One of my earliest posts (at Yahoo) had been about the breadfruit tree in my backyard. From where I sat at my desk, I only had to turn my head slightly to the left to see its thick trunk and the glossy leaves that covered its branches. On that day fourteen years back, as I sat in front of my desktop computer (which all of a sudden seems so ancient a thing) and heard raindrops falling on the broad leaves, with the heady petrichor assailing my senses, I knew what I was going to write about. The bread fruit tree.
It was a huge tree, its branches spreading out in all directions, part of it overflowing on to the terrace. Its presence kept my room cool in the worst of summers. In the rainy season, the raindrops made music on its thick leaves and was so soothing. Every year without fail it gave us of its bounty. I made all sorts of things with its fruit like stews, chips, desserts, you name it. I don’t know if the fruit could be pickled because that seems the only thing I didn’t try making. The fruits were shared with friends, family, neighbors and given away to total strangers some of whom asked for the fruit when they saw the heavily laden tree as they passed our house.
It remained my muse throughout my stay there. I only had to look out of the window while sitting at my desk for the ideas to come flowing. Those were the days! But I had to bid farewell to my dear tree friend when we had to move to a horrifying treeless existence. If there is ever a thing I ask of any house I move to, it is this that there be a tree outside my window. Fortunately the treeless existence didn’t last too long. We moved again and this past decade I have had the rosewood tree for company.
Recently I happened to pass through the old neighborhood. The house we stayed in had been razed and a brand new one, a huge one, stood in its place. There was no green canopy visible over the top of the new roof. The breadfruit tree had apparently been felled to make room. It made me sad, but I was glad I had pictures to remind me of its past glory. Today when I saw the topic of trees over at Fandango’s post, from where I hopped over to the Stream of Consciousness Saturday host page, I knew I had to pay homage to my lost friend.
© Shail Mohan 2021