It was an arresting sight. Boundless green interrupted by fuchsia water lilies  — I could have never missed them even though the road stretched emptily ahead tempting me to push the pedal some more…

The pond was teeming with life — nymphs and larvae, water boatmen and tiny fishes in a busy universe. I just had to sit by the pond and take it all in and the eyes always wandered to the beautiful pink epicentre.

I was unaware that a pair of curious wondering eyes was looking at me in parallel. A rickety cycle was pushed to the roadside and a tall kid watched me – from a distance – as if to ensure a distance that clearly separated our worlds.

The mid-day sun cast a harsh, golden edge to everything it touched. The water sparkled and shimmered and the wind swayed the tall blades of grass. Wanting to capture some of it, I pulled out my phone and tried to make the most of a picture. After a few trials when I was going through the gallery, something startled me and I realised the kid was closer and trying to get a closer view of my activities. I did smile and met with a stony stare in return.

As I got up to resume my journey, I saw him enter the pond from the opposite side. I waved frantically and told him not to venture in. It was definitely a deep one and I was worried for the kid’s safety. I shouted again and looked around if there  was anyone else. No luck as I stood there in despair and a feeling of fear.

After what looked like an eternity, I saw him emerge from water, and with some amount of anger, I told him not to do that again — maybe the winds carried my voice off but I ensured that I did shout loudly! Without even a look at me, he ventured to the other side.

I thought to myself how peaceful the idyllic setting was which made me stop by to admire the beautiful water lillies and then what happened. I got into the car, sat for a moment and then turned in the ignition to see beautiful flowers in my rear view mirror — there he was!

Smiling shyly, he handed over the flowers to me. It was an unexpected turn of events and I hesitated to extend my hand though my eyes were besotted with those beautiful flowers and their rightful place was always the pond. That lasted only for a second, and with much happiness, I took the flowers and he was starting to cycle off. I was not sure if I could offer money but I tried and felt like a fool because it was not accepted.

The true joy of a gift given and a gift received was stamped on my heart. It was then that I realised that fleeting moments of joy can be forever…