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My gulmohar tree.

               I don't remember how long it took to grow, but I remember the six feet high, sturdy gulmohar tree in our front yard that looked so inviting, with its vibrant orange flowers, its lush greenery and its strong ant-infested branches. Yeah! You know those really big, red, mean-looking ants - those were the ones that crawled all over it.  Merely touching the tree trunk gave me the creeps! But, before the ants took over, I was the sole proprietor of the branches that resembled two outstretched arms.
          I would perch myself on one of those branches,  armed with a story book. I wasn't scared of heights back then, but maybe the act of doing something that was not a girle thing to do made me feel uncertain, uneasy. For, although I loved this activity, I did feel jittery, even had a few butterflies in the tummy! But, I loved it - this me time  that I enjoyed with my book and my tree. It was all the more pleasant during the scorching summers. The tree shaded me from the heat and the branches swayed ever so slightly to the tune of the cool breeze, leaving me with a feeling of sweet somnolence.
          But, sadly, I don't remember when we had to bid adieu to our favourite garden ornament. Umm...I think it was when mother found a family of rats enjoying a nocturnal picnic under the tree that she decided that we had had enough of garden fun. Yes, that was it! And,  the day the gardener uprooted the tree, we found  to our horror a handful of eww-y looking, pink, hairless rodent babies, snuggled against each other, enjoying their siesta! Out went the tree, the babies (aww!) and all. The garden vanished, and in its place came a tiled porch which mother decorated with a few potted plants. Sigh!
        It's been ages since I climbed a tree, a la Mowgli! Had those rats found some other garden to reside in, my tree would have grown older along with me! We would have spent many a summer in each other's cool company. Of course, I wouldn't have burdened it with my grown-up's weight, but would have nestled against its trunk, reading a book and stealing some precious moments far from the madding crowd! 

Comments

  1. Okay... I honestly havent climbed a tree ever, I think. As for the garden, we still maintain quite a decent sized one in the house with plenty of birds and rodents - including bandicoots - scurrying around... have seen the occasional snake too over the decades.

    It also provides some fun for Snoopy and Victor when they are let out to go and run around the whole garden.

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    Replies
    1. Wow! What fun that must be, Roshan! Our garden back then was all of 4X4, which had to be 'buried' because of the rat menace. But, lucky you and lucky Snoopy and Victor! At least they are able to enjoy that lovely space! :)

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  2. Your tree sounds so inviting although I have never climbed one myself. Gy would have loved to do exactly that, though. Climb and nestle in the branches and read. You two may have more in common than you know. She loves dogs, loves to read and is a very sensitive soul :)

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    Replies
    1. :) That's the sweetest thing I have heard, Shailaja!
      But, I really enjoy all such activities. Recently, me and my girl friends indulged in some such outdoor activities and had such fun! Felt like little girls all over again! And, I am sure if Gy had been with us, she would have loved it, too! <3

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  3. I have climbed many trees and read books sitting on branches and munching on fruits. I loved to do that when I was a teenager. The ants never bothered me. I wish I could do that again.
    Great post!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Parul! I think you should do it again. The next time you spot a tree. Just climb over and enjoy ! :)

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  4. Despite living in a desert city, we did have a badam tree in our garden. And I've tried to climb it once, but the ant-infested branches let me down.
    Vivid descriptions, Shilpa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Argh! Damn those ants!
      :) Thanks for the visit, MST!

      Delete

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