As I view the drumstick tree basking in the morning sun with its green sticks at different stages of growth, It brings back warm memories of my childhood.
We had a little garden around our city home and there was a drumstick tree in the neighbouring plot.
Somehow just seeing its tiny leaves and white flowers made me happy. We also had numerous such trees at our holiday home in Borivili , where mango trees were in abundance along with Jambul, banana and tamarind trees.
I look back and treasure those memories with family.
The journey by car was considered quite long. So in our family of seven, two of my older brothers would travel by the suburban train and the rest of us by car. I thought that the train travelers were very adventurous and envied them.
The fresh air on arrival at this holiday home revived us, and also brought on a drowsy and relaxed atmosphere when we settled in.
The deep well with a pulley system attracted us and we eagerly took turns to draw water from it which was quite a novelty for us city folks. Oh yes, the water was so good that the tea prepared from it had a delectable taste.
Have you sat on the branches of a mango tree and ate some of them ….we had a way of eating those we called sucking mangoes, from the end where it had the stem attached. So when you finished getting out the juice, you threw the skin and the seed away…
Our quaint bungalow had a first story with a balcony facing a creek. Wow, that was an experience, just to sit out and stretch our little legs to touch the railings and enjoy the sea breeze. With a dell comic book in hand , we enjoyed reading about the Road runners, Donald Duck , Micky Mouse, Roy Rogers, Lone Ranger, Superman, Sad Sack etc.
Since I was about 8 years old, I was not allowed to read Archies comics, which was for my older siblings…so having a peek at it gave me a thrill.
Then the May flower tree had its own charm. We would try to grab one of its long flat ‘chickchicks’ because of its sound and sing along with that accompaniment.
We had a hill at the boundary of this property. It gave us opportunities to trek and get the feel of climbing a mountain . A vivid memory comes back of a skit performed extempore on that slope. i.e Red Riding Hood with the wolf . I remember the wolf had a rope as a tail…which made us laugh.
Water was always scarce in the summer, inspite of our own well water . So we would eagerly wait for the bullock cart drawn carrier, which provided water at a price.
In those days , construction of neighbouring buildings had started. We would hear the blast of rock to level certain areas of the hill, which caused us great distress. We trembled with fear in anticipation of the next blast.
I cherish those memories with my parents and brothers. Even my grand uncle accompanied us on these trips.
Beer was for the grownups; but I remember Dad giving me a sip….it tasted so good, that when I sip a beer today, it does bring back some of those memories.
Dad would meet the villagers and be updated on the events going on.
Today the landscape at Borivili has changed completely .
However the former landscape lives on in memory; who can change that?
So if ever you look back, take the liberty of visiting those beautiful times once again ….who knows it may help you to live today with a more joyful attitude. Besides you can travel to those times and places without any travel plans. May it bring back more cheer into your life.