Summers at Home
To me, my yellow tricycle
was the fastest I could fly.
Past sunbeams spilling on our mosaic floor
Into the garden with pink roses and green mangoes
And then a brave sojourn towards the kuccha road
leading out of my house.
I think I ventured too far, and returned one day to find that the road now had tar.
I dedicated one summer
to climbing trees.
I may have learnt the word ‘majestic’ that season
because I had my favourites in the mango orchard
Tall, grand trees that gently touched the sky
And I swung and climbed and scrambled and slipped;
A good lesson for how adulthood would be.
Then I grew taller, and the trees appeared shorter, but I still say an uncomfortable hello sometimes, as one often does to forgotten friends.
Summers were for sports days
Glucon-D and sunshades.
Boarders joyously exiting school gates
Traffic jams on Nainital’s slopes
And everyone jostled to reach home first.
We had two homes, so my family joined the jam
And we drove past a dazzling sunset each time
(The most beautiful road in the world, I still tell everyone.)
Home again, where I watched my dadaji shave with a deadly cutthroat razor
and my dadi let me snoop through her cookbooks.
The house is emptier now. Dadaji’s walking stick remains, and my mum tries to fill the spaces in our kitchen.
Then one day, I had to leave
and say goodbye
to watermelon meals and afternoon naps
It was a summer less city
with no picnics by the river, no drives through dense forests.
A dusty, heated season
disconnected from all I’d known
A far cry from
Meghna Talwar is a documentary filmmaker based in Delhi. When not making films, she's sleeping. When she's not sleeping, she writes.