Vignettes from home

In Kerala

Plants and trees. Banana, coconut, jack fruit, pepper vines climbing on those, sapota or chickoo, guava. Unrelieved green. Steady rain that turns the view slightly fuzzy. A cuckoo in the background. The usual crows. Pale yellow and multicoloured butterflies. The monsoon which hopefully won’t end any soon. But then running up and down the stairs to collect and rearrange the laundry drying on the terrace. 

Nightfall and crazy driving. More rain. A family on the scooter, man, woman, and a kid wedged between them. The woman also holding up an umbrella. A transport bus makes an impromptu stop, a man and boy. The boy folds his umbrella and tries to get in. But there are disembarking passengers who need to get out first. I see glittering apartment windows and lighted up hoardings that would like us to buy a silk saree or a gold ornament or two. 

It is slightly loony, trying to walk in the afternoon heat. There are a few stray cool breezes, but for the most part we sweat and curse. There are baby coconuts that dropped down too early. Kid thinks these are pears and tries to eat them. They make a kind of toy out of these tiny coconuts and sticks. Which can then be rotated in your hand. I don’t know what they were called. There is an old house, tiled in the vernacular fashion. No one lives there anymore, and there is a lock on the rusty gate. But there are plentiful fruit trees around it. 

Home. Where we yearn to go each year. Yet we find it hard then to stay put. 

Here is a book set in Kerala. 


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