For eight months, a mynah grew on a Banyan tree. The shy tree often hid behind his long, dark tresses growing wild around a tall neck and disappearing into a bed of firecracker flowers. The mynah loved it here. Every morning she hummed over houses of verdant roofs and playing kids for whom every day was spring. The passing wind teased the leaves. The flowers gossiped about the late bloom. The adults laboured in the hay fields under a smiling sun. The river snaking through the village was moody but helpful.
Early one morning, the restless mynah took two parabolic flights to the west and was quickly fascinated with this world. Snow here looked whiter. Stars twinkled brighter, merrier, more. The sky kissed her nose, blue, and the soil offered a cornucopia of corn stalks. She learned different songs and ate unknown fruits. The maple leaf fascinated her. On an impulse, she tied a few musical notes to the ornamental hem of one and sent it flying to the forlorn Banyan tree, waiting for her return. In her letter, she informed of the appealing sensibilities of the otters that flocked for all cuisines. And then she added a few phonetics the Banyan tree is still trying to decipher.
Days went by, and the mynah fledged emblematic feathers. Every day she carried coffee grounds and steaming chowder for the cardinal landlord up a tree of purple blossoms. Over an aging body, she wore a weskit of new experiences. Her skin grew thick and taut over toned muscles – toned with the CrossFit from trotting deep woods. Her reverie became global as the hold of a forgotten home faded.
Messages back home became as rare as a hen’s teeth. But when they came, the Banyan tree was elated to learn new things the mynah discovered. His roots grew thicker and girth heavier. He never allowed anyone to rake the maple leaves stashed under the tree. Applying orange crusts to his fungal infections, he laughed at the dog-eared letters. Sometimes, he imagined himself with the mynah on her latest adventure, of tossing her from one lyrical bough to another. In the end, he believed mynah was playing with her new friends and was content with her new life.
But gradually, the communication stopped, and the Banyan tree worried. He knew he would outlive his friend, but there were still some years for that. He had nightmares of losing his friend in the wilderness of the unknown west. And because he did, he sent an army of pollens to check on mynah. Some pollens found their matches and settled in unfamiliar towns. The rest found the mynah haggard on the streets of green woods. Seeing the pollens, the mynah brightened. She invited them to her small corner on the banks of a wayward creek. The bush was small but well-kept.
The pollens landed quietly and settled for their stay. They gave the mynah honeyed grains, jellied leaves. Accidentally, they told her about the fungal infections of the Banyan. Startled by this news, she spent days fretting over her one true friend. She took a few days off from work and rested to make the journey to the east to see her beloved friend. The grains he had sent put a good flab on her wings. The shadows in her eyes lifted some. Stopping here and there, she made her journey back in a caravan made of Douglas Fir. Her tan was back, and so was her disposition.
But when the mynah reached her village, the Banyan tree was being bulldozed to make way for the city to enter her old village—the green roofs were replaced with tall edifices. The trees looked different, modish. If not for her friend, she wouldn’t have recognized the west from the east. With a bleeding heart, she hugged her dear, dear friend, as they carried him away. Her cheek pressed against the still warm bark. And her tears slipped to the maple leaves clutched tightly in his hands that no one had been able to pry away.
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