Valentine’s Day Gift
Two boys are busy searching in the sea. Bending down, knee deep, in the emerald green seawater.
Their noses are almost touching the water. Squinting occasionally in the hot sun but not giving up.
Two boys with pale shoulders turning red and salty, in the beautiful coast of Ligurian Sea.
“Ridiculous!”, says the man fishing few meters away, and watching both boys since noon.
“Did you get enough?”, says one boy wearing black shorts with a flowery print.
“Just a few more”, says the other boy wearing a white short with Italia printed on its side.
Both boys’ pockets are bulging with small transparent green stones, delicate, and with round edges.
“Papa says he has no job, that’s why he can’t buy a gift. He almost lost his temper when I asked him to buy something for Mamma”, says one boy.
“Never mind”, replies the older brother in white shorts and quickly turns sideways to check if the
fisherman is still there, perched on top of the boat’s upturned hull on the beach.
Yes the fisherman is still sitting there.
Both boys bend down once again and continue searching in the water for few more minutes.
Then they walk with long strides leaving zig zag footmarks on the wet sand, clutching their wet and heavy pockets.
The fisherman keeps aside his fishing rod.
Afterall he had promised to help both boys pierce their ‘catch from the water’ and help prepare a necklace for their mother. He can’t help smiling as both boys heap green stones, washed out with water and love, on his straw mat next to his fishes.
“Papa said he had no Valentine’s Day gift for Mamma”, said one boy.
“So What”, said the other and all three smiled sunburnt smiles.
A WHITE bridge like the arch of a bird’s wing, is spread across a colourful lake, in a park.
The bridge smiles at its reflection on water—the ‘bridge’ being nature’s soul and the ‘water’ its mind.
An IT professional, whose office was just next to this park, often used to go there during his lunch breaks.
A Poet at heart, he would look at the white bridge and wonder if he would ever, leave his programming life and enter a world of unchartered paths. If he would ever risk losing his stable job and live the life of a Poet. Seasons changed from spring to autumn. The IT professional got married, became a father, and started living for his family, for their dreams and aspirations. But he never managed to become a Poet.
Then one day, his Son grew up and discovered the same park, while waiting for his girlfriend just outside. It was a late February afternoon and the lake was partly frozen. The Son looked at it and felt attracted to it, as if hearing a distant call. The bridge resembled an architectural drawing he was currently working on, so he stood facing it and drew few quick lines on a piece of paper and then went out to wait for his girlfriend again. He wanted to be a painter, but he never had the time.
Decades passed once again. The Son now had a daughter, who was just five years old and had a nature of her own—stubborn but with a beautiful smile that came right from her beautiful soul.
One fine day, he took his daughter to the same park—the park where he used to meet his wife years ago.
Both father and daughter sat on a bench and gazed at the beautiful white bridge longingly. The daughter, who always listened to her heart, and always let her soul guide her path, ran with quick steps towards the bridge and crossed it in just few seconds. She waved at her father and ran back to him with a handful of flowers.
After waiting for so many years, the White Bridge had tears in her eyes. She had always hoped that the Poet would return one day and dare to cross the bridge; that his Son too would listen to his heart and become a painter someday, she knew that they would both marvel at their professions. Finally when the little five year old girl, with all her courage and love, crossed the bridge, she knew that this little girl would one day, listen to her heart and cross several bridges in life...
Painting and Story by Brindarica Bose