Lime Shot

lemon tree

The decision was final. The die was cast. We were going to sell some of our lemons. And today is the day.

After finishing some of the morning’s work, with a bag slung on my shoulder, I purposefully headed towards the lemon trees.

First uphill, to those newly fruiting ones, near the machang. All standing cheek by jowl, growing where the soil is now soft and spongy. Where my step bounces when I walk. Not only because of the soft, spongy terrain, but also because I fear I might tread too hard. They are, of course, not alone. With them are the towering acacias, colourful jacks, short dark coffee bushes, beginning to put out a few berries, a Salem gundu, a few oranges, rosewoods, avocados, tall pilla maradas, etc. A tall, shady grove.

From there, I move down, towards the back verandah of our house. There grows the matriarch. The first one, who gave us our first fruit; from whom we learnt our first lesson in harvesting them. That one doesn’t pluck lemons, but waits for them to ripen and fall off the tree. We had learnt the hard way. Trying to pluck them when they were green. It’s a very thorny tree.

Next to her is a particularly tall one, who is next to a chikoo, who is next to a twice-born Persian Lilac, who is…, where I also have a small kitchen garden.

I skirt round the beds of tum-tum kaai (sword-bean), mesta, onthhai bajep (a bodo herb), and reach the kallu kattu which is on the way to the Nesting Grounds. There, right at the edge, is another lemon tree. Always a bit tricky, collecting the fruits from this one.

Finally, I arrived in front of our house. Adjoining Varun’s garden stands a tall, spreading tree. Forever in our view, and in the view of those who visit us.

During the rounds, I picked up all the fallen ones first. But since we were going to sell them, they looked too few. I look up and see quite a few yellowish ones. In a few days’ time, they’ll surely fall. I tug and twist and pluck them. Then, I see some nice big light-green ones, tinged with yellow here and there. With few more twists and tugs and a few scratches on my arms I get them also. If we are going to sell them, then we might as well get as many as possible. All along I was most amused at myself, and the workings of my mind. How little it took to changing my attitude in response to wanting to sell. For all that, the price we got upon selling them is simply atrocious. It just doesn’t make sense. What makes more sense is really more sharing—nimbu pani, pickles, lemon cakes…. And, I do want to do a painting of a fruiting lemon-tree at night. Lit up by fireflies. Golden orbs, glowing in the magical night.

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3 Responses to “Lime Shot”

  1. Apna Nimbu Bazaar Becha | Thekambattu Says:

    […] great film on much the same issues called Apna Aloo Bazaar Becha. The rant credits go to me and the insight credits to Sonati. Yesterday, it came viscerally home to Sonati and me that the Economy Rules OK! We have […]

  2. Lina@Word Says:

    Sonati…waiting for that magical painting!

  3. Godfrey Says:

    it feels like we met your trees personally

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