It was about six in the morning. She tiptoed out, with a couple of books in her hand. Her sister lay asleep in the bed. She intended not to make any noise. Invariably, she did. The door was shut a little too loudly.
On placing the books on the centre table in the drawing room, she switched the lights on. White light flooded the room. It pierced her eyes, which were still laden with sleep. She again went to the bathroom, splashing cold water on her eyelids. Picking the hand towel which lay on a chair, she went to the drawing room again.
She undid the locks of the door which led to the verandah. Quietly.
A lady opposite her house was washing the front porch. Moving in a rhythm, she neatly swept with a broom made from dried coconut leaves. A bucket of water was carried from inside. And soon, the entire porch, and some part of the road was also watered.
Placing the bucket aside, she again disappeared inside. She returned with a small box without a lid. Bending towards the ground, with her back facing me, she started aligning the rangoli powder in straight lines and curves. Five minutes later, a pretty rangoli decked the front porch.
The lady paused at this point, wondering if the rangoli required any modifications. She then, decided against it, and stepped inside.
The day passed on. Evening came. She again stood on the same verandah. Wind, dust, rain.... had washed away the rangoli. She stood there imaging a similar process the coming morn.
A new, fresh rangoli would adorn the entrance of the house. Welcoming any visitor with open arms.