Friday, September 6, 2013

Of Dolls & Cradles

'Memories are strange things', she said, looking at the picture of her little daughter. The sepia toned photo had little Lily cutely holding a doll in one hand and trying to push cradle with the other. 'No matter how good or bad they are, they often tear you heart', she said as looked tearfully at her daughter. Lily, now a mother herself, pressed her mother's arm gently and comforted her with a warm hug. 'Those wonderful years won't ever return! It feels awful to know that you can never go back to those days, no matter how much you want to. I wish I could go back and see all those moments when you were my little doll, playing around with dolls and prams. I wish to go back and capture those innocent smiles, questions and gestures that melted my heart. I wish to spend all my time just absorbing your innocence, which perhaps I could not, being busy with my work. I wish to be a young mother again, spending every minute just knowing that you are the most wonderful creation I will ever touch, hold, see, feel and know in my life! But my dear, that's what memories do. They tear your heart. Did I say, memories are strange things'.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Beautiful Poem

I never saw her face. The sun was mellowing down the golden yellow field, when I first saw her. It was just a glimpse. A glimpse of her soft brown hair swaying on her delicate neck, her slender shoulders waiting to be held, her graceful arms drawn back like the stalk of a chrysanthemum, her svelte body like a meandering river. She was, like a beautiful poem waiting to be recited by her lover. She was my first and the only love of my life! That was the last time I saw her. And yet, I never saw her face...


Monday, March 5, 2012

Kids' Story Time: The Little Cub's friends

Once there was a little cub called Zoobie. He used to live with his parents in a beautiful jungle of Africa. He was just a year old and was a very chubby cute cub. His parents, Zubu the lion and Zizi the lioness loved Zoobie and doted on him. Zoobie was a happy baby and would always be jumping around in the jungle. His parents would wonder if he'd ever be a fierce lion when he grows up...

One day Zoobie was playing outside his den. His father was out on hunt while his mother was sleeping inside the den. He had been warned by his mother to play around the den and not venture any further. But Zoobie was very naughty and would always seek a chance to explore the jungle beyond his den.

So when he heard her mother snore into a deep sleep, he slowly sneaked towards the pond in the jungle. He loved the pond as he thought his reflection in the water was another playful little cub! He reached the pond and began to see his reflection. Each time he would see himself in the water, he would jump in excitement. He would then happily round around the pond and come back to see this little cub in the pond.

Poppy, a three year old monkey was jumping on the trees around the pond when he saw this little cub, happily running and jumping. He wondered if he should go and play as well, for his parents had told him about lions being the fiercest animals in the jungle. But he could not resist himself and climbed down the tree.

He came near Zoobie and said, "Hi! Am Poppy...what's your name cubbie?"
"Hi ya...Am Zhhoobbbie", replied the little cub
"Hey Zoobie, what are you doing alone over here? Haven't you come along with your parents?"
" came to meet my water friend"
"Who? I don't see anyone"
" he is...come and see...", saying this he looked into the pond and showed his reflection.
"Ha ha ha ha, that's your friend? ha ha", Poppy began laughing. He laughed and rolled on the ground. Zoobie stood confused and surprised. He asked the monkey, "Aahh...why do you laugh? Don't you like my water friend?"

At this Poppy laughed again and said, "Wooo hooo hoo...hey little cubbie, that's not a friend. Its you. Its your reflection!"
"Reeeffecann? what's that?", asked the innocent little cub
"Umm...reflection? How do I tell you? Umm...okay, wait for me...", and Poppy ran back to one of the trees and came back with a small mirror.
"Look into this Zoobie and what you see is what is reflection", he said, facing the mirror towards the cub.
"Oh! another friend? Wowwww!!!!", Zoobie said seeing himself in the mirror. He began to jump and sing, happy about his new found friend.
The monkey stopped him and said, "Oh God, you little fool... this is not your friend. Its you. Look again".
Zoobie came near the mirror and once again saw himself. Then he went back to the pond and looked into the water. He was so thrilled to see two more cubs that he wouldn't listen to what the monkey said. It was two hours since the monkey was trying to explain to the cub, but he couldn't. Tired by now, he sat near Zoobie and watched him play with his reflections in the mirror and water.

As it was quite late, Zoobie's parents began to worry when he didn't return on his own. They knew he loved the pond. So they came searching for him. And they found him playing and jumping around the mirror and water.

"Zooobieee", cried his mother.
"Awww...mommy...look look...I have two friends now", Zoobie yelled in excitement.
As his parents came near the pond, Poppy tried to run away. But Zubu, the lion, stopped him and told him not to fear. He the asked the monkey what they both were doing here at the pond. Poppy explained him the entire story of how he had been trying to tell Zoobie about his two reflections.

At this Zubu and Zizi began laughing. They were amused to find Zoobie thrilled with his new friends. Then Zizi, the lioness, said to Poppy, "Thank you for taking care of my little baby all this while. He is too young to understand reflections and things like that. All he knows is that he can play with all the young animals he finds in the jungle. But all the young animals are scared of him because he's a cub. So he finds his reflection at this pond quite amusing and thinks it is his friend".

Poppy smiled and promptly replied, "Oh then can I be his friend? I am not scared of him anymore..."

Zubu smiled and said to Zoobie, "Come here my boy. now have three friends. Two little cubs and a little monkey. Be good to your friends, alright?"

Zoobie was even happier and began singing his little happy song. He hugged Poppy and said to his mother, "Look look mommy, I have three friends now. Poppy and two reeefecann!"
Hearing this they all laughed and hugged the cute happy cub, little Zoobie.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Gulmohar...The growing years...

Days seemed to fly by, as there was so much of joy all around. Rose used to be busy with only Fia and the daily chores related to her care. She would spend the entire day with her baby, sometimes giggling around seeing Fia's naughty gestures and sometimes worriedly running around for her food, bib or those tiny socks. The window of Fia's playroom opened right in front of me, and I would spend hours on end just watching her, trying to listen to her soft gurgled baby talk. When Rose would be rush out of room to fetch something, Fia would fix her eyes on my swaying leaves and feel the cool breeze. At other times, of course, she would enjoy her mother's cuddly warm embrace. Over the months, she was growing into a beautiful baby, just as a tiny bud blossoming into a lovely flower. And I, standing by this corner, would start my mornings with cries of Baby Fia.

Her eyes were now more prominent, crystal clear soft blue eyes, which you would like to see forever. Being 4 months old, she could barely twist and turn on bed. Yet she would move her little hands and toes, as if wanting to play around with all that she saw in her room. Her tiny mouth would utter some gurgled sounds, which were more dear to me than a love song.

Whenever Rose would bring her into the garden, I would slowly sway my branches to shower red flowers from my branches. This would always draw her attention and she would look at me with her big clear blue eyes. And then she would gurgle a sweet little "Aaaw gu gu aaw" - only she knowing the meaning of this cute sound!

After spring season, I was bare with very few leaves. Yet as I awaited new leaves, the summer season had become less tolerant for a baby. And so Rose would stay indoors during the day, and come out with Fia only during the evenings. So a considerable time would be lost during the day and I would excitedly await evenings. And all this while love, care and concern for Fia kept on increasing.

Summer too passed away and Monsoons began. And began a stretch of lonesome days, when I would hope for rains to stop and see my little sunshine...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Gulmohar... First Conversation with Fia

Winter was going on, when this little sunshine was born. It was quite cold out in the open, so most of the times the mother and baby would keep indoors. But on sunnier days, Rose would come out with Fia firmly cuddled in her arms. She had placed two chairs in the garden, and had pulled one of them closer to me. She sat down gently and was beaming with a soft motherly smile, holding Fia and humming the most beautiful songs one would have ever heard. Fia too had her sparkling soft baby eyes fixed on her mother, as if trying to guess what she was humming. Both were enjoying a sunny day in winter. All this while I was trying to catch a full glimpse of Fia and when I could, she had slept off. Even then, it was a heavenly sight to see this little cherub, cozily sleeping in the warm bosom of her mother. Fia was the most beautiful baby I had seen till now. Her soft angelic face, little almond shaped fingers, peach and cream pearl colour. I was just awestruck at this little, fragile creation of God!

That day I really wished being a human being. So that I could have touched her, felt her soft little fingers, kissed her gently on her small forehead and kept her in my arms and sung a lullaby. But Alas! I was a tree, and could have just hoped for all this. Yet, I thought for once, that I could still make her feel my presence close to her. So what if I can't take her in my arms, at least she can feel me. I dropped a small leaflet from my branch, the softest one, which landed right on her forehead. Fia felt the gentle leaf and just drooped her drowsy eyes and slept back again. She gave a small yet sleepy unconscious smile. Upon seeing this, Rose gently took off the leaf and put her gentle hand on Fia's forehead.

This was our first unconscious, unspoken and in a manner unknown conversation. But that's how deepest relations are. They exist nowhere, yet one day, they touch your heart deeply. This was the beginning of a life full of sunshine & smile. A life I would never again wish to exchange with anyone, not even, a human ......

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gulmohar - Fia, the breeze in my life!

I must have been in my growing years, attaining little bark on my stem and branches, when Rose and Martin shifted into this bungalow (I am firmly fixed into a cozy corner of its garden). Rose was a delicate beautiful petite woman, expecting her first child. She seemed kind and adorable, for she would everyday take good care of her husband, her new home and also her new garden. She must have been around 25 years least looked so. Her husband, Martin, a young guy in his 30's , was a nice guy too. I was quite delighted to have a wonderful family like theirs in this bungalow. 

The owners of this bungalow had long back shifted to Canada. Occasionally people would come to see the place, but somehow, its first family had to be of Rose and Martin. And I think that was the best thing to happen to me. Often, when the bungalow had not been occupied, neighbours would pluck flowers, nasty children would jump into the garden to play hide n seek, or would simply just pull leaves from plants and trees. Since I was still growing, they could manage to get their hands on me too. The garden was quite a hassled lot of flora. I was relieved when Martin and family moved in. 

Six months later, I was to get a new companion. Martin and Rose would have their first child. All this while, Rose had established a quiet but close bond with all of us in the garden. She would water us, sit beside us in the evenings or would just stroll about in the garden humming a song to her to be child. I could sense her warmth and her immense love and devotion to family.

A week later, I could sense that joy had finally arrived. They were blessed with a baby girl. Though I had not yet seen her closely, I only heard them call out to her. They had named the baby as Fia. Baby Fia was a little angel. A warm sunshine. A beautiful flower. And a breeze of life in my life... 

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Gulmohar... Looking back on years goneby

I have been here ever since I was planted. I don't know when and how I landed here, or who planted me here. I was too young and tender to realise that. But my growing years have been quite fulfilling. I have known seasons, people, animals, wind, sun, rains, stars - all in their splendour and doom... In happy times and in lonesome days... In playful desires and in dull moods.

Every time a season comes, wrapping me softly and slowly into its bosom and then slowly, when its time for the next season, unwraps its warmth and love, I am left back with myself to witness new world each day. A new world, a new day, new life, new bloom. New people.

Yes, you would wonder how can a tree like me have new people in its life. Though I stand at a nice cozy corner of a garden, I still manage to meet new people. Some old timers still take refuge under my foliage during summers, some rogues still want me down with my branches, some poor souls still pour a bucket or two of water on my roots, some have left my neighbourhood. But one girl is still close to my heart and would always be. I will take you through my story with her, in many phases - because it difficult to summarize her, its difficult to describe her in few good words - because special things in life deserve importance...