That sentence from the driver made me throw my view immediately through the window, squinting my eyes from the hot Sun outside.
A sign ‘Home for The Destitute and The Dying’ was clearly displayed, as if shouting for attention more than the instagram on my handphone screen.
The Destitute and The Dying? They really call themselves that?
The gate is slowly opened, revealing a young male standing behind it, without a smile. As the car reaches near and nearer inside, I could see the residents- each and everyone of them- sitting and some, standing under the veranda. All eyes are on our car, nobody moves.
After switching off my mobile data, I slipped my iPhone into my right pocket while getting off the car.
Taking pictures would be the last thing you would want to do here, I thought.
Stepping on the sandy ground, My eyes screened the surroundings. It was quite a big lawn with no grass, very clean with some trees planted at each corner. Someone has done a pretty good job at maintaining this lawn neat. He must be the gardener, the one with the blue cap, squatting down with a shovel on his left hand.
“Wheew! Let’s bring some positive aura in here, guys!”
That’s Alia, spicing things up, while all 5 of us made our way to the stairs towards the veranda. She is the specky girl who I think has a unique personality. Unique how? Well, sometimes she’s cartoon-like!
On the 2nd stair, a large, fair, friendly looking lady gave us a wide smile. Two big, reddish cheek of hers became prominent, rising up together with her dark eyebrows. Her black, short hair is tied up in a low ponytail. Her eyes are as if glowing when she introduces herself, offering a handshake.
“Hi, I’m Rukhmini. Your good name?”
“I’m ‘Athira,” replying her handshake accompanied with a smile.
“Haiiii. I’m Na-ee-ma. He he he.” Naima, another specky girl, replied her after me.
Alia and Naima, both these girls are common in a way that they smile a lot. But they do differ in one fine aspect. Naima has a very low threshold to laughters, she laughs to jokes. Alia, she make jokes. Sometimes the weirdest ones.
We exchange names and learnt that Rukhmini from Darjeeling, is the guardian of this home since its existence 11 years back. There are at least 6 volunteers, all Christians of 18 to 25 years of age, hauling from all over India to keep the resident’s welfare checked.
Okay, good. That’s a really great start. Way, way better than what my mind has imagined. Good English, friendly company, and plus, there are 5 of us to cover each other’s awkwardness- if there’s any! What could ever go wrong?
We were then invited up to the veranda to meet the residents one by one.
Stepping up the staircases, I offered a nod to the residents as they reach my eyes. As my foot step on the last stair, I could see the view of the other side of the veranda.
My goodness, is this for real?