“How can something so devoid of colours be so beautiful?” I wondered, staring at the white rose.
He used to love white roses, while I liked the red or yellow ones. I had always been very fond of colours. Very. I used to ask him why he liked white roses so much, and every time, he patiently explained to me how white had all seven colours in it. One would imagine that after spending twenty-seven years with him, I too started loving white roses. But no, I didn’t. Not until last year, at least.
I didn’t start wearing a white saree after his death. I had always been very fond of colours. The white sarees that my sister-in-law bought for me seemed to suffocate me when I wore them. I hated the colour white. I hated it more than anything else.
It was our marriage anniversary. Our first marriage anniversary after his death. Every year, on this day, he used to gift me a bouquet of red roses with a single white rose in it. I had always thought that the white rose looked out of place amidst the red ones. I always felt that it destroyed the beauty of the bouquet. But he always insisted that the white rose told more about his love than a hundred red roses. I never understood what that meant.
My best friend, Kamalika, sent me a bouquet of red roses. There were no white roses to destroy the beauty of the bouquet this time. And, no white rose to remind me of him, of his love. I sat there, staring at the bouquet, trying to find him. And I failed. I failed miserably. The red roses only seemed to remind me of the void, the void that has been created by his departure. They made me ineffably sad, and sad was the last thing I wanted to be. I wanted to celebrate ‘us’. Even though he was not there anymore, I wanted to celebrate the time we had spent together. I wanted to celebrate our love.
I dressed up hastily, and rushed to the market. It was late, and most of the shops were already closing, but I somehow managed to reach the flower shop just the moment before the shutter was pulled down. I bought myself a rose, a single white rose, and brought it home. I placed it beside me, on the side of the bed where he used to sleep. And for the first time since his death, I felt his love. I felt his love emanating from that single white rose, and realized how useless all the red roses had been. I couldn’t believe that for so many years I had failed to realize that it was the white rose which made me happy, and not the numerous red roses that he brought along with it.
“How can something so devoid ofcolours be so beautiful?” I wondered, staring at the white rose, as I felt my love for colours seep out of me, ever so slowly.
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