A Chat by the Champa Tree
A vignette of two women standing under the champa tree, enjoying a moment of respite from the drudgery and toil of a work day.
Two women stand near a Champa tree,
Which is quietly shedding its wealth of flowers
Creamy gold with frank yellow centres
On the brick floor of the apron
Of Dengel Hall. It’s 11 am.
One wears a white sari with a green border
The other with a blue one.
Both lean on the handles of their metal carts
One carrying dry leaves, twigs, faded flowers,
Dry grasses, dust, dead insects, and fallen feathers
The other full of folded ironed laundry
Their bodies are relaxed in welcome warmth
Bent towards one another as they chat
For just a friendly minute, maybe two
And yet they are for me the epitome
Of human beings who know to savour leisure
Those little gaps of carefree relaxation
Between work that you know is going fine
With no need to be in the least of tension
Those moments are completely free of worry
And full of deep enjoyment of exchange
Of simple conversation between friends
Under a smiling sun in a blue sky
Among the trees and bushes shedding leaves
And flowers in the sweet silence of Nature
Carrying on its untiring ministry.
Amita Paul is the pen name of Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia , one of the various pen names used by Punjab-born, Patna-based retired Indian bureaucrat , who has of late begun to be recognised on various digital platforms for her original writings in different genres, in English, Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi .Her writings are imaginative, humane, socially relevant, ecologically sensitive and public- spirited, with occasional flashes of humour ranging from sharp satire to gentle ribbing of her indulgent readers.