I stepped out into our verandah this morning, Mi, just to enjoy the no-pigeon-ness. Sure there are feathers floating around but a far cry from the poop carpet. Oh, two glorious weeks of not scraping shit. I still haven’t done anything to beautify the place because it needs another scrubba dubba doo before I can think of anything.

Also, rains. So maybe I will begin with a holy basil plant and clear up the remaining residues before I do so, to begin with a clean slate.

I walked up and down the length of the verandah, recalling those days when we used it almost like a room, Mi. How lovely it used to be, standing together, facing the early morning sun, gentle music on the radio wafting out as we savored our coffee together, fantasized about the kind of house we’d live in, in a few years, talked about the day’s menu and looked forward to getting started!

As I strolled down memory lane, I felt nostalgic about the picnics we had there with Vidur. In my mind’s eye, I pictured his tricycle in one corner where he liked to park it. I saw the cream colored hibiscus and the brilliant blue shanku pushpam creeper.

I found myself laughing when I thought about how Vidur enjoyed plucking the ajwain plant’s leaves and eating them, then skipping to the bamboo stand and playing with it. I remembered how we made it a group activity to hang the clothes to dry, making him count the clips and then identify the colors.

It was funny how you would insist on reserving the blue clips for him because he liked blue! And you’d use the softer clips on his clothes. You loved to group similar clothes together on the clothesline so they’d look cute!

When I looked up the pipes running through the duct in the verandah and admired the clean area behind the grate where the pigeons love to stack their twigs and mess up the place. I’ve scraped my knuckles so many times trying to clear that place!

So anyway, I remembered a funny incident and guffawed out loud, alarming the neighbor who was hanging out her clothes.  The case of the missing red bra! I had stressed over buying it because it was a tad expensive, but it was so pretty, and there’s something about a red lacy bra that begs to be bought. I succumbed. And hoarded it for a special occasion.

Then one day I wore it. The following day, you offered to hand wash it. Later we hung it on the lower clothesline to dry.

Life went on. The next lot of laundry got done. We brought the dry clothes in. And the red bra was conspicuous by its absence. I was distraught! Where could it disappear? You suggested that I might have probably taken it off the clothesline and put it away in my closet, but no, I hadn’t. Well, we looked in all the likely spots with no luck.

Days passed with nary a sign of the missing garment. Then a month later, when we cleaned out that duct area, you happened to look up and saw a small shred of fabric. You tugged at it with a stick and out came the rest of it.  It was none other than the once beautiful lacy red bra.

What the heck happened to it, though? To this day, it remains a mystery. But your theory was the most probable – that a rat might have loved it so much that it tucked it away out of sight to avoid being caught red handed. Yeah, pun intended. And pray, where did the rat come from? There was some major road repair going on at the time and you guessed they had been disturbed out of their abodes. And Vidur naturally claimed he saw a realllllly big one the previous day. What a load of you-know-what!

Just visualizing that moment makes me laugh!  You then kept teasing me, asking if I wanted to give it a good wash before using it again. You kept saying soak it in dettol for a couple of days and then maybe…. Ewwwww. Of course we trashed it. Did I find another like it? Nope. Not yet. Still looking.

Funny, eh? How a small space like the verandah can hold such an overdose of memories.

Maybe it is time for me to bring up those steel folding chairs and paint them and set up that cozy place again, so I can reminisce in style with a tumbler of kaapi, as the fragrance of the drying clothes pleasantly swirls around my head, nudging me gently along my favorite path: memory lane.

Rocking the #BarAThon Challenge from 1st to 7th August 2016.
Today’s Day 4 and the prompt is “Caught Red-handed
I am with Team #CrimsonRush