Fruits From Childhood

Posted on July 6, 2010


Moving to Besant Nagar has probably been the best thing that happened to me. It has put me in touch with myself. I guess part of it is because I am forced to live alone most of the times and introspect on the smallest experience that I have.

About two weeks ago, I walked into the building compound to find my childhood at my feet. It was a badam or an almond in its first form as a fruit. I picked up the fruit absently and found myself in possession of a ripe time machine. I took a bite. Um. Eyes closed and when I opened them, I was transported to Sanskar Bharati Society in the Ankur area of Ahmedabad.

No, this wasn’t my childhood home. But it was my mama’s. I spent a great deal of time there. The house was on the left and on to the right was a yard cum garden cum empty place for the kids to run around. And at the end of this space, was the most magnificent badam tree. My cousin, Darshit and I would pelt stones at the ripe fruit hoping they would fall. Of course, we were little and our aims were really bad. But that made the odd fruit that fell, even more delicious. We would eat up the fleshy skin – sweetish to taste and then take a stone and beat the seed, crack it open and take out the whitish almond from inside! We’d compete to see who could break open the seed to take out a full almond. Honestly, it didn’t matter, we always shared what we ended up with.

I ate the fruit, last week, savouring taste and memories alike. Felt alive. Felt grateful to have found the fruit at my feet. For the next few days, I’d look around the compound for fallen fruits and pick up some that weren’t crushed or eaten in by birds and ants.

Badams from my Balcony

But I hit the jackpot when I opened my balcony a few days ago. It was beautiful weather and I opened the veranda to get some fresh air. I stood at the corner trying to get a glimpse of the sea! But it was obstructed…yes! By the badam tree! Normally, the best fruit is so high up that no stone or stick can reach it. But now, on the second floor, the highest branches are so close to my balcony – there’s ripe fruit waiting to be plucked and devoured by a childhood-hungry adult!

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