My true vacation always had been at my maternal grandparents home.Everything is special about this place.
Our home is surreally situated at Munnar,one of the prime tourist spots of Kerala,amidst a forest-wild-plantation like heaven :)…near a creek surrounded by huge boulders of rocks,covered with huge trees and with lot of agricultural activities happening,be it harvesting coffee seeds or cocco seeds etc ,also,with lots of farm animals with occasional visits from wild animals.My cousins,the local friends I made there,with the labourers working at our place and whole of a bunch of grandparents from neighbouring homes – made my summer vacations,the truest,fullest I ever had!!
Though I always wanted to go back to my home even for the smallest of time I get,I certainly could not because of studies and later work took me far away from home.And whenever I reach there I started to act like grown up for the sake of growing up, though I always wanted to be the same little girl running around everybody , dancing with cows and pigs and making a lot of noise!!.
I visited my home after a long time and naturally I didn’t knew she was no longer a part of my family until my grandmother mentioned to me about her.My grandma said “She was becoming a danger to the family as she had grown roots deep enough to topple the boundaries our families preserved for long.”And just like that my favourite hang out place,her home was chopped off.My grandma continued,”She was old and it was good riddance for the family.Sigh!”
Even though,I had visited my home many times previously,It never actually dawned to me about going to her place just to check on her.I somehow associated my visiting her to be a part of shame(?) and of being teased with my childhood stories!! Well,would she have waited ..for me…??
I was the shier one in our family.I didn’t have much of gossips to share with my elder sisters and all my brothers played all different “boy” games,which I was allowed to only watch from our home and occasionally stroll near by them.Even though,we were all together,I had always yearned for a little talk of my age,a quiet chuckle,a mad laughter or an occasional hug,a share of something!!
I used to stroll away from home into deeper woods,alone and talking to myself.It used to be frightening at first but the woods had many things to offer which added to my excitement to explore them more and more!…It was on one such wood walks did I find her.
A small and humble, BreadFruit Tree.
She was small,full of green with occasional deep orange leaves.Housed rightly besides the quietly flowing creek,she housed a number of birds,insects,ants,squirrels in her branches.A beetle creeper adorned her body!!And it was the perfect place,I found as a base point for all my adventures there after.Her shady lap is the place where I spend most of my childhood days.She was small placed at the correct height for me to climb up.Though,her branches were brittle,it was good enough to bear my weight! :D.Well,as you know, I was a skinny child back then 😉
I felt the solace only when I was with her.I don’t remember naming her anything in particular ,and yes she was a “female” to me.What else could she be when she was so caring and nurturing to every one ??.Whenever I could take a miss from my mother’s watchful eyes,even if it was for a fraction of second,I used to run to her,by then I had found the shortest route to her place.And I would literally talk to her about all the things happening at home, umpteen ideas I had just before I met her.I used to pluck her large leaves and make different figures out of them ??!!.Her fruits were the converted into the best Thoran recipes I ever had,which I love even today.And so does R.
I even used to secretly cry to her whenever I felt sad or was in pain or whenever I was teased.I always shared all the incidents that happens wrt to me being teased with her which would end in silent shed of a tear or two.This relieved me quite a bit :). You can always ask,you were talking to a Tree ?? Yes,and I am sure,she surely did listen.She did given me a slight breeze as an acknowledgement to my blabbers 🙂
She was my one friend,when I had none.She listened to whatever I had to tell her without any judgement or prejudice.She never argued with me or scolded.Whenever my mama would come in search for me,always after some trouble I created for her,she was always clueless as to where my hiding place was ? It was always behind my friend,besides the quietly flowing creek !!
With a heavy heart and tears in my eyes,I walked along the muddy wood walk pavements to her place with all the memories flooded in me.Her home which was rightly situated near to the creek,a beautiful spot was now empty!!.My only friend of my childhood days,used to stand here, waiting for me, no matter the time of the day,no matter whether it rained or shined.
Today, when I stand here with nothing but a memory of her…I realise only now about the things she had taught me about life. She taught me to be a shoulder to some one in need.She also taught me to help anyone whom I have met in my life.She taught me the art of listening.She made me realise at some point of time,every one is going to be a burden,no matter how productive you were in your prime age and thus keep saving for a troubler future.
All the days which I spent in her shady lap were some of those few days of my life,when I had lived truly!!