They stood like the stagnant rain of late August. Against the moist afternoon breeze rushing through their hair, giving them an occasional totter. Away from town, its buses and the smoke. They would quite religiously meet in the valley. Well not exactly, if you could call it that. It was a huge ditch washed clean by the monsoon. Sometimes flooded, it looked like a lake. Filled with brown water, of the color of tea. Only the beverage in the cup they shared standing on top of the ridge looked less watery. The color of that was for the thick boiled buffalo milk. Not a day went without he making a comment on the goodness of that milk, and she not laughing to it. At it. Forgetting the day, at ease, an hour at a time. As the orange sun set and the porous skies gave in, again. To another lash of night long rain.
Each morning, her huge dog, that monstrous canine, demanded comforting by the pedestrians crossing the street by barking out loud from the first floor balcony and craning its neck out like it would take a leap now. It never did, but the children stopped taking that street. The ones who would earlier sneak into her garden to steal shrubs of pink table rose and pineapple from the bushes. Or a raw jackfruit or two. The canine put an end to that for good. But after that, there was no one. The barking would stop once her hoarse scream scared the animal off to a mid morning snooze. And then she would emanate from the rickety house in her off white maxi dress for summers. With a cup of tea in her hands, chewing one of her own sun dried coconut cookies. To tend to her rose bushes and to cut off the weed. Weed, you know.