The Lady With a Frown

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Some time ago, there lived a lady, vividly known for her deep and erect frown. Even when she smiled it stood proudly in the center of her brow. She and her frown lived alone in a small cottage in the outskirts of the city, a modest abode with a luscious garden surrounding it. The large banyan tree had introverted reptiles as residents staying with noisy insect neighbors, fluttering all night long. The leisurely hanging pink hue of bougainvillea tickled the mango tree. The thorny bushes peacefully stood on one side observing nonchalantly. The lady loved her garden, it filled her with an abundance of warmth and her frown fades a little. But whenever she left her garden and entered into the gregarious world, her frown deepened. She got offended by every conversation any man or woman tried to have with her.

If someone asked her “How is your day going?” she would spat “Do you think my days are boring and hard, you mean man?” If someone enquired “Why you never got married?” She would revert and howl “How dare you think I couldn’t find a suitable husband.” If someone curiously asked, “Why do you never smile?” She would reply, “Stop thinking that I am depressed.” If someone asked about her frown, the frown got deeper and she angrily dashed away. Eventually, people gave up on her and let the lady and the frown tend to her business. In between these bouts of anger for humans and abysmal love for the garden, her life was passing.

One day a little girl came to her garden who started sniffing the roses and tenderly touching its petals. The lady angrily came out of the creaking door with a stick in her hand, “Don’t you dare pluck the flower, you devil.” The child was already in between the sobs and replied, “Mam I was just touching the flower.”

“Get out of my garden,” the lady struck the stick on the ground, which by mere chance hit the little girl’s ankle. She ran away with a very heavy heart. That day her frown crossed the limit and the garden had had enough. The garden loved the woman dearly and all the beautiful trees were pained to see the lady digging her own grave with a shovel of rudeness and unnecessary cynicism.

The next day, at the crack of dawn when the first ray of sunshine fell on the garden, it came alive. She was tending to the garden, touching the petals of the rose softly. Suddenly the rose snapped! “Stop molesting me.”

She was stunned not that the garden could speak, she has spoken to them many times and heard them too, but this time hearing the ingrained poison in rose’s voice had taken her aback. She replied: “But I was just caressing.”

She stepped back hurriedly still in shock and her leg grazed the hedge. The hedge abruptly growled: “Stop kicking me.”

“But it was a genuine mistake,” the lady replied through sobs.

She looked at hibiscus for sympathy. Hibiscus shot the angry and fiery look, she burst into tears, inconsolable tears. The garden softened. The mango tree, a wise and old one shooed all and grazed the lady with the branch of newborn soft leaves. The wise tree said: “They are just showing you the mirror.”

“They all are being rude,” the lady said in a childlike voice.

“No, they are not. This is the way you talk to every human around you. Every person is good in their own way. When someone asks you about your day, they are just trying to be nice. When someone asks you why you don’t have a husband, they might be wondering how a beautiful lady like you could be unmarried. When someone asks why you are sad, they might want you to smile more. When someone asks you about your frown, they might be worried about your health.”

The tree wasn’t finished yet.

“I have seen many generations coming up, being angry and then turning to ashes. I have seen many generations coming up, having fun and laughing till their guts hurt and turning to ashes. Everyone that comes eventually turns to ashes but why burn us and all around us with a match of cynicism and self-indulgence well before our time.”

The lady left the garden without a word; she did not come out of the house for 3 days, but something amazing happened on the 4th day. Garden saw a smile on the lady’s face while helping the housemaid. Now the green garden is filled with rainbow-colored skirts and knickers of the kids from the whole village. The grown-ups get the homegrown vegetables and visit her whenever she needs something.

She is still a lady with a frown. But now frown is amusingly accompanied by a beaming smile.