For several years, we’ve had a lemon tree in our balcony. I don’t quite remember when it was planted. My guess is that it’s been with us for over fifteen years.

One of the oldest plants in our balcony, it had spread its branches wide. It occupied a lot of space, but not our attention. Not for the right reasons anyway. And like a child seeking affection, it tried to make its presence evident. Every time we went near it to hang the clothes out to dry, it would scratch our hands with its thorns.

Apart from the scratches, the only time the lemon came into our conversations was when our neighbour’s lemon would bear fruit. In its entire lifetime, ours never bore fruits.

My dad brought some fertilizers on the recommendation of our green-thumbed neighbour. Those chemicals were apparently for making the tree bear fruit. But that didn’t work. And so we gave up.

Perhaps it would never flower. It wasn’t supposed to be in a flowerpot anyway. It belonged to the earth. And so we began contemplating getting rid of the tree.

But we couldn’t bring ourselves to uproot it.

We heard our own voices, and it sounded like disappointed parents thinking about throwing their child away. Thankfully, my father refused to throw it.

As if expressing joy at my father’s faith, the following year, the tree surprised us with two small flowers. But that was it. The flowers fell off without turning into fruits.

Last year, a towel got caught up in the thorns of the lemon. Nothing unusual, except this time, the cloth caused our lemon flowerpot to fall and break. We quickly transferred the plant to another flowerpot. But the damage had been done. A few days later, the leaves dried up. Two weeks later, the tree was gone.

For many months, the leafless frame of the tree stood in the flowerpot, showing no sign of coming back. My father refused to clear it out. It would return, he said.

But my mother and I had no such expectations. We’d pretty much begun ignoring the remains of the tree.

Until a few weeks back.

Springing to life
Springing to life

The brown branches were beginning to wear a green coat, with tiny leaves peeping out from underneath the wooden blanket—after a long long winter’s slumber, the lemon was springing to life.

Whether or not it flowers again, it doesn’t matter. We’re just happy to have our lemon back.

The image featured in this post is my entry for this week’s Photo Challenge : Rule of Thirds. Check out more imagery at the Daily Post.

PS: I recently completed four years on WordPress 😀


Street Life – A Bug’s Point of View

Dear diary,

Spring arrived the other day, right on time. I wasn’t expecting her for another week or so. But it was such a relief! Just a day earlier, the humans had suffered from their annual fits. They had defaced the streets with their fluorescent colours, and it was really depressing. So, it was a delight to see spring this time – indeed, as it is every year!

Thunder was also so excited. He came storming into the city almost every single day. He hugged every tree, and shook hands with every single branch. It was embarrassing to see so many leaves falling for him! I have told him to control himself, but when has he ever listened to a small bug!

Leaving that aside, I’m really looking forward to spring’s wardrobe. Her sense of style is simply unbeatable. Every year she introduces me to new shades of colours. And the floral prints, well they will never go out of style, as long as she’s here!

The afternoons are now becoming hotter – a warning that summer is well on her way here. I better go tell those leaves out there to shift a little, so that I can spend some time with spring while she’s still here.

That’s it for now!

leaves and bougainvillea

Street Life!

Hobbies Stories

The Broken Tree

A tribute to a tree

It was the final year of school, and like any other school-going child, I was expected to bury my head in my books.

To facilitate this task, I had been given a little space, all to myself. One small corner, cut off from the whole house. There was room only for a small table, and chair. If I pushed my chair a little away from the table, I would hit the back wall. To my left, was the bedroom, which could be completely hidden from view, by a curtain.

All I had to do, was draw the curtain, and I would have nothing to disturb me from studying – except of course, the view from the windows. The front and the side walls had huge windows, providing a clear and beautiful view of Silk Cotton and Neem Trees, interspersed with Bougainvillea. A street lamp was the lone indicator, that I was in the middle of an urban city.

The birds on the trees would cheer me up when I was studying management functions, and the trees would silently watch over my shoulder, as I concentrated on accounts.

Amidst all the greenery, in the distance, one tree stood out like a sore thumb. It was barren, and its top-most branch was broken. It had always been like that, and showed no signs of changing any time soon. Occasionally, a large bird – possibly a kite – sat on its branches.

Every time I looked out of the side window, my gaze fell straight on that tree. Even though it was leafless, it looked strong, and I took a liking to it.

I tried, on several occasions, to try to locate the tree on the ground. But it was visible only through the window.

In spring, the Silk Cotton and Bougainvillea painted a colourful painting. When the storm came, leaves and branches of the Neem Tree shook violently. The rains made all the trees grow taller, and greener. But the broken tree stood as still as stone.

I had finished my school, and was well into my graduation. My ‘study table’ was now the ironing table. Days turned into months, and months into years. I kept returning to the window to look at that tree. It was there, standing resolutely, even as the wind brought drastic changes in its surroundings.

The broken tree did not change at all. The trees in its vicinity kept growing, slowly, and steadily. Until one day, the tree was completely out of view.

Once the tree was out of view, I stopped looking out those windows.

Recently, a shopping complex was built nearby. The distant trees are all gone, and only the Neem and Silk Cotton Trees are left. I haven’t seen the broken tree since. And it is unlikely that I ever will.

The Broken Tree
The Broken Tree

Although it was meant to be a photo challenge, this week’s theme inspired me to write, and draw…
Weekly Photo Challenge : Silhouette