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I could not pick anything to write today. There were fleeting thoughts and restless memories, but nothing subtle enough to play 200 odd words around it. So instead, I’ll list down a potential to do write ups and meetings that will inspire a few narratives and stories to think about. The first, meeting with a very old friend of my father’s aunt who resides in this little valley of sorts, since the past forty years nearly. She lives alone in our neighbourhood, follows the Ardaas (Sikh prayer) every morning to the Gurudwara (temple) right behind my house. She has a treasure of stories, some which can only be heard from her and no one else. As all my grandparents are dead, the only key to those generation’s stories is held by some of these old ladies. She is an extremely delightful person to meet, and I plan to go over to her place for lunch this weekend, and listen to her tales over ‘mooli ke paranthe’ that she lovingly makes whenever I go over. The last time was nearly two years ago.

Secondly, I’ll write someday, on the trajectory of emotional intelligence and how pain levitates in that sphere. I am writing in ambiguity about it now, because I’m perhaps not prepared enough to write about it. How can one’s struggle through a crisis, or a fight against an invincible enemy make one weaker and stronger at the same time. These are all nascent thoughts and need to stay put unless I can derive coherence from them, or maybe within me.

Third, I got to know today, that our guava tree is ripe with its fruits, small and hard, waiting to grow tender. My dad plucked one today to test, but we haven’t cut it yet. The tree resides in a corner alley of our garden. It branches out neatly into visibility but passers by into our front yard do not get access to its glory. Guava trees are short, and can be easily climbed upon. This one is in its early years so the bark is not so strong. Maybe in a few years’ time, it will grow up to remind us of its cousin in my grandmother’s courtyard. Also, Ruskin Bond’s story — When Guavas Are Ripe, is a classic caption I can place when I take a photo of that tree. If only I had the simplicity of writing which Mr Bond has. Maybe one day, not today, not tomorrow. But one day.

Mariyam Raza Haider

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A journalist by training, Mariyam Haider is a writer and performance poet in Singapore.
She is the researcher of the book The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age written by James Crabtree.
Her writing has appeared in Hindustan Times, Livemint, Feminism In India, New Asian Writing and Kitaab.

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