Scarlet - Some words are beautiful just because of the way they sound.
I read 'Gone with the wind' when I was too young, way younger than I would prefer to admit.
But amazingly, it made sense to me. Even then. Maybe that is why I got drawn to this illusion called love - Fool's paradise.
Paradise maybe. But a fool nevertheless.
Early 90's. He used to visit our apartment once a month. With a bundle of sorts. Folded 5 yards of fabric in every color and material.
Installment Velu - that's what the women in the complex called him.
Tugging the heavy bundle, he would make his way to the open area beside the entrance. Velu's saree mela, I had named it. To myself.
I didn't think he would take a 8 year old seriously, even if she went up to him and offered to buy a saree.
'Scarlet velu anna. Do you have a saree in scarlet color?'
I was too young to explain to him what the color was.
He was not educated enough to figure out what it meant.
From then, we had our parade.
He would try to bring a different shade each time since then. A new shade neither him nor I had seen.
'Is this your scarlet little one?'
I always replied in the negative. I had no idea if it was or not. But I knew that saying yes would put an end to this new game in my life. And my new friendship.
His reply had always been the same 'If we don't find your color now, I promise you it will be my wedding gift to you ok little one. You will wear it on that day.'
Now I know what scarlet looks like. It's been many years.
I have seen plenty of 5 yards of beautifully woven, intricately worked fabric of that color in the gazillion retail outlets. But I could never bring myself to buy any of them. I wanted the scarlet saree an old friend would have gifted to the 8 year old.
I was supposed to walk down the aisle in my scarlet saree. He never gifted me one for that, when I walked down it for the first time. Maybe the walk was never supposed to have been. Maybe it was all jinxed from the start. A jinx I put on when I was 8.
I should have bought a scarlet saree after all. Maybe my life would have been different.