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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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                                                                                                                                  Arjuna Tree, by Sonal Aggarwal 2010

Arjuna

 

by Sonal Aggarwal

  

 

The tree has grown in the twenty years I have lived here.  It was a mere sapling outside the boundary wall when I had first moved in.  Now it is taller than the house.  So wide, it screens the balcony from the intrusive stares of the road.  It is an Arjuna tree.

 

Every summer the leaves are coated with dust and grit--the whole of last season a ragged paper kite hung tangled in its branches.  Every monsoon it gets washed clean, so that the leaves finally seem to breathe freely.

 

There is a family of eight sparrows living in it.  They come down to the balcony morning, evening and afternoon to have the millet and water that I keep there for them.  They are like children in their playfulness, rousing me from my canvas with their impetuous chirping sometimes.

 

There was a bulbul in the tree this morning; the red of its tail showed through the balding branches.  It is winter; the leaves are falling.  They will grow back in spring.