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September 2, 2017

The Story of Him - VI

We stood silent and I walked to the garden. It was slightly overgrown, due to lack of the gardener’s interest in the recent days. The gardener's house had also subsided and he was on leave with the rest of the villagers. But the garden, howsoever unkempt, retained its charm, for it was cared for by the loving hands of many more people, my mother, father and above, by me. It was my secret universe, the huge peepul trees, the slight guavas, the wavy rose petals and the effervescent bougainvilleas. I took care of my garden for my treasure was also there, hidden under the ground, ready to be removed. The garden was big, with a driveway coming up to the house and lawns on both sides of the driveway. But it was a bit strange, this garden. On the right hand side, there was little space for many plants to grow but the left side of the driveway was big enough to be a football field and it was here that my secret games were conducted in great solitude. May be because, the garden patch on the right was unknown to me also - the shrubs were high and there was too much water seeping in from the ground. It seemed to be the other world, of the ghosts and the weird. Besides, on the left, I could always be sure of my mother’s presence wherever I was, she could keep a watch over her adventure seeking son who was prone to accidents.

I stood below the giant peepul which had ancient markings of the lord Shiva at its base. My mother said it was done before their time and was a sign of the gods who lived there. I believed her and believe her today too, though she laughs off these ideas. Maybe, mothers forget the tales they tell their sons when they are young. The tree was looking even bigger today for I was standing right at the base of its huge trunk and looking up. Standing there, I forgot about papa's worries and sat on the swing.

Years have passed since then and I have moved on, away from the land where I was born into landscapes which are different, yet that day remains vivid in my memories, RS surmised philosophically...