The purple tree at the end of the road

The bright lights were almost too much for Joan to handle. She almost closed her eyes before remembering that she shouldn’t. She remembered thinking to herself, this is the finish line then, this is where it all ends…

When she woke up, she felt strangely at peace. It was an unsettling feeling, for she had never known such peace, ever. She opened her eyes to what looked like a park. She was lying on what seemed to be grass which was rapidly turning white. She looked around, it was snowing. That threw her a bit, she could’ve sworn it was July. Funnily enough, she wasn’t cold at all, nor was she getting wet even though she were standing in the snow in what passed as summer clothes. She realised that she was standing halfway up a hillock. She looked up to see nothing but darkness on the path leading up. A little way down from where she was, she spotted a strange tree that emitted a purple glow. She wondered briefly, how she could tell that it was purple, for other than the ghostly white snow, all was dark.

She hesitated for a minute or two, then decided to make her way down to the tree. As she walked downhill, she became aware of the changing light. It became brighter, but not piercingly so. Bit by bit, her surroundings became clearer. It wasn’t night anymore. Nor was it snowing anymore. She was walking on a grassy path. There were tiny yellow and red flowers under her feet, peeking their heads up shyly, as if to say hello. There was a light, pleasant, breeze that reminded her of the late springs of her childhood. She walked until there was no path to walk on. She was at the edge of a pond with clear, glassy green water. She could see life underneath. There were plants in a variety of colours that looked as if they were lit within. There were schools of fish and other life forms, some swimming placidly by, others resting among the plants. She looked toward the tree again. She didn’t know why, but she felt that it is her destination, somehow, it was very important that she get there.

As she kept looking at the tree, the water that was lapping at her feet swept away to both sides it. There was a path of completely dry sand leading up to the tree. She hesitated for a moment, all of it seemed too easy, too good to be true. She made up her mind to take a chance and stepped on to the white sand. She walked right to the base of the tree. She looked up to the branches, there seemed to be no end to them. She couldn’t see where the tree ended and the sky began. She didn’t know what to do now. She looked up again, to see her mother smiling down at her. At her shoulder were everyone she had thought she’d never see ever again, all smiling down at her. She was at a total loss for words. She smiled through her tears as her mother took her in her arms and said, “Dearest, you’re home again”.

When I saw you first

My heart beat wildly,

I whispered to it gently,

Patience, dear heart !

You walked in,

All tall and proud,

In your green uniform,

Stars agleam on your shoulder.

Your shy smile,

Your hidden heart,

Your lovely letters,

They became my life.

When I saw you last,

In that same uniform,

With more stars of valor,

My heart beat wildly, again,

Your face was bleak,

Your manner strained,

I wondered to myself,

If it was the last time.

Letting my mind wander

On another Meander

Up the hills and cliffs

Down the plunge into the deep.

Was it all for nothing;

All the love and

All the hurt,

All the talks and

All the laughing?

Days and nights

Have come and gone

All that’s left is me,

Left to wonder,

What might’ve been !

He saw the world
With the Wonder of a child.
His eyes so loving
His smile so wide
His heart so open.
I took him
I broke him
And then I cast him away.
He was never the same,
He’ll never be the same,
I took him apart,
I crushed his soul.


Something woke her. It was the middle of the night. She didn’t want sleep to desert her completely, so she stubbornly kept her eyes closed. She tried to keep her breathing long and deep, willing herself to go back to sleep. She must’ve fidgeted, for she felt his arms tighten around her. He was holding her like he often did as they slept, one hand on the back of her head, the other on the small of her back, folding her into his body like they were puzzle pieces. He was pleasantly warm. She gently tilted her head to one side to look up at him. His skin seemed to have attained a silvery Patina from the wintry moonlight filtering through the thin drapes. He looked peaceful and content. She laid her head back on his chest and breathed him in. He smelled like home.

Contemplating mortality

I was always the youngest in every class I attended, a consequence of being enrolled early. By the time I graduated with a Master’s degree at 21, everyone around me were in their mid to late-twenties, starting to think about settling down, buying houses, getting married. But not me, I mean, who wants to be tied down at 21, right? So I travelled, I did jobs I wasn’t really interested in, I lived in the moment. Scrolling down a few years down the lane, somehow, I am still frozen in that glass box.

People say Age is just a number. As years advance we go from being excited about our birthdays to being intimidated at the prospect of another birthday. Because every birthday reminds you of all the things you could have done, all the things that, in retrospect, you think you should have done, whether it is about your career or personal life or hobbies. More often than not, it is these regrets that you remember most clearly when you think of what your life was like.

With another birthday fast approaching, I’m a little daunted myself. Every year that passes, I begin to contemplate mortality more keenly. Every year, every day, every minute for that matter, I get a little closer to, well, the close. It is as if I can literally see life ebb out of me, not as a whole, but in bits and pieces. And that prospect terrifies me. Death comes for everyone, I know this. I’ve had my share of lost loved ones. But pondering upon my own imminent demise holds a kind of unnerving fascination that I can neither come to terms with, nor put out of my mind.