On a sunny Sunday afternoon, there I was, sitting on a bench, watching my kids running around in the play area. As a slight breeze started blowing, bringing with it not just a welcome respite from the sweltering heat, but also a ‘rain’ of drying leaves from the raintree near us, my kids and I rejoiced together. The drying leaves in varied shades of yellow to green to brown continued to fall down in colourful bursts for a minute or two. As I lost myself in these dull colours of nature, my kids ran around laughing and catching as many falling tiny leaves as they could.
It is always with a touch of nostalgia that I look at a raintree / thoongumoonji maram. When I was a small kid, my father used to bring back thoongumoonji poo during his morning walks for me to play with. I remember how, back then, I used to watch the leaves of this tree closing down to fall asleep at the onset of evening.
In our apartment in Madras, we had a huge raintree growing more than three floors high. Every time I went to the terrace, I used to watch the beautiful combination made by the pink flowers and green leaves of this tree. Before we put mosquito nets, our balcony used to always have lots of dried leaves of this tree fallen inside. Huge branches of this tree fell during last year’s cyclone and the entire tree had to then be cut off.
Today, I have huge rain trees outside my window and did I tell you that there are always a few dried leaves to be swept away in my living room?