Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Grandpa's Bench.

Grandpa’s Bench

I’m on my way to my native village. It’s an overdue journey; my last was two decades ago. This time I’m alone. It’s not just another trip, but a journey into my childhood. As I leave the city, I hit the metalled road, where a dirt track existed earlier. My conscious accuses me of behaving like a gapeseed. On either side, the paddy fields interspersed with a few sugarcane ones pass by in quick succession. Now the paddy has replaced the sugarcane, which within a decade has become an uneconomical crop. The sight of the old mango orchard with bletted fruits delight my heart, and lessen my unease. For the first time in an hour, I feel welcome in my own land.

          Thereafter, my drive up to the village reminds me of the hot afternoons when I, with my friends, rode bicycles and raced with one another. Needless to say, I didn’t always win the race. If I had ever won even once, I can’t recollect. I don’t want to and lose the joy of those carefree childhood memories. In joyous mood, I drive on and enter the village. The mud houses have been bricked, and dirt tracks have been paved with bricks. The sound of a motor vehicle drew out several villagers on the street. It did when I was a child. Some things, I guess, in a village life never change.

(for complete story, please go to short story  section)...............

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