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Reshma Moharana



Reshma Moharana


Amazing Afternoons Of My Child

Amazing Afternoons Of My Child

6 mins

I spent my whole afternoon playing in our backyard which used to be my wonderland. My childhood hedonism in it's solitary still fresh in my reminiscences.

The backyard with a spacious cowshed, some indigenous species of plants, the termite eaten wooden logs, planks and some scattered scarped household materials was not less than a park for me.

Three decades ago the concept of recreational space did not given much emphasis. There was a single park in our city. As a huge joint family, we were all total of 14 cousins in almost the same age group. Taking all the children to park and repatriate them safely was a big responsibility. So we visit the park hardly 2 times in the year but we don't feel like relaxing there as we have a lot of recreational options at home.

We have an expanse foyer, adjacent to it a huge garden and a spacious backyard. Where all my cousins prefer the foyer, my unchanged choice goes with our backyard. 

Decked with nature our backyard used to be my perfect playground. A giant neem tree at the rear end of the backyard there it stands in its grace. Perhaps purposefully planted by our ancestor not only for oxygen, but its foliage makes sure our premise be germ-free. In winters we are forced to gulp down a bitter recipe made up of it's flowers to bolster our immune power. Its dense boughs provide shelter to a school of crows, mynahs and sparrows. My day start being upbeat with the euphenious chattering of these avians. 

Two perineal fruit-bearing pomegranate trees adjacent to the premise adorned by blazing vermilion flowers stand in panache. Its thin but sturdy branches are favourite play elements of a flock of squirrels. They race and jumps on it's branches like pro acrobats. Whence get tired savour its fruits.

The tall Alba (Champa) suffuses an intense aroma that soothes the mind. The night jasmine by the wooden lattice encloser greets with style and the ladened verdant Rangoon creeper (Madhu Malati) with blossomed bunches gives the stone wall an artistic display. Honey bees buzz on the bloomed flowers and takes away honey for their hives. They left baffling my inquisitiveness of their pitching of song. The bigger the bee, fainter their song whereas smaller one play deeper the hum.

The elevated basement beneath the cascabel (kaniar) tree polished by cow-dung used to be my grandmother's meditation space and my day bed. Laying over strewn bright yellow cascabel flowers and watching the scuttling clouds in the blue sky for hours was one of my rituals.

The bundles of banana plants in the center crow's much liked perching place. Sometimes army of monkeys set their claim on the dangling ripped fruit loaded stacks. By the little innovative power of my mind, I had arranged see-saw by balancing the termite eaten wooden planks over the pieces of stones. Numerous times I slips and grazed my skin. My mother used to aid it with some scold and Lacto calamine.

Scads of Basil around the edge of boundaries that my grandma has planted and water them herself with utmost care. When we catch cold she recourse to her home therapy, she makes concoct from basil leaves mixed with honey and other ingredients, bit hot but efficiently and effectively fight coughs.

The only thing that gives me sweat are creeping worms. They dreaded me like giant demons. But they don't lessen my fervent desire to spend time in the backyard. I was chary of their appearance and keeps a distance from wet grasses where they are endemic. They are usually shown in the rain when I don't visit much during this season.

The hand pump was my favourite play equipment whoever comes for water I hop to pump it sometimes I pump it to pass my time.

When all enjoy their afternoon nap I sneak to my wonder-world the source of my limitless delight.

In that watching nature, playing unstoppable or just doing nothing our mind was actually cultivating cognitive power. Every element of nature has its value, actively or passively our mind receives them. Our emotonal well being shapes up from our surroundings.Perhaps this is the reason we face adverse situations more calmly than today’s generations. These days children and youths are more reactive due to lack of play.

Once that black crow poo on me from the dense neem foliage. Though its harsh cawing irk me still I used to resist. After that in indignation, I pelted dry cow dung cakes to away. Post that It evacuates the place by the sight of mine and I feel like lord of my tiny world.

The entire afternoon I used to feed the cows, muck out the cowshed, pour water into the cow's stone cut large vessels and adore the humble animal. In between, I eagerly wait for milkman Bisia to whom my grandmother has hired to milk our cows. We address him as Bisia uncle dark-skinned, lanky physic, an affable person who always wears a smile. The clinging sound of milk kettles heralds his arrival and I run to open the gate. Despite my grandmother's chide I pursue him and test my skill on milking.

Grandma keeps the required milk and rests she sells to Bisia uncle. By the time milking is done my younger sister comes by mulching her eyes to take the account of everyday sales. She fixes her gaze with wide-open eyes and undivided attention as she was aqaitant of Bisia uncle's dupe nature.

I couldn't able judge his activities but my astute younger sister read his con. The day Bisia uncle was adulterate milk with water or dupe us in the measure it used to be his doomsday. My sister's scream from the depth of her vocal cord that traverse through our palatial house. Before grandma, the squad of my cousins will march and lobs a thunderous persecutions. The probe didn't halt till Bisia uncle surrender.

The past event is a picture of solidarity among the kins. 

It used to be frequent drama and I watch it from a distance. Then grandma comes, rebuked him and let him go without any stern punishment.

Unconsciously my mind was registering the lesson of being liberal to innocuous wrongs.

Politely dealing with persons without getting too much rude passed to me from my grandma. This immortalizes warmth in the heart. Even today whenever we encounters lovingly he asks  about my well being.

I shift my attention to the flipping flopping squirrels and their sprinting races. After a while, the sun sets in the western firmament creating beautiful hues. Mosquitoes rush to reign and I bid goodbye to cows till the next morning and my amazing afternoons' end.

How easy I was beneath the neem tree

As happy as the tossing flowers in the wind

The flocks of sparrows greet my hail

The sweet chirping then echoes in the surroundings

The dragonfly tries its best to flee

But fails to escape from a pro hunter that is me

Its Pleading protuberate eyes

Melts my evil then I release it free

My grandma has instructed catching butterflies is a sin so they were quite safe from my ambush

The shrill ka..ka. Interrupt my peace Like a lord I hush them away

Flip-flopping of squirrels used to be my favourite show I watch their gymnastic skills for hours

How amazing life used to be, free from any burden

If time can travel back, I want to play in my backyard again.

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