Monday, 17 October 2016

Finding my umbrella – again!

-Brian Mendonça

Sometime around this time last year I lost my umbrella. So when we came back after a trip and noticed its absence, everything seemed normal. A few days passed with no sign of it and I had all but given up on it.  

Then all of a sudden, I received a call saying that my umbrella had been found. This was a few days after I had noticed its disappearance so I was a bit skeptical about the news. After all, had I not been losing umbrellas with unfailing regularity over the past few years? I had even written an article in these columns about it. It was titled, ‘Losing my umbrella – again!’

Today, however, I decided to set the record straight. The title of the present article had the facts to back it.  The black umbrella in front of me had been found not once but twice!

The umbrella had been left during a visit to a home for the aged.  When we heard that it had been found we decided that it would be pointless travelling over the distance just to reclaim an umbrella.  Why don’t we take something for the seniors in the same trip? So we placed an order for some samosas and Queenie made her signature ginger bread cake to take along.

The saga of the umbrella revealed itself further when we were informed that the umbrella had indeed been found the next day itself – but had disappeared again after being found.  It was only after dire warnings were issued – as well as prayers to St. Anthony – that the umbrella had resurfaced.  Our delight knew no bounds at hearing this -- the news coming at a time when I had already reconciled with its loss. In fact, when my son pointed out that I had come home without my stainless steel bottle of water, after the episode, I remarked wryly, ‘It things want to leave me, let them.’ I was past caring. Sullenly I went about the routines of the day.

The ‘lost’ umbrella made me mindful of my concern for the aged. It gave me a chance to reunite with them and to see the bliss on their faces.  The distance did not count – though some stretches we negotiated in blinding rain. At some points we were asking ourselves why we were doing this, when it would have been more convenient to just tell the home to keep the umbrella for their use.

Perhaps it was because this umbrella had been found once before. We had gone for Sunday Mass and we came away without it. It was only when we were placing our breakfast order did I realize that the umbrella was missing. Filled with trepidation I betook myself to the church. The faithful had already filed out, but there, just where I had left it, seated prayerfully in the pew was the black umbrella. Like its brand name ‘Wolf’ it is a loner, and knows how to take care of itself!
Published in Gomantak Times, Weekender, St. Inez, Goa on Sunday, 9 October 2016. Pix courtesy 

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