Building a cozy tree house on a tall tree is nearly every kid's dream.
Looking back, I think I am privileged. I lived out this dream by
building a tree house high among the branches of a banyan tree
enjoying those long summer day of my childhood.
When I was a child I lived with my grandparents in their farmhouse.
I hade never imagined that my birthday gift would become one of the
wonders of my world. One of the eve of my twelfth birthday, my brother
who was a year older to me said, "There's huge banyan tree right behind
the orchard. Want to build a tree house there? I'll help you, don't worry.
That's your birthday gift from me!" My excitement and happiness knew
no bounds. Ready to start the construction, we both set out to make a
survey for our new project. Walking towards the backyard, we discussed
the features that we should add to our tree house. My brother nailed some
boards on a wooden frame. We also bought a piece of plywood which used
to be an old seat of the swing in the verandah of our house. I was really thrilled
to see my tree house being built!!
I took out my old straw mat and wrapped it around with my mother's sari and
presto! A makeshift door was ready!! My brother fixed together pieces of thick water
pipes to support a stack of hay. Then we put some clay tiles on it so that it would
remain in position. Lo and behold! our roof was ready!! The rest of the things were managed by the branches and leaves of the benevolent tree. I was overjoyed to see
my romantic tree house built in almost no time! The rope ladder, which belonged to
my grandfather when he was a colonel in the army, was put to good use. Immediately
I knew that it was meant to climb into my tree house! I just felt like a king in my beautiful little palace.
From the tree house, I could view the fields and hills beyond my house. In the morning,
the birds chirped and I felt the pleasant refreshing breeze blowing through the leaves
of the great tree. I watched the rabbit and the squirrels, undisturbed.
As time passed, things changed, although very imperceptibly. There were times when
my brother and I carried out some quick repairs to keep the tree house from going down
into history. But as we grew, our interest in such activities waned. Moreover, my parents
sent me to a metropolis for my higher education. Our priorities began to change without
our ever realizing it!! There were occasions when I returned to my grandfather's house
and I could see the tree house gradually losing its hold on the tree due to natural forces.
The tree house has now fallen into a state of complete disrepair and is not visible any
more, being overgrown with branches and leaves. Yet in my memories, in my
heart of hearts, it will always be one of the seven wonders of my world.