The photograph

Leafing through the pages of the old diary, she suddenly found a photo. It was an old photo which had lost its glossy finish and now looked more like a disintegrating piece of paper. The thing which stood out prominently was not the age of the picture; it was the message conveyed by it.

In the background stood a wall. Though faded, the pink flowers on the creepers supported by the wall could be made out. A little space on the top showed the world on the other side of the wall. Mr. Desai’s house across the street, the swimming club beside his house, the top of a bus. She could almost hear the sound of the cars honking on the busy street, of the local pedlars shouting their wares for housewives to hear. She closed her eyes and took in the smell of that day, the smell of the flowers merged in with the smell of burning leaves and the smell which is so prevalent in winter mornings in a busy street in Kolkata. On this side of the wall, however, there stood two people. She recognised herself and she recognised him, clasping her hands and promising to never let go. She remembered looking into his eyes and blindly trusting whatever he said. She remembered him saying, “Come on. I love you. Let’s do this, now. You can, trust me. It’s not hard.”

She smiled fondly at the memory of her father teaching her to walk.

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