|Image courtesy: Google|
After spending fifteen years in the Gulf, we returned to our native village in Kerala. The naalukettu looked exactly the same, though the surroundings were now dotted with new buildings and houses. I walked over to the swing that hung from the Gulmohur tree. It was wet from the early morning showers.
I sat clutching the sturdy coir ropes enjoying the gentle swing back and forth. The bright red flowers let go of the cool drops of rain they held. They awakened within me a feeling of nostalgia, a sudden longing for my past that now seemed to be so perfect. It was as if each drop wanted to remind me of a story long forgotten. Under my feet lay a thousand red petals of the Gulmohur on a carpet of green grass.
It was many years ago on a similar morning that I met Madhavan. He used to walk past our house every day wearing a crisp white mundu and checked shirt. An occasional glance gave way to smiles and soon we started meeting at the nearby temple, spending endless hours under the sacred Peepal tree. Life seemed so perfect, with Madhavan as the hero of my love story.
I was jolted back to reality when he waved from the other side of the brick wall. “How have you been?” he queried with a smile.
There was an awkward silence before I headed into the house saying “It is going to rain.”
How could I face him, having given in like a coward to the pressure from my family to marry a rich man working in the Middle East? I drifted back in time to sweet memories untainted by the bitterness of my marriage.
Naalukettu - Traditional house in Kerala
Mundu - A garment worn by people in south India
Gulmohur - A flowering tree