Signs of a Woman’s Touch

trying to bring beauty into life

For the decade we have lived on our compound, our Nepalese gardener has trimmed the trees and mowed the playground’s lawn.  Like ranch hands in the West, he and the other men labor and live together, sharing a kitchen.  If he does have a family, he sees them every two years when he returns home for a vacation.

Gardening is a euphemism for what he does.  The lushest gardens are tended by residents’ hired help.  His real, money-making job is after hours when he washes cars.  During the day, this man silently wanders between the garden walls, chatting on his phone, avoiding his boss.  Often I find him crouched in the shade, half hidden, behind a tree.  Lately, he has been particularly preoccupied.

I think he is in love.

There are a few, tell-tale signs.

He has been strutting, not just shuffling, between the houses with a smile on his face.

Known for “supervising” his younger co-worker, who lifts the heavy trashcans onto the trolley and wheels it out the front gate, he has been seen carrying plastic shopping bags for a sari-clad woman.

A silk flower was planted between the bricks outside his door.

And someone placed a vine stem in a vase, hoping it will grow roots.



Tales by Chapter

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