I am 
A travelling stranger
Stopping by.
Catching my breath
On this unused bench.


I look around–
Tall trees
Arch into a languid sky.
I feel a rush of rest,
Like I belong
In the arms
Of this ancient Banyan tree.


I’m tiny,
As I nest under
This giant sun shade,
Old, old,
As can be.
Thick and silver 
Knotted branches
Spread low, low,
Just above my head.
I can reach out,
Touch its rough
Aged, ringed surface.
Rest against a branch
U turned into the earth.


My body echoes the deep sigh
Released by 
Hanging roots.
Like sculpted pipes
Pulled straight down
By gravity,
Into crusted black rocks 
And boulders
In search of earth.


A soft breeze rustles
Resting leaves. 
They move 
Before turning over
Into sleep. 
The sky, 
Clean and washed, 
Sparkles through
Each green leaf cluster,
Fresh and silently watchful.


The sound of squirrels, 
Bird calls, tweets and chants
Break the stillness.
Now and then
Wafting shrub scents
Tease the senses,
Which have gently settled
In a rare repose.


I breathe,
The tree breathes.
It’s just a moment 
In a sun drenched winter garden,
Painted with wild colours
Of Hibiscus, Bougainvilla and ferns,
High in the hills of Abu.


Click to download illustrated Version


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