On the verandah, lying on a chattai
Soaking in the warmth of the sun
Languorous stretches and a restless charm
Can hear the groundnuts softly cracking up
The neighbor’s cat takes a majestic sweep on the parapet,
looks down disdainfully upon us
and moves on, to observe the interesting tussle between the sparrows.
The spicy smells of lunch being prepared, waft through the windows of surrounding homes
And make my pesky sister quiz me on what they may be
What do you think is cooking, she asks.
And I look at a kite flying astray in the sky
It doesn’t have a direction,
Is probably guided by a young hand,
The gliding movements provoke a telling ache within me.
Ma asks me to sit up,
Soon I can feel soothing hot coconut oil touch my scalp and slowly trickle down my neck and follow the curve of my spine.
Noori comes running to offer slices of freshly cut amrud,
But I decline,
And wait for the angoor.
Maya and I lie back on the chattai and begin our game,
She traces figures, people and animals with her chubby fingers on the clouds that are in no hurry,
The white wispiness makes us sigh, the sigh of childhood dreams.
Our eyes smile,
Our lips crinkle,
With the sun in our eyes and the taste of humor that is soon to fly.