Tuesday, October 4, 2011


In your grandfather's house in the village, there was this small room near the kitchen where fruits were kept to ripen. Mangoes carefully laid in baskets full of hay. Jackfruits kept standing up in the corners so as not to rot. Banana bunches hung from rafters all over the room so that you had to make your way among them to reach the shelves on the walls. All windows closed, little air coming in through the gaps in the old four-paned wooden windows. The thick smell of ripening that hung so still and full of knowing that you felt guilty for having opened the door and trespassed into a private space.

As a child you would stand there quietly with eyes closed hoping to hear the sleeping fruits breathe. And sometimes a lizard would chirp suddenly from one of the wooden rafters of the ceiling startling you out of your intense listening. A space of quiet waiting, of gradual ripening, a space speaking of maturity and readiness that cannot be forced, of sourness that will change to sweetness, of hardness that will change to softness; but all in its time.

Now when you are surrounded by this haste for experience, this frenzy for acceleration, this dark room sometimes passes in front of your mind's eye, and disappears again, leaving behind the smell of ripe mangoes and changeless truths...

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