I consider myself rather an old man. I take walks sometimes with my neighbor’s pet frizzly bear who they fondly call “Dodo Darling”, I do not find anything dodo-ish or darling about this bear that weights almost 60 kg more than I and I never think about that bear accidentally falling on my poor little back or I’d die even thinking that! It’s not that I am not fond of animals, I just love my life a little more than my neighbors do. I once asked my neighbor why name the bear after a flightless bird of prehistoric times? To which the forest ranger said, “that’s offensive Chaudhury, are you saying this only because my poor Dodo can not fly either? Look at my little darling, she likes you so much she is keeping you healthy by taking you on walks!” That conversation ended once I was made the pet of his pet! “Come on Dodo” I said to the big frizzly bear as we started out for that day’s evening walk.
My home was between the forest ranger’s house being just near the small mountain. Dodo seems to love the black berries growing in the mountain’s foot. There are many jungles here which makes life in the hills pretty much interesting. There’s one school for high-class brats just up the hill but Dodo seems to like few of them too, I blame it on the berried they feed her on their visit to the small town in the mountain’s lap. Once the athlete girl asked if she can ride Dodo to which my obvious answer was no. I did not want an angry bear running after me for letting it in the lose hands and I didn’t know if Dodo would like that since she was a circus bear. Yes, right that’s where Mr. Bakshi had rescued the bear from. The girl tried anyway, Dodo became anxious and the girl was later on admitted to the school hospital for a broken leg. Me and Dodo went to visit her with the pensies that grew well in my experiment garden that season. But this is not story of Dodo, you pensies! Duh, I get offtrack, happens a lot with me these days.
This is story of Mrs. Willoway. Mrs. Willoway was arts teacher in the brat’s school. She looked very well composed on the outside. She was in her mid forties, unmarried, not that good-looking and she had no pursuers. I’d call her life rather peaceful but she was unhappy for reasons beyond comprehension to the sixty-five year old me who had never married or had kids. I loved my life the way it was living in the foots of the great Himalayan range in the lap of nature.
One evening when Dodo was walking me we saw a British colonel who had come to visit his sister. Right then Mrs.Willoway who looked like she was going for a party, opened her large window and threw herself from the nasty fifth floor! I ran towards her home as fast as I can and a crowd gathered there by the time I could reach with Dodo. Colonel was lying unconscious on the spot with Mrs.Willoway panting and crying on the side! Mrs. Willoway in her hurry to die forgot to look down before throwing her 150 pound self out of her window and she had fallen straight on the colonel’s back.
Being the small town that we are, everyone knows about everyone’s business here. Later someone told me that Mrs. Willoway was tired of her life and she had decided to end it since there was no one to cry if she was gone. I felt sorry for poor Mrs. Willoway. The colonel received a surgery for his broken rib and shoulder and is on advised bed rest for 6 months, making him unable to wonder around Mrs. Willoway any soon. But soon the colonel was moved to his sister’s house which was pretty close to Mrs. Willoway’s home. There are rumors that Mrs. Willoway is a constant visitor to the retired colonel and they seem pretty happy together. Now when did that happen?! In all my years in the hills Mrs. Willoway’s case has been the most funny yet strange one… Luckily, I have been invited for a tea to the by the colonel’s sister, my dear literature buddy – Daisy who is in her seventies herself with her grandchildren settled and happily growing old with her dear old husband in the foothills of Himalayas. I shall find out all the scoop tonight!