My mother describes me to those fortunate friends of hers who don't know me from her memory of my exploits at thirteen. One such exploit was when I returned from junior school one afternoon with bulging pockets, a stray dog following me that I had christened Wolfy, my left hand grasping a bunch of 'fresh' unidentified green leaves to feed the two turtles that I was holding in my right hand in a bowl of water.
My pockets were bulging with worms. Earth worms that kids squashed mercilessly during the rainy season. They are quite harmless. The turtles were a weekend responsibility from school's nature club. I remember howling when mom dumped the whole pocketful of worms outside. I liked them, I still do.
Then there were times, when exasperated teachers threatened me with dire disciplinarian action if I did not stop scrambling up the Jamun trees in the school's back field. Long afternoons in the lazy winter sun, spent staring at two goldfish swimming around in circles in the school pond that I had just cleaned.
Now I live largely in front of a computer screen, my mind occupied by irrelevant metaphysical queries. It was a my college farewell the other day, some nice bunch of juniors decided they would present me a Croton (I think, I was awful at Botany) as a parting gift. I water my plant everyday. It is beautiful, with zagged edges and green and purple leaves.
A friend of mind told me, that this is what I should be doing. Cleaning out ponds and disappearing amongst large green fronds. I agree. There is so much innocence out there. Really. Take a look at this Wombat for instance, trusting– sometimes more than a baby.
This is for you– the Wombat that is. You know don't you?