Give Away

He has taken in his mind to sell the house. He can’t rest till it is done. He has drawn a schedule to give away everything from the house – first the furniture, then books and clothes, finally the crockery. He has identified takers, invited them over on different days.

What are you going to keep, his daughter asked.

A few music CDs and books, he said drily as he looked at the neem tree shedding yellow flowers in the garden.

What is the need to sell the house? Keep it locked. You can stay here when you visit Chennai.

He did not reply, he looked at his feet – toe nails need to be clipped, he thought.

She put the kettle on the stove and came to sit beside him. He did not look up for a long time. And when he did, he did not remember what they were talking.

She sighed dramatically and went back to pour tea in the mugs that her mother had bought at the market in Dehra Doon.

Ganta Ghar, you remember?

He looked up, his face clouded briefly but did not betray anything to his daughter.

He pointed to the shisham coffee table and said, that is from the same place. Will you keep it?

She ran her fingers over the carvings on the table and nodded her head.

They drank their tea silently and she left him to plan the ‘give away’ that he insisted on calling the event of wrapping up his house, and life.

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