Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Where was once a giving tree

I am finally back in my routine since I took on the new day job at International Alert. I came home in time for Kavita and I to go for our evening walk. Haresh was still working so he couldn't join us. Kavita and I set off on our familiar route. 

We stumbled on a lot of trash and I think I'm going to start taking lots more pictures of trash and garbage where ever I go. See some earlier posts of trash: Evening walk on a trashed Mamba Point beach and Beautiful Islamabad

After this, I passed by half of a tree trunk lying on the pavement and, realised the tree had been mowed down. I felt enraged and felt like I was looking at a corpse. 

It used to grace UN Drive with its shade and vines. It was as Shel Silverstein wrote, "a giving tree." And, guess what it made way for? A Voter Registration Centre, a technical and almost soulless process in modern democracies (rich and poor) which have been reduced to electoral theatre of vote buying, propaganda and lies.

We carried on and stopped at the top of Benson Street Hill to snack on our sugar canes and bananas we had bought along the way. 

I was not in a mood to stretch or do some exercises, but Kavita did some crunches and jumps, excited by all the other folks on the hill. 

It got dark and we walked down the Hill. I stopped at Saksouk to buy yoghurt and a Snicker bar for Kavita. I've stopped so many times at Saksouk at the end of my evening walk to buy yoghurt and then to cross the street to buy vegetables like aloo or bhindi to cook for dinner, for those days when I don't feel like making murghi or gosht

I need to correct myself and say that the Snicker bar was for me and, Kavita chose Skittles. 

You can see her above with a packet of Skittles by the sabzi wali ladies. It's ironic that one will never see women selling sabzi in Islamabad but in Monrovia, it's mainly women who are marketeers. 

At home, Kavita kept trying to make me eat her Skittles and, I convinced her to stop by telling her a story. I told her that when I and my family lived in Bucharest, my Uncle visited us from the United States and brought us a truck load of Skittles. I ate them for breakfast, for lunch and even for dinner. I shared them with my friends and teachers. I ate so many that I got sick of them and haven't eaten any since 1993. She intently listened to my story (as she does with all my stories of childhood escapades). 

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