“Can you give me a print-out of that photograph that you just click of me?” said Mrs Tara peeping into my digital camera.
I looked closely at the picture. I was complimenting myself for my photography skills. The deep lines on her face were clearly etched, the silver of her hair and her smile matched ditto to her real self. She looked very beautiful and her smile was an added attraction
“Sure! How many copies do you want?” I asked
“Just give me only one, if you can enlarge it for me, I would be very grateful to you.” She said
“You see,” she continued, “I want to frame it and keep it with other things. When I die I don’t want people to keep ugly pictures of me. I know lots of people and they all might come for my funeral, it will look good if I have this picture smiling at my friends. I have kept aside all the things that will be required to dress me up: one sari, one slipper, one hair buckle and the money required for my cremation, only I didn’t have a good snap of me. If I die suddenly, then I don’t want to trouble my people looking for things for me therefore I have made all the arrangements”
I was impressed by her independence and her self reliant attitude. Mrs Tara has glow on her face. She is fair, short, wrinkled and must be about 75 years (my wild guess) but she is very talented. She is an artist.
Some months ago, I have visited her home and her house was filled up with oil paintings, every area of her small room was clustered with paintings. Proudly, she showed me each and every painting in her room, relating a story behind each one. She lives alone in her small apartment and tutors young people during her free time, conducting painting classes.
Every Wednesday and Thursday, she comes to school to teach mentally challenged children to draw and paint, (free of charge), travelling in public bus and walking the rest of the distance.
Always ready to help, she is very patient with children. I have known many other women of her age, but they have retired years ago, visiting temples instead. Many women, half her age complain of aches and pains and their inability to perform any task gracefully, but this is one lady who never complains. I admire her strength.
I strive to be as active as she is when I reach her age. She is my unsung hero.
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