The Gift

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She knew her as her grandmother. They lived down the Haskin Street beside the Brother’s Assembly in a small chalet. She used to be her mother as well as her father from long childhood days back. Her constant presence perhaps was enough to fill her granddaughter’s absence from outside. And the little girl’s youth perhaps neglected the mature thoughts to miss her parents from inside. The family of two might have been the blessings of love and serenity. Her grandmother used to sell flowers every morning at the Haskin market and the little one helped her in collecting flowers from different communities. The earned money at the end of the day helped them to buy food. The days were dwelling up with the silver lining of fortune showering happiness.

But the winter months hindered their daily earnings. The entire setting wore a white apron. Long trees barked themselves with snow outfit with maiden branches to bear blossoms. The sneezy nights might have had delightful white clouds dancing down from the black horizon but the poor families stood at the edge with poverty in these days. Today’s night was one of the chilliest nights. The grandma and her princess although were very desperate from the morning to gather flowers and sell them in the markets but unfortunately the royalty failed to keep its promise to abide by the expense for the entire day.
But today was a red-letter day for them. The calendar marked 31st December on its record. The entire London was preparing to welcome another new year. But the small cottage down the Haskin had something special amidst the darkness of the room. The sweet-scented candle conquering the lingering blackout held something very special along with the new year celebration. The next day was their birthday. The salient symbolization of grandma’s 65 and her princess’ 9 years was about to meld two successive days- the late 31st and the upcoming 1st. Another year of seniority of grandma would be going to add up in her princess’ youthfulness once again. But somewhere the poor profit shadowed all expectations and excitation. The beautiful girl had already gifted her grandma a white rose with a letter drawing her picture. The pastel colors seemed to be glowing in contact with the candle light.
The little girl had gone out. Her grandma had given her some balloons yesterday. The inventive girl had gone out to sell those air balls to earn some money with which she had planned to buy a delicious fruit cake for the next day. It was few hours to start a new day. The girl was standing beside the Royal Club at the corner of the street. Most of the aristocratic people used to come here every New Year to celebrate this day. Everyone was shouting inside. The intensity was so violent that it was coming outside.

Someone’s voice yelled out from inside, “Only ninety minutes to go ladies and gentleman. Let’s start the party.”
The little girl was standing beside approaching each and every guests to have a balloon but none of them desired to expend a little amount to that insane. She could hear the English lyrics echoing inside from the club auditorium. Delicious foods were being cooked inside to welcome the dinner for the delegates. The confectionery near the Hind Motor Street would be closing at 10 pm. It had already 2 hours she was standing over there but none showed interest to buy a single balloon. She had promised her grandma to return with a delicious cake so how could she return empty handed?

At once she became desperate. She saw an English couple coming from the distant. She hurried down the street flawlessly to convince them in buying some of the balloons. But unfortunately, they did not pay hid to the fellow, instead they complained the security guards near the club gate to throw her away. The disheartened bouncers slapped her on her face and she fell down the staircase. Her head hit hard to the lamp post. Everything felt quiet to her thrilling thought in the span of few seconds. The balloons flew up high leaving the little girl lying on the snow filled walkway. The balloons might have got the freedom from her grip but the little girl could not able to find her relief from the gospel of poverty which ultimately ruined her beneath the carpet of snow down the lane. The frosty wind blew across. The red scarf over the girl’s head flew down towards the club gate.

At once, a black Mercedes stopped near the Club crossing. Perhaps humanity stopped the vehicle. The door of the vehicle opened. A Beautiful lady stood in front of the girl wearing a red garment. It had been quite a few long the little girl had been out from her house. Her grandma being desperate with thoughts already started finding her here and there. But her age let her not be so active to withstand the cold outside. Each time the North wind shivered her with coughs. Her thoughts remained in captivity of the intense cold. Perhaps the night of 31st  was not as good as she had expected. Desperation and palpitations threatened the rest of the night.

But Creepy sun light from the nozzle of the carton woke the little girl up on the next morning. As soon as she opened her eyes, she found herself on a soft bed, surrounded by some people. The entire room was painted with her favourite blue color. Windows and ceilings were covered with decorative streamers and balloons. She got really surprised seeing everything. Her voice was startled up with that amazing surprise. She was thinking these to be a dream until a lady kissed her forehead, “My dear Sarah.”
She looked at her face. Reality was too bold to her maturity to make her understand what was going on. Everybody inside the room were giving different compliments but the little girl didn’t pay her attention to the lady’s voice. Instead she woke up and tried to find her grandma but could not find her. All of a sudden, the smoke of silence covered the entire ambiance, a low voice ensued. Everyone in front of the bed cleared a way out to welcome the voice. The voice belonged to no one except an old lady. The little girl cleared her eyes to look clearly.

She found her grandma slowly walking followed by a gentle man with a sweet smile. The old grandma spoke, “Hey little princess, cheer up baby! Today I had the most beautiful gift to present on your birthday.” The little girl jumped up from the bed and ran towards her grandma. Her grandma continued, “Baby I don’t know whether you can understand or not but I want to tell you the most hopeful words. Today is a very special day for you as well as for me. It is your birthday. Besides it is a Parents’ Day also. Can you see that red dressed woman and the gentleman behind me?? Do you know who are they?”
She paused. The little girl looked up and down. The sweet couple smiled her back. Grandma continued, “They are your parents, my princess. They are your mother and father.
But Grandma you told me that both of my parents lived in the star far enough to touch them in the sky. Then how did they come here from there?”- she exclaimed.
The broken voice smiled, “Your parents had come here to celebrate your birthday dear.
Then After my birthday will they again go to the star leaving you and me?” the innocent replied.
The beautiful lady wiped her tears off and came down toward her from the bed, “No baby! We will not go anywhere. We will be celebrating your birthday every year from now.”
The gentleman thanked Grandma. But it was not a handful thank of appreciation. It was the expression of sharing emotion of a mother with her son who was thought to be died. The accident before 5 years  had broadcasted that every passenger of the plane had died but his married son had somehow survived with his wife. Both of them were returning from their business trip. The melancholy was really heart wrenching for Grandma. Thereafter she decided to move from the memories of his son to grow their little girl and started living there in the cottage. Yesterday the black Mercedes which stopped in front of the club belonged to her son. The necklace dancing on the little girl’s neck helped them to identify their child. After that they asked the people  where she lived and met Grandma. And the entire story got its explanation.

It was a beautiful gift presented by both Grandma and the little girl to each other. The grandma gifted the little girl her parents and instead, she was gifted her son and daughter-in-law by the little princess. Everyone outside was celebrating the New year’s party but inside the room they celebrated the Parents Day.
And this time, the intensity of “Happy Birthday” perhaps overlapped that of “Happy New Year” at the Royal Club yesterday. Another New Year awaited for the new family to celebrate together “Happy New Year” for the next 31st December.

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