Sunday, November 18, 2012

A November evening prayer

Riding into the city after nearly a month of illness and withdrawing, you are startled to see the tree covered in pink flowers, at a bend in the road. November. The pink of November. You had completely forgotten. You, who had watched the trees on the way to work every day for the last 20 years in this city, noticing every single change in them. You who had decided on your last job because it was right next to Cubbon Park. You are shaken up, in tears, you are choked up with guilt, horrified by what you had almost lost. How could you have forgotten November, its very brief splash of pink?

Twenty years later, you now live in a different part of the city, where the road to work passes through unending ugliness. You know you have lost something vital to your existence, you have not stopped feeling empty and lost for a minute, you are diminished, the face in the mirror grows stranger day by day.

You spend the entire weekend riding around in the perfect November sun, visiting each one of your trees in pink, asking forgiveness. You visit them in the morning, and then again in the evening, you know how they blush under the sun's gaze in different shades, at different times, a love that never grows stale.

In the evening you sit for coffee at the restaurant from where you can watch the trees in Cubbon Park, across the fountain. You remember an old friend who said that you will never make it big, because you never chase fame or wealth, all your goodness will never be recognized because you don't fight for the badges. The friend who on another day, remarked, "You are the Keeper of Seasons in this city", and understood, in a way, that if you ever make it to Heaven, you will have a feeling of déjà vu.

You watch the light turn golden, and for a brief moment you wish you had a friend to sit silently with, a friend who has nowhere else to go after this, whose phone will not ring, and whose gift of presence is complete.

You want to sit here forever, anyways. But then it is time for the sunset. You remember the old wandering seer in John Steinbeck's "Sweet Thursday". "I have to go to the sunset now. I've come to the point where I don't think it can go down without me. That makes me seem needed."

You ride into the park again, under the canopy of the ancient rain trees, and go around the circle of trees with pink flowers one last time, as if around the stone gods at the temple, worshipful. A November evening prayer, which you almost forgot.


Rukhiya said...

I'll give you company someday.

Priya said...

Asha, its almost as if i have written it, except that I dont write so very beautifully!! Its like you've given the words to my feelings/thoughts that run through my mind at times..
When I catch myself watching the trees.. I wonder if anyone else does the same. Now I know. And am glad :)
Just yesterday, I too was surprised to see the pink blooms somewhere, I wondered why the trees on my regular way have not yet become pink. I then remembered that they were 'late' last year too :)

Amit M said...

The Pink Tabebuia of winter is really the best thing about this part of Bangalore. I can imagine how you must be missing this side of town. Our office was also supposed to shift to the area where you work now, and even though it would have been closer to home, I'm so glad they didn't move there.

Cubbon Park is still always around!

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