NPM April 8th.
When I was growing up in the Deccan Plateau of South India, I thought that I would stay little the whole time. Growing up, getting married was never a thought. My brothers and I played in the courtyards of that huge place where mother had grown up. In one of the courtyards, there was a huge tree. My brother would climb it and shake the branches; all of us, including the house staff, would spread sheets on the ground so the berries, called “beyr” would drop down and be collected, and distributed to the entire neighbourhood.
I loved eating them.
Then we moved away further south where father became the dean of a university. Several years later, I went back to my maternal home, and— here is what I have extracted from the poem that I had written.
I played in my courtyard with a huge tree in the center,
all our games we fashioned around that tree. I knew
that the tree would stay the same for the rest of its life
I stand under that same tree now, and wonder why the
courtyard had shrunk, and why the tree
had become so much taller!
(extracted from the poem The Courtyard, from my book Stray Thoughts/Winged Words.)
ZSA_MD April 8th 2016.