It was an October evening and there on the playground made green by the lush grass and the receding rains were butterflies hopping from one shrub to another on the lookout for that elusive flower that could provide some nectar.
A group of children were huddled together making huts of mud and sticks where the sticks came from twigs, discarded ice cream sticks and dried branches. In that group were budding potters, architects, masons and designers. They surveyed their creation and now made walls of clay. They planted some twigs that now looked as trees in the tiny courtyard. In that group was a boy who was telling stories of long lost kings and warriors to eager ears as the huts were being built.
The sun which was shining so bright on glazed leaves when they had started off was now beating a hasty retreat behind the large block of buildings in which they lived. A miniature well was getting dug and some kid brought water from the nearby tank and poured it into it only to see it disappear. The next generous lot of water persisted in the freshly dug well to make things look complete. They surveyed their creation and sat for some time as the storyteller among them was fast finishing his story partly because it was getting dark and also it was getting difficult to feed his imagination that was now running wild as the script.
There was some sand that had been dumped for construction by a shop long back and this was used by another group of kids who were designing roads and tunnels across and over it.
A puddle of water made by the overflowing tank in the morning had some kids busy digging canals and launching paper boats. This all looked funny to elders and adults surveying the group below from floors above but nevertheless it meant so much to the children who always descended on this play field and got creative every day to make most of the strip of land to feed their imagination.
With the disappearance of such strips of land in metro cities, imagination that was once put to constructive use in such a lost garden, was now restricted to new games that came up for the new generation…
In search of gold, I land in a forest
where in plenty, are ants of all sorts
that would add to potential costs
as with bites they force me to rest.
I take a long discarded canoe
with a treasure map in hand
that would direct me to the gold
held and lost by an incredible tribe.
In the land of piranha and reptiles,
where the snake and the wolf make
their solo appearance in the dark,
I for one would be at my wit’s end
as to stand still or break into a run.
During my wanderings, I come upon
a deserted hut, that is for me to berth
to lodge myself away from the animals
who are all out as one, to dislodge my
plans and myself from this very earth.
I wake up to see the remnants of my boat
that has been destroyed by some creature
that went this way, and luckily missed me
and was i surprised to see my bag gone
with all it had that I could subsist on.
I will have to roam again as a fugitive,
as a person who lost his coordinates,
and hoping for others to come in search,
of me, a treasure for my beloved ones.