Sunday 24 March 2024



Because you once walked barefoot on grass and sand,

the pebbles sharp against your tender sole -

freedom wasn’t in the sky alone - land

and long grass you found, could remake the whole

concept of free, the patience of wild things

to wait, create their own steady,  growth rings.


Because you walked once in the faraway shades

of the wisdom trees, spreading their canopies

under unfettered skies, the blunt green blades

of grasses rippling far from manmade cities,

you found your freedoms tethered to the earth

in trickles of rain, in seasonal rebirths.

Hello, hello, hello! - long time! Heartfelt thanks to all of you who've asked after me, here and in mails and texts. A lot has happened, and not just to me, and as usual mixed - all this week I've been hearing monumentally distressing news. From across the world and in my own circle. Personally, my issues pale by comparison, no grounds for whingeing.  So the good bit first - I am back! though the eye is not yet fully healed it's going to take longer than I first thought. Things were coming along nicely in Feb, till it picked up some virus early this month and got infected, the cornea's swollen up so vision's still a bit blurry and screen time is limited...sigh...I can't get my specs done till everything settles down to its final shape and form but I'll get there sometime hopefully... Of course I'm not writing as much as I did, but it's not down to zero either. 

In between I went to Delhi and back to the neighbourhood where I grew up -  saw my favourite peepul tree has grown from 1st floor height to 5th in the years since I'd left. It has become massive - so pleased to see it close up. Spent an afternoon watching the birds and squirrels come and go among the branches - non stop peaceful entertainment. 

Peepul is the Indian name for the sacred fig, incidentally. Associated with much mythology - the Buddha sat under one when he found enlightenment, for instance. Figs feature in a big way in my life, in my childhood homes everywhere, there was a wild fig, a massive old one behind the bungalow in Maiduguri as well. Spent many afternoons with that tree too. Trees peg memories into place. 

Meanwhile, spring is here in this part of the northern hemi. The silk cottons are blooming everywhere in the city - covered in fat, red flowers. Enjoying them while I can, blurry vision or not. Hope something beautiful is blooming wherever you are too.