when i was very little, on those rare occasions when i was allowed to go play with my grown up siblings and cousins, my mother would stand at the window and watch me. i would look over occasionally and be immeasurably reassured, and then immeasurably embarrassed years later when i thought i was too grown up for that. being the youngest has its down side.
the house was very different then, but so much the same. trees, real trees that you never find anywhere else. trees to climb, trees to fall out of, trees trees trees. trees with bugs you wouldn't want to go near, but invariably of you got pushed in starting outraged shakaits to adults. bicycles, races, kho kho, baraf pani and some unknown game called garden garden. do my kids today play the same games? the squeals, laughter, howls after scrapes and outraged fights over imagined injustices sound the same regardless. my youngest, so tiny, just having learnt how to walk, is running with the older ones, not even realizing what the game is, running towards the den instead of away. she falls often, and my heart breaks a little bit as she picks herself up on her chubby legs and brushes grass off her tiny little hands, and keeps on running. so little, yet so big. once in a while, she too looks over at me, as i stand at the floor to ceiling glass window watching the garden.