Roots – This hard, unrelenting thing

Somewhere in our backyard, I’m sure the roots of the old neem tree still plunge into the earth refusing to let go. The past is exactly like that, entwined with our being, adding to the equation which makes us who we are.

Deepavali has always been a routine thing in my home. Every now and then a stranger joins us but they never manage to take root among us. Our roots are like the old neem’s, hard and unrelenting. There’s no space for the weak.

As I lined our walkway with diyas, I thought of the Prince of Ayodhya. Unfortunately, I was not lighting lamps to welcome a Prince home. I was sending my prince to some place where time and change may steal him.

And as if she sensed it in our deep, hard network of roots, nani told the story about the night her prince took her from home and family and those roots. Her wedding took place on a dark, dark Christmas night in Craig village. Darkness interspersed with fire light, the beating of the tassa and nagara, this is what she remembers most or maybe how I choose to romanticize her memories.

But she made me think even more about the genesis of roots. She and nana were ripped from their own families, torn limbs from main roots, and together they forged this hard, unrelenting thing which has claws and teeth desperately clutching at my navel. So in the end, this hard, unrelenting thing is nothing but a mating of torn limbs.

Our lit walkway.

Our lit walkway.

Sharing a quick moment with you while I’m on the go.

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