She walked warily. She stopped at the crossing, looked on both sides and slowly crossed the road. She had a bag on her shoulder that looked heavy. She tucked her flying hair out of her eyes and continued walking.

She was aged around 60. Her cotton sari was tied in a neat manner. It was not starched but it is pressed and wrinkle-free. Her face was pleasant and has a few lines around her mouth and eyes, which seemed to have formed because of her smiling most of the time. Even now, as she was walking, she was smiling. She had salt and pepper hair, both being in equal amounts, tied up in a knot.

She was deep in thought. She thought of her life before retirement. She had worked in a corporate bank and had raised her two kids single handed after her husband’s death in a freak accident. She had done well, she thought, in making sure her kids got into good schools. They were very close knit. But they did not need her now. Both had married and settled in other countries. She had been to their homes of course, but she never felt as comfortable there as she was in her own city. When her children and their spouses went off to work, she had nothing to do. When she was working she was always busy, after her retirement too, she had found plenty to do. She was never a person to sit idly. So this was  very uncomfortable for her. She had to do something. She had to feel useful again.

She increased her pace a little. She did want to be late. She knew the children would be waiting for her. Thinking of them brought a bigger smile on her face.

She opened the gate. She was swarmed by all these little children. They were all jumping, screaming and laughing. Someone took her bag from her, someone held her hands, someone pulled at her sari to get her attention, someone was telling her a joke, someone was telling her about the fight they had, someone was crying to be held up.

She looked at all of them. She was so full of gratitude for all the love of these beautiful children.

She looked back at the sign on the gate. It showed the name of her husband. She had poured all her savings on this orphanage. She was glad of the opportunity to be with children again.

She smiled some more. She was happy.


My first attempt at a story.