Sadness, heavy hearted, blessed, are some of the words I have chosen to describe the feelings that I experienced last
The woman's name is Kunda. She stands approximately 5'5" tall in her early fifties with a light brown complexion. I cannot say whether Kunda is a Maharashtrian or a South Indian by her features, coupled with the way she dresses, and the pronunciation of her name resembles that of a local, perhaps from Ambernath location. Her cheeks are round and her dark eyes tell a story that only she can tell, and her beauty is ubiquitous.
I didn't notice her until the weather became rainy ( Sept Oct last year) , Kunda wore a nice brown sari, with a black torn umbrella draped above her head, with water streaming through the umbrella on her. She stood silently taking the protection of the shop frontage and her torn umbrella
Absorbed in her own thoughts I've often seen her chattering to herself. I had never heard her utter a curse word and perhaps this made her more approachable for me.
With bags draped over her shoulder, which I assume are holding all her worldly possessions, she travels through the locality. She hauls a white plastic bag, a narrow green and a yellow one, and a beaten down tan bag. Wherever she is situated, I can look around and find her possessions, which are never quite out of her sight.
Because she is a nice-looking woman, I have often wondered what brought her to this existence. It isn't something I feel I have the right to ask. At times, she appears self-assured, but at other times, she is unapproachable.
I decided that on Diwali day I will get Kunda a nice salwar kameez and a brand new umbrella for the next rains. I put the new things in a nice hand bag and kept it on the side of her bags, while she was looking the other way, and quickly ducked into my car. The driver was puzzled but didn’t ask too many questions, while I watched furtively from the side view mirror if she was going to pick the bag and explore.
Kunda did not touch that bag, and I was getting late after 10mins of waiting, decided to leave. In the evening on my way back she was still sitting where I saw her in the morning and the bag was closer to her feet now. I dropped Rs 10/- in her lap, we exchanged eye contact and I moved onwards
The next time I saw Kunda, was a month later. I was dropping some stuff for her, hair brush and deo’s and a little money, when she looked at me with no recognition. I felt sad not because she did not recognize me, but because I think I probably know now why she is on the streets, she does not have any memory.
She has either walked out of her house one day and did not know how to trace back home or somebody has abandoned her on the street and did not want a liability.
She is homeless. Since that day I do my bit in looking after her, I get her a meal a day, clothes, shampoo and toiletries. I tried seeking the help of the local police to find her a home but no help there. Hopefully we will be able to place her in the Bandra home for the old with upkeep to be paid for.