.
My fondness for the guava lady has grown in multitudes now!