When I was very young, my mother used to pick me up from the school. The school wasn’t very far from my home. So we used to walk together, talking about the day spent. My mother used to draw me out very well, prompting me with words, making me jump in excitement as I remembered some story or event related to them.
The walk was for around fifteen minutes, passing through a section lined up with many trees – Eucalyptuses and Banyans and Mulberries. I remember the mulberries most. There were scores of them, the mulberry trees. Lush and loaded with ripe fruits, watering my mouth the very instant we approached them.
I could see them from a distance. The tiny mulberry globules bunched together like miniature grapes, red and black, lush and swollen with sweet water, ripe and waiting to fall, ready to be eaten. A one throw of a stone and tens of mulberries used to fall as if it was raining.
That was my favorite part -aiming a stone at the densest part of the tree and stand beneath the mulberry rain. Just as we used to approach the trees, I used to ask my mother to stand at a distance and watch as I bring down mulberries hanging high above on the tree.
And I used to make a diligent search for the right stone. Only a right stone would bring down mulberries, I used to tell her in a tone of an expert. But the fact was that any stone would have done it. For the tree was loaded with fruit. I bet half the time the mulberries were falling just from a gentle breeze of air.
But being a pretty actor, which all young kids are, I used to make a big show of it. And my mother used to play along, looking at me with wonder as I used to bring my catch to her. It used to fill me with an immense pride and happiness, so reminiscent of preteen aged kids.
Years have passed since then.
Today I was walking on a road and I saw a mulberry tree. There aren’t many to see these days. It reminded me of my walk with her, my mother. I have been living in separate states, away from her, for the last ten years. First for studies, now for work.
I might have achieved a little here and there in that journey. But not one could compare with the pride and happiness that I used to feel during my walks with her under the mulberry trees.
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