May 08, 2012

Hill side stories- 1

(a series, dedicated to my bachchaa and my moody kettle, Mayank Bisht

He crushed the stalks between his fingers. The citrus-y smell of lemon grass filled the garden. I suddenly felt like I was under a waterfall on a cold evening during twilight.

I picked up the crushed stalk and smelt it up close. The attic. Yes, it reminded me of Nani's attic, with its many dusty trunks and old clothes my sisters used to stitch clothes for the dolls and boxes tearing up at the edges, filled with books in languages- Tauji's once-upon-a-time obsession.

Tauji was always up to something new. He was unmarried and stayed with Nani. Every year, he took up a new hobby. It was always so wonderful when we came back in the holidays to Nanis place. Tauji would be studying insects, or building tree houses, or cooking pastries! And he would always let us kids try out. My summers were spent peering through microscopes at the brittle wings of the dragon fly or running up hills trying to fly gargantuan kites. Tauji was the favourite of all kids.

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Maira Gall