by Sidrah Gufran Roghay
I have always been a strong admirer of white. Being meticulous by nature, somehow whites always soothe me. This was probably the main reason I decided to paint my house white for my son’s upcoming wedding. Brushing back a strand of my salt and pepper hair and wiping off the dribbling sweat from my temple, I moved back a few steps to admire my little piece of art. “Still half a wall left”, I sighed and got back to the tedious work.
Just as I had finished the last portion of my wall, I heard the tiny footsteps of my five-year old grand daughter. I smiled to myself as I watched the little twit running towards me. Judging her by her appearance I calculated that she had probably been playing in the mud outside. I embraced her lovingly.
“Look nanu”, and before I could even swear under my breath she stamped both of her dirty little hands on the freshly painted wall.
“It’s pretty, right”, and she smacked a wet kiss on my nose.
That minute I could have smacked her, scolded her, admonished her……………but despite myself I smiled. Those little hand prints on the wall did look pretty. This was my five-year old’s first gift for me.
“It is indeed”, I hugged her. Then taking a paintbrush and dipping it in the black can of paint nearby I covered my hands in black and plastered them on the wall. Underneath I wrote “NANU loves you”.
With the passage of time many more little hand prints joined that wall, each adding colour, joy and beauty to our family. Today that one wall is my dearest possession in the world. Those little hands are the emblem of love I still have in my old age, and whenever I am low, depressed, or melancholy, I find myself seated in my wooden rocking chair and staring at “the little patterns of hands”