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Return to Innocence

My earliest memories are of sitting on a jackfruit tree and eating the fruit. My youngest sister would be hollering down there asking for her fair share of the fruit. The tree belonged to a relative of mine who himself was waiting for this particular jackfruit to ripen a little more. We finished it off without getting caught! 

When I was at college doing my English, there used to be panineer champa trees right next to the English department. Atleast twice a week, I used to be right on top of these trees, and there used to be an elaborate distribution network below. The fruits used to reach right up to the vice principal, Rev. Punchayil.

I and about six of my cousins (age range was from 8 to 21) would go out into the paddy fields in the night with Cadnica torches and hurricane lamps. We used to catch some 40 large green frogs and five or six cat fishes. Late into night, this group would return, divide the catch and have a great time next day with fried frogs and fish curry.

This was my growing up. Lots of open spaces, trees, paddy fields and pure fun. And then came higher salaries, with them inflation and cluttered spaces. I have more money, more things to buy but very little time...and very little space. The air I breath needs an ozone aircon to purify it. Someday, our kids will read about villages, paddy fields and guava trees in story books. Who would believe what they read in story books?

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