“Never expected to find you in Mahabaleshwar, Lulu” I said
to Lulu, my parrot who hopped from nowhere on my shoulder.
“Ha, ha. You must expect the unexpected from me. What are
you doing here in Mahabaleshwar? Second honeymoon, eh?” Lulu asked.
“That is a cruel joke on a sixty year old, Lulu. You should
not say such things. Besides, a good romantic will never keep count of the
number of honeymoons!” I replied.
“I like that.....well, Are you enjoying here?”
“Yes, of course, Lulu. I am here with my darling wife. A
friend and his wife too have joined us. We just finished a Strawberry with
Cream. And but for my devilish doctor who has prescribed many restrictions, I
would have polished two more!” I said.
“When did you start respecting Doctor’s advice? I saw you
enjoying sugarcane juice in a village near Wai.”
“Absolutely irresistible it was! Sugarcane juice with a dash
of lemon and ginger. Nothing beats it in this world. Not even a glass of
“Yeah, you must be right. You seemed to have tried a quick swig
of whisky too.” Lulu said.
“I really don’t know how you come to know of such
things.....but to answer your point, yes, a small one is all that I allowed
“Ha, ha! You have really thrown caution to the wind. A
diabetic should not indulge like this, it is injurious to health. You are
enjoying as if there is no tomorrow!” Lulu laughed.
“There is a name for such people of my age.”
“Late bloomers! They do not do these things when they were
young. So they freak out and try to make up following retirement.”
“Ha, ha. I had heard of ‘Baby boomers’ but not ‘Late
bloomers.’ But follow the health guidelines. What else did you do?”
“Picked Strawberry in the fields. That was a great
experience. I was observing plants closely several years after my botany
classes. The smell of soil, of strawberry leaves and white flowers was very intoxicating......
more than a glass of whisky.”
“A glass of whisky seems to be your measure of pleasure; I don’t
like that. Tell me what did you do with the strawberries collected from the
“I collected about a one-half a kilo. And promptly presented
those to my wife who is celebrating her birthday today. There is no birthday
present better than the Farm-fresh strawberries - I mean, personally picked by one's husband as a birthday present!”
“That was a smart one! Now I understand why your
indiscretions are tolerated!” Lulu said laughing and dancing on my shoulder.