On quiet days and busy nights my thoughts are stolen. They are filled with the smell of the early morning sun on tamarind trees and of stars story-telling on a clear dark blue sky. Pretty little hills close in on my thoughts, until I have no escape.
Confined, I climb the hills. Perched on top of the valley, the breeze whispers stories into my ears. Stories the banyan tree has witnessed or the lost pond has found. Then I see them, walking down the gate and over the first bridge. As they snail down the road, some giggling and some staring at the distant sliding rock, a halo surrounds them. Innocence flows around it.
Bicycles whiz across on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The foot of astachal serving as a starting point, like always. Two of them halt at the big banyan tree. They lie down on the cold, rough stone benches to stare at the hanging roots, the large leaves and the fat trunk. Beyond that they see the blue sky with golden streaks staring down at them. Words, giggles, tears and laughter…the big banyan tree the sole spectator. Or so they think.
I see him perched on top of the guava tree, scanning the branches for a full, ripe guava to throw down at his friend. They collect a few and settle down by the edge of the orchard, chewing on the fruit as they stare at the hills. Some are picking on the carrots while the rest are pleading with the anna for some good sugarcane. Anna, happily obliges.
A distant whistle call. The song “Hey jagdata vishva vidhata” trails us for a while. The joggers move past it to stop only in an open field.
I see her as she walks down the tar road towards the K tree. The crunching leaves sigh under her feet as though relieved of pain. However, it is her whose movement is graced with a visible lightness with every step.
I want to walk down the hill, carefully this time, lest I fall and hurt myself again.