New Year’s Wish!

1st Jan 2014bouganinville

New Year’s Day! Holiday after a long time and I am basking in the winter sun, staring particularly at nothing, enjoying uncensored Laziness! Then a cold wind passes by, and my eye catches the Bougainville branch moving along the wind. I see the Bougainville tree, in my garden, at least twice a day; when I go to college, and when I come back from work. I have been seeing the plant , for the past 8 or 9 years, or more. It has always been here! I have admired it, when its full of Pink lovely blossoms; cursed it when its leaves drop and litter our porch; watered sometimes; felt sorry for it when my father trimmed t short. But today, I am thinking what it feels like to be this Bougainville!

I look at the branch that is swinging with the wind! The leaves are sprouting, must be a growing branch. The pink sepals are budding too. There are few thorns to it, not prickly, but thorns for the sake of thorns. I look to its other branches, cartwheeling in all directions, unruly; despite my father’s best efforts! Tied to the rope and going all the way to our balcony all the way from the ground; bridging the ants to our balcony!

I look at its main stem! Wow, that’s big; I remember it when it was planted years ago, a tiny thin stem was all it was! Planted in the wrong season, and my Ma had said, “This will never survive, it should have been planted in Asar.” If it could feel, I wonder how our bougainvillea must have felt, upon hearing My Maa. And here it is: thick and flowery!

It is giving in to cold currently, how it must be hating winter! It has to give leaves off every morning, and make its food with the feeble wintry sunshine and the little water my father manages to pour in every alternate morning! Birds, especially sparrows, clutch on its braches; play with their mates; tease the female sparrows and flirt openly on the Bougainville. The Bougainville must have witnessed numerous love stories; of those sparrows and of the numerous creatures it has supported and provided oasis too; all the tales of the world, the wind whispers to it; secretive, to be understood by its avid listeners only. When I was sad, did the Bougainville understand me and became sad too? Did the Bougainville sway in happiness when I was jubilating? What must it have told me, when I was reading fiction under its shade on lazy Saturdays? Was it also following me to another world, the author took me to?

Does it feel pain, when my mother picks up its precious flowers to offer to her gods? Or does it feel happy instead? Does it wish it were some other color but pink? Or is it boastful of its delicious pink? Does it wish it were somewhere else, something else or is it proud to be standing on our garden?

These numerous questions pass my mind. At the very moment, a short chilly breeze ruffles the Bougainville and few leaves fall by. Three sparrows join in and chirp busily on the Bougainville. Then I realize, the Bougainville doesn’t mind losing its leaves or flowers. It is not bothered by the sparrows either. It stands there tall and thick; taking in the earth and the sun; assimilating it all inside itself and giving back more to us all. It will grow new leaves after it sheds old ones; the fundamental ideology of life: You lose to gain more.

A wish crosses my lips then. I pray that may I exactly like it, like that Bougainville; living, growing and giving!

I then see my Bougainville happy, content as if its grinning in the sunshine with all its leaves and flowers and saying “Welcome to my world , dear”!

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