there have been long afternoons and i have roamed around
in the shrinking sunlight. where i lived was a place far away.
there were bunches of guava trees. old mango trees with
trunks very wide. scrapping off their bark was my favourite
game and also gathering yello leaves that had fallen off the
boughs onto the ground. the noon-shy soil, that would be
moistened by the dew all night.
of flowers i remember moonbeam. and of course hibiscus
that had branches entwined, so that snakes could live in
them, peacefully. i dug in small holes the in ground and put in
them the stems of the hibiscus buds that i plucked. and in the
morning i looked at them an wondered what made them
bloom into flowers so full.
moonbeam and hibiscus taught me the colors i know, white
an red, black came much later. there were jackfruit trees a
couple of decades old. and i remember being told, who had
planted which, and if a ghost lived under it. because late in
the evening when you are asked to run from one home to
another, you may come across a beautiful girl with her face
hidden behind a white veil, sitting under the jackfruit tree like
she was both praying and waiting. and you are supposed to
know that she is a ghost.
there were herds of monkeys that came hunting in the
afternoon. they were chased off the orchard. sometime in a
forced siesta you would hear a tree branch break and you
would know they have arrived. then i would tip-toe into the
courtyard before anyone wakes up to makes cups of milky
tea that were to be served in maroon cups with broken
edges, later in the afternoon. the mokeys who were chased
off the orchard would be quietly waiting on the roof. i
remember givin them brinjals and cucumber and the leaves
of cauliflower..and looking at them eat, and then slitherin
back on to the bed like i never got up..
such were my afternoons. but one day came a mighty storm
and wiped it all off my life. now it's like remembering things
that never happened/..