Love Tree

It is 44 degrees Celsius here today. Some respite after yesterday’s storm and a spot of rain. We’ve gone up to 47 degrees this season, so we know what’s worse. I hear bird songs from inside my well-insulated, air-conditioned existence and crave to go out and look at these happy-sounding creatures. And take pictures of them for you, maybe. For them, there’s no sweat, no heatstroke, no dreading the time outside of air-conditioning. Though they make nests that sometimes break in storms, look for food and water (which is thankfully aplenty in this region even in summer, unlike the cosmopolitan cities, where birds are known to have died for the lack of water), and chirp in the heat, they largely seem happy. Almost smiling.

I am huge with expectation of the now long-awaited arrival. Our bundle of joy, as the cliche puts it. I see the kid as this tiny kitten I have as wallpaper on my desktop. Somehow, it and its mother seem very much like us, me and the expected baby. The wait is getting onerous, what with the heat and the unwieldy body and the frightening thoughts of pain and discomfort during the arrival. I am not the first expectant mother, and I won’t be the last. Many more have been through this agony before me, and yet, only my pain seems to be of any importance to me. How very selfish, wouldn’t you say?

I like telling you about where I am and how my life is in these last few days of pregnancy, hence these teeny updates. The reason for this poem, however, is something else.

Baba bhaiya, the one I wrote about a few days back, is gone. He, and those that he loved, are free of the trauma of his unrelenting invader and disease. As I write this, his son must be coming back from the cremation ground after having set light to his father’s pyre on his own birthday. Such are the vagaries of life. Bhaiya’s old parents, dessicated souls, must’ve gone from their home to his to see their dead son — for the second time in one year. The first time was a week back, when they were told of his condition. They were stoic, I am told. To go and meet your almost comatose son — all devastated with sickness and attempts of revival — must be an unmentionably withering feeling, though.

A cousin who’s posted there in a cantonment in the same city has been going often to the hospital since the larger family came to know. He was telling me a few days back about the terrible feeling of having to look at a man, who’s designed gliders and world-class aero-models, being unable to write and comprehend an alphabet. Vagaries of life? I do not know. But one cannot keep dwelling on these things. They are to be felt, withered over, and then planted a seed on. And then watered, until there’s a tree for the birds to sit on and nest in.

*

*

*

Frame

The view.

Reminisce

Those days we spent

In Future’s arms, happy.

Future’s here, promising

Misty lights in her eager boughs.

They won’t end, shifts from arm to arm.

But ‘haps the mist will drift off gently?

With a rustle of leaves here on my love tree.

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18 thoughts on “Love Tree”

  1. Your writing is better than ever, Priya. And given the unthinkable combination of ninth-month pregnancy and 44 degrees Celsius, it’s all the more impressive. You have a gift for seeing and expressing life’s heartbreak and joy. I hope the leaves of your love tree will continue to rustle.

  2. Beautiful, Priya. That is a lovely poem. Your future is waiting to meet you and the child will be so loved! The photo of the cat and kitten is so very sweet.

    1. I love the kitten’s mouth and little nose. When I am weary with the wait, I just visualise it, and feel revitalised. Small joys, eh?

  3. This had a double meaning to me, Priya: “I am huge with expectation of the now long-awaited arrival.”
    Your expectation is huge, for certain. Perhaps, too, your belly is on the huge side. Ah pregnancy.
    I was grateful I was not huge during the hot season. I hope you are able to stay within the insulated cool air. The birds will wait to be photographed later- singing a song of joy at the birth of your new baby.

    The poem was incredible. Like Charles said, your writing is better than ever.

    1. Oh, my belly is huge, and how! Lenore, it is amazing how women keep a straight head after the last few weeks of pregnancy.

      Thank you for your compliment about my writing. I wish I could believe it and feel happy.

  4. Phew! I finally caught up. Read ’em all.

    Priya, you aren’t going to go away once the baby is born, right? I am guilty of being away for a while, but doesn’t mean you can go away on a baby sabbatical 😛

    PS. I fell in love with your posts all over again that I wrote 2 FB statuses back to back: 1. In love with a blogger named Priya… Man! How does she write like that ♥ Love to you Priya n hugs to you wherever you are… 🙂 2. Do you know that warm fuzzy feeling you get in the pit of ur stomach when you read exceptional articles? In love with such writers!

    PPS. How I wish I could travel to whichever part of India you are in, just to give you a hug 😀

    1. You are a sweetheart, Sulochana. I will try not to go on a baby sabbatical. But if I do, you could come over and give me a hug, just to make up for the missed post days. No?

  5. Ha ha… both ways I like the deal 😉 Erm, a small, rather a major correction in my name… It’s Sulakshana, I hate it when people call otherwise… I guess that’s what Sulochana’s would say too 😀

    PS. May be you can mail me your address… Don’t worry, I wouldn’t come, but perhaps some flowers will!

  6. Sweetheart – a couple of things leap to mind. First, you will deliver this child. Listen to your body; roll with its rhythms. Fear comes up around the unknown. The experience of childbirth feels out of control – but your body KNOWS. Trust it. And what results is so beyond beautiful you will understand Love better than you ever have before. The second – death. Birth. And Death. The two inescapable facts of our existence. Change. Change. And when we least expect it, Change Again. Enjoy the amazing changes that are imminent for you both. Peace, love and tranquility to you!

    1. “And what results is so beyond beautiful you will understand Love better than you ever have before.” I experience that every second, Bela. More and more. By the way, Bhartan’s contemplating naming our daughter Bela. He likes the sound of it. And its meanings (there are two) in Hindi are wonderful — a sort of flower that grows on a climber and sea shore. Nothing decided yet, though.

  7. Beautiful post Priya. So sorry to hear that Baba bhaiya passed away
    “a man, who’s designed gliders and world-class aero-models, being unable to write and comprehend an alphabet…”

    I love your tree of life and the poem and the photo of the kitten and your writing. I agree with Charles and Lenore that it’s better than ever.

    1. My writing is steadily becoming more and more important to me, Rosie. So this observation is something I am going to treasure for a while. Thank you.

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