It is almost a year and some stubborn bouts of homesickness since my last trip home. I remember the monsoons had just waltzed in, washing away the dirt and sins of a merciless summer. How deliciously green everything looked! Shining with innocence and stripped of pretense, the very air smelled of love. And by love, I mean that first teenage crush, the galore of unexplained giggles and the ignorance that it can never end. Blessed foolishness!
The feisty gulmohar, in its blazing orangeness, played the perfect coy mistress to the hilt. She was the star of the garden and who were the dashing paper-kite butterflies to resist such charm?! What a grand garden feast it was! The pomegranate tree carried a confusing weight of both the blossoms as well as the tiny fruits, as if in a hurry to greet the rains. Amid all this burst of life surrounding me, a mean viral fever tried hard to dampen my joy, but in vain. The bedside window wasn't good enough when the earth was crooning its most romantic song.
The plump mangoes had fallen of their branches, impatient to rest on the fragrant, rain-kissed earth. How we had devoured them - raw with salt and red chilly flakes, chutney-ed, juiced, pickled. There is something about mangoes that always brings back childhood memories, of summer vacations and grandma's old house. That is the place where stories are told and memories are spun, where parents cease to be themselves and allow you to make a clown of yourself.
The rains also brought a winged guest one afternoon - an enchanting kingfisher. I had never seen one from such proximity and thus was thrilled beyond imagination. It sat on the same branch for about an hour, in its blue finery, as if brooding over its hapless past. Sometimes it made annoying faces and ruffled its beautiful feathers, as if I was a paparazzi interrupting the precious meditation. I was only too fortunate to have a treasure trove of some perfect birdie shots and how effortlessly! As if the kingfisher knew it takes only moments before I would get tired from perfection, it flew away, perhaps to some faraway distant place.
Just like I did after a fortnight.