I always used to think that the drive across a four kilometre stretch from my house to the main road was a pain. Actually, not all of it was a pain. The car bounced up and down a few bumpy patches the first kilometer, then zoomed across a smooth 2.5 kilometre slope before struggling in a three-legged hurdle race at the final half kilometre. Reason: there was a traffic signal there and almost everyone in the world seemed to want to go somewhere at the same time....
When you live in one place for as long as I have, you get to know everyone in the locality. I have lived in one house for 25 years now. When we moved to this house, the first person I met was Tara. Her parents lived in the next block. I think she was about eight when I first met her. Tara had wavy black hair, big mischievous eyes and a ready smile on her face all the time....
How many greens are there in the park?
Can we count them – one by one?
There’s the light, light green of
the tender little grass
I would like this green
For the walls of my house!
There’s the darker green of the older plants
that have flowered for many years
I would like to have them as friends
For the numerous stories they can tell.
And there’s the darkest green of them all
In trees majestic and strong...
Spring has come,
said the bougainvillea
Crimson, orange, cream
Making a flower wall
along the road
I bring happiness
Wait, said the
on the edge of the kerb
I, too, blossom
though I am small
Every now and then
a little child walks past,
at her height
And happily smiles.
Doesn’t that make us comrades
on the road!
Flower on the Road
The locksmith sits on the roadside
with his wares
A tilted black umbrella blocks
the sun’s glare
A mountain of master keys
heaped on the ground
Some dull, some old
Some rusty, some gold
Roadside Locksmith [Illustration by Shinod AP] The locksmith has the answer
to every locked door
That can’t be opened because
the key’s not there
And if you have a key that is
lonely and lost
Don’t worry, don’t fret...
This is a story of the time when humans first walked the earth. And in those days they did not wear clothes, for they did not know how to weave cloth.
One day, the god Matai decided to teach the art of weaving to one person. The god taught a girl called Hambrumai. And what were the designs the girl wove? She sat by the river side and saw the ripples and circles made by water....
It happened on the day school started after a heavenly two months of summer holidays. Shankar refused to wake up at 6 am. He wanted to dream more about his visit to his grandparents’ home. They lived in the picturesque city of Mysore in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. He particularly wanted to remember his two trips to the Bandipur National Park. It was a magical forest in the shade of the Nilgiri mountains which always seemed to have their heads in the clouds!...
The summer sun smiles a scorching smile
The smile sends shivers
through the stoutest hearts
A summer smile is reason to sweat
But the potter’s back with his cool lifeline!
Earthen pots of every size
Are piled under a tarpaulin sky
Waiting to find new homes
And soothe thirsty throats!
Their water has a magical taste –
The sweet smell of wet earth
Or soil that comes alive after
The first seasonal shower!
The Potter [Illustration by Shinod AP] Some pots are small, like a baby’s song...
It is a tree that is green at all times of the year. But it bears fruit in the height of summer. The hotter it is, the sweeter it becomes. And, it seems we humans cannot have enough of this juicy, fleshy fruit, for there are almost 1000 varieties of this king of fruits around the world to please our tongues and eyes.
It could be round, almost like a ball, or it could be oval in shape, kidney shaped or just long and thin....
Ronit Subramanian was seven years old and he was the tallest student in his class. It made him feel very proud. But when he remembered some of the things he used to do as a small kid, he felt a little shy. He wished his mother would not tell those stories to her friends again and again.
Last week his mother’s old school friend had come to see her. They were meeting after 10 years. Ronit was just back from school but his ears pricked up when he heard his mother say in that goofy tone, “You know what my Ronit used to do as a baby?...
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