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I have only recently started noticing the trees with pink blooms on either side of the Vellayambalam-Sasthamangalam stretch of road. How had I missed them earlier? Is it because the trees were still young and hadn’t borne flowers? Or is it that the widened road and neatly laid pedestrian walk has now brought them into focus that one couldn’t help but notice them while driving past?

The blooms of the unknown tree look such a pretty pink. The leaves though have the dusty, unwashed appearance that one associates with summer. I have been wanting to click them. Whenever we pass that way though, we seem to be in a hurry. Not that we are busy people with a deadline to keep, having to reach somewhere or other in a definite time period. But that’s how it would seem when you drive around with the L&M. Home to Point A, Point A to Point B, Errands 1, 2 and 3 completed, Point B to Home.

You’ll be forgiven if you thought the whole thing was a military operation to be completed in the least time possible. I myself have so gotten used (second nature now) to it that I follow it to the letter without a thought. If at all I suggest taking a detour to Point C and executing Errand 4, the L&M’s reply (like clockwork) would be, ‘Today? Let’s make it next week.’ ‘Today’ has already been planned and finalized as far as he is concerned and he doesn’t want any changes to that, which is why I try not to upset his schedule by asking to stop to photograph unknown trees full of pretty pink blooms.

The other day though, I walked out of the dentist’s to find the L&M waiting in his car parked just two cars away from the tree. This was my opportunity! I fished out my phone from the handbag and took a quick photo. ‘Look, I took a quick shot of the flowers,‘ I told him as I slid into my seat. He gave a look at the picture in the phone and said, ‘You should go take more pictures if you want to.‘ I gave him a look of now-you-are-telling-me and replied: ‘Nah I am good. Let’s go home. But first we’ll take a detour to the ice-cream shop because the dentist told me to have ice-cream.’ Now, that was a detour he could not postpone 😉

© Shail Mohan 2019

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