Gardens of Love

By Meera Godbole-Krishnamurthy

Click here to buy Gardens of Love

They had not met in weeks, months, though here, now, it felt like years. It was perhaps a lifetime ago that they had made an appointment to meet at the Lodhi Gardens on this not especially distinct Friday evening. Neither expected the other to show up. He walked into the parking lot at 5:30 pm. He was particular about time – he hated to be late. And he hated to be kept waiting. Out of some old habit, he leaned against the low stone wall beside the Kwality ice cream man, and sort-of-waited. There was no obvious expectation in his distracted gaze as he nibbled at his orange bar. He decided that he would enter the garden in exactly ten minutes. Till then, he watched the daily garden users – so easily identified by their purposeful strides – come and go.

And then he saw her pull up in her white Maruti. She parked it, slightly off the parallel – which also irked him still – and walked towards him. She was particular about time too. She resisted being controlled by it, and never made it to any meeting on time. It upset her psyche.
They said hello as though they had parted only hours ago. It was always this way with them. And then, without much ado, they walked through the dividers and onto the bridge, and into the garden.

Stepping from the tarred parking lot on to the curved surface of the pink sandstone-paved Athpula bridge soothed her, as stone surfaces tended to do. She stopped and took off her shoes while he took photos of the parrots perched on the bridge wall. (LG#1 Bridge)

“Why do you think this is called the Athpula?” he asked. “Why count the piers rather than the openings? Why not Satpula, for the seven voids?”
Barefoot, she tried to feel every joint between the randomly cut stone. “Yes, it would be much more logical. Emptiness holds more possibilities than dense, already formed mass,” she agreed.

They paused to watch the parrots fly away, leaving behind eight empty spaces which would later be filled by the images of their presence in their memories. She walked ahead, eager to feel the next change in texture. He followed, shifting his gaze from parrot green to the varied hues of foliage ahead.

All Excerpts

Coming soon   /   View all

Connect with us

Join the Speaking Tiger Books mailing list: