I stopped the car when I saw the flower shop. I was on my way to meet my sweet heart whom I have been dating for nearly a year. She was turning 27 this day. I ordered a bunch of 27 large red roses to be made into a fine bouquet.
As I was waiting, I saw a young boy around ten years bargaining with the shop assistant. I heard him telling “I have only 10 rupees. Can you make a small bouquet of roses for that amount? “
The assistant told him, “Sorry, the minimum we make is for Rs.50/. I can manage a small one for Rs.25. What you have is not adequate”
The boy pleaded “Today is my mom’s birthday. I assure I can pay the balance in two months. Won’t you please help me?”
The assistant said a bit harshly “No credit. We are busy in the morning with customers. Please go away without disturbing.” With tears trickling, the boy turned to move away.
I called the boy,” Hey, come here I will get for you a bouquet for your mom. I am glad you are a loving son and remember the occasion to surprise her. She should be happy to see the bouquet. Please wait.”
Meanwhile the assistant gave me my bunch of 27 roses beautifully arranged and a small bouquet of roses for the boy that I had ordered.
I asked the boy to get into the car telling him that I would drop him if his home was not far away. The boy got down after a short distance before a small house. He said “Thank you, Sir. My mother is actually no more. She passed away last year. I used to get her from the adjacent gardens a few red roses on her birthday. She loved roses very much and would feel very happy. This year I thought I will get her a bouquet. Thanks to you, I can place it before her photo.”
My eyes became moist as my thoughts went to my mother in a senior home. She was past 70 with dimmed vision and reduced hearing. She used a walker to move about. We are a family of six sons and three daughters. Yet none of us found it convenient to keep her at our homes after my father passed away. The daughters- in-law were all working and no one wanted an old lady with them. Till then my parents lived separately. My mother is a fine lady, soft spoken and talked very little. My dad was not a rich man. He left behind his house which we sold and out of the proceeds paid the deposit to the senior home and the monthly subscription. She did not depend on us financially.
This arrangement suited us all fine though my mom’s willingness was never ascertained. We went to meet her initially once a month with wives. Gradually the wives stopped accompanying my brothers. The daughters were all in outstations I am the youngest and not yet married. The visits by everyone became gradually few and far between. Ever since I started dating, I could not also find time. It is almost six months since I met her.
The boy’s touching remembrance of his mom on her birthday opened my eyes. I rushed back to the flower shop and got a large bouquet of roses and other flowers. Along with my fiancee I bought some dresses and fruits for my mom and went to meet her. She was greatly surprised and was immensely happy when I introduced my fiancee.
She had her face brought very close to her to see her and said” She is very charming and cute. You are mighty lucky. May you tie the knot soon and live happily.”
On our way back, my fiancee remarked “God willing, we shall keep her with us once we get married. We can employ a helper to attend to her needs.”