Sun is creeping towards the lap of the west and our Tonga is galloping towards a village in Vehari, a Tehsil of Multan. Desolate muddy road and mango orchards on both sides of the road, a continuous tookh tookh sound of Chakki (local flour grinder), and a glimpse of my Nana whose tharra (sitting chamber outside home) is visible from kilometers away…..Nana’s wait for saalam tonga and with toffees, candies, and stationery for the students in that Tonga…. all that has gone with the wind. Nani managed to cook desi kukkar (pure-bred chicken) and gurr walay chawal (sweet rice). Her lap made us forget all exertion of long travel of more than 8 hours and after dinner, our child gang would get ready to listen to the Nani’s tales of fairies at the moon. Khalas contributed the warm welcome with frocks specially stitched for us. But the real welcome used to be the greenhouse at home. Trees of Jaaman, Enjeer, Mango, and Bairi in the courtyard and Bouganvilla on the outside wall.
Yes, that Bouganvilla was my first love with nature. Though Rat ki Rani (a plant with fragrance at night) and Motia brought revolutions at night and in the morning respectively the way Bouganvilla snaked up the boundary wall was just marvelous to look at. That greenhouse is no more. The ruins of the home narrate the story of the moonlit nights with fairies and Bouganvilla has bid goodbye to the wall. But my memories are green housed even today when I find myself under the blistering sun of realities.