The smell of fresh mint lifts up her spirits.
Every morning, Anima enters the gates of our home at 5.30 AM and goes straight to the garden to collect fresh herbs.
Anima is a cook in our house and I have known her since I was a child. Every day she goes to the kitchen with a smile holding a bunch of fresh mint in her hands like they are a bouquet of flowers.
Every morning, we drink mint juice with breakfast and there is always extra stocked up in the fridge. I wonder why Anima is so obsessed with mint, even Appa and Amma never tell her anything.
Sometimes I have seen her from the terrace watering the mint garden and mumbling silent prayers. I felt she was going crazy.
I even went up to her one day and asked,
“Anima, why do you like mint so much?”
She gently brushed her hand through my hair and smiled at me.
I never got an answer.
I was upset, I couldn’t take it anymore so I decided to stop all the madness. At night, I secretly went into the garden and destroyed all the mint plants.
Next morning, I wake up and see Anima sobbing by the wreckage in the garden. Appa and Amma look like they are in a state of shock. They just stood by her side, motionless.
Next second, I see them come running towards my room.
I look at them in confusion and ask,
“What’s wrong? Why do you all look so awful? It was only mint!”
They stand in front of me wide-eyed without saying a word.
I could feel myself turning pale.
Amma bursts out crying, “Lips.. her lips are turning purple. Call the doctor!”
I feel the room spinning in circles and my legs feel like jelly. While being carried in Appa’s arms I see a faint light, a disheveled garden and Anima standing solemnly by the door holding onto rotten mint leaves.