UNDER THE TREES


By Sonia Pal

England, United Kingdom


Under the trees, there used to be our two cows: the binding force of our family. They were the main source of our income. It starts from a tree and its boughs in an open yard of my street where we used to tie them.


Grown-ups were up early in the morning, engaged in their subsistence farming. Sometimes we the kids used to help them clean the dungs, bring the fresh grass or hay. I remember how our parents would make their way for milking those cows with empty buckets in their hands and come back after a few hours.


Back at home, our mother used to take the earthen pot of fresh yogurt very delicately out to churn and take the butter out followed by a shout at us to have a stale chapatti with fresh butter and sprinkled sugar on top. Morning breakfast, in those days, was very yummy .


While our mum was busy with other domestic chores like boiling the fresh milk, greeting the customers that used to wait to buy the fresh milk from our home. Ours was really a ‘Krishna’s house’ in those days. We learnt cash, credit, and concessions through the little business of ours at home. At daybreak, when the family was off to their set routines those cows used to rest under the shades of the trees and it continued for an exceedingly long time.


With time came their little calves with who we, the kids, used to race! Washing and feeding them was such big fun. Quenching their thirst with buckets full of water was like our holy deeds. Least did we realize that with time things will change drastically.


Now, grown-ups are too old to continue with that routine, so they count their beads. We are educated now and have our official jobs with remarkably high wages. Nobody of us has time in our newfound modern worlds.


So, our cows had to leave. Their space under those trees is now empty. Etched in our hearts are a treasure of golden memories that we built together. We can never pay those cows off. Their calves were our real show-offs! I cherish their magnetic aura and awe . Under the trees, those cows are still tied, and I see them quite often through my subconscious mind.

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