The hills never looked greener in all his sixty two years. He loved being here. The monsoons had swept their way across a month ago and what they left behind overwhelmed his senses. He never regretted the decision he took thirty years ago to leave it all and live here in the quiet of the foothills of the Western Ghats. They cast a million shadows of doubt when he had decided, but he knew what he wanted. The evening mist was just beginning to settle and he could almost smell it.Random unconnected thoughts whirred in his head.
He was pulled out of his reverie by a tug at his little finger. His grandson,all of six and a reflection of his own zest for life was looking at him with a twinkle in his eye. The kind that dissappears with the abrasion of life.
"Dada, whats the meaning of love?"
"Love is like winter snowfall."
"Why is it like snowfall?"
"When it starts snowing and you look outta the window, it is the most beautiful sight in the world. You venture out to play in what you are wearing and after a while, wonder what stupidity forced you to do that. You then wish you hadnt gone out in the first place,or you had more clothes on and wait for the snow to go away. You curse the snow and keep looking outta your window to check if it has gone away.
Then when the sun comes out and you see the last of the winter snow melting away, you almost wish that it didnt".
"Dada,what did you do when it snowed?"
"I listened to a lot of Simon and Garfunkel"
"Never mind lets give you ride home on my shoulders"
"Are we going home?"
They walked home ,both wiser than when they left it. His wife was there on the lawn reading her Murakami.
"Dadi, do you know the meaning of love?"
"Oh my!! Lets hear what the meaning is?"
"Its like snowfall!!!",he said excitedly jumping into her lap.
She looked at the man she'd woken upto on the best days of her life and they both half smiled.
"Yes ",she said,"it's like snowfall .......and now you are my snowball"
"Why am I a snowball?"
He sat down to pick his reading glasses and his Kawabata and his thoughts went back to those winter days...