© Photo by the Amae

A walk through the woods -

the cacti have grown so tall: the memories of a little boy.

The brambles have taken over. Comes the realisation of how much the old lady kept nature at bay,

Stands the solitary old house like a renaissance painting its fate perforce decreed.

The once vivid colours, the classic blues, the brilliant reds and greens are now pale hues. Weathered by the ages, they speak of storms and the incessant heat of the burning sun.

To the water tank whose steel walls are now stained with rust, and punctured with holes, Aft is the bleached wooden old door. To the fore stands the solitary plum tree, so too remains the lime tree and the two tamarind trees. Evoke the times I used to climb them to admire the view of the shore, the sea and the old village. Most pronounced are the memories of the floods and the times I used to fall asleep amongst the branches. Now, no longer is there a view. Who am I to protest at what fate has behest? The reprisal — gone are the crabs that used to crawl over the stones after the storms.

Proceeding down the path, now covered with arched branches forming a tunnel to and from the old house. The walls of the old cicque at the bottom of the hill are eroded and rummaged. The loose stones grasped by the roots of the trees that straddle the walls. Sentinels, standing tall — the custodians of time.

Advancing down the well-trodden path to the old pond now an insipid stagnant pool filled with sediment. The old woman is dead. Continuing to what used to be a swamp, now, alas, no longer; now covered in the gleaming roofs of galvanised steel over bare unfinished concrete: the factories making garments for the tourist, selling frozen chicken and fish, developments they boast about with relish — advancement?

Gone are the flamingos whose domain this once was. Gone are the pelicans, no longer diving into the sea, now to be seen only in the new museum. Walls of white built in the imperial style like a mausoleum to be viewed by tourists, entrance fee five dollars, one dollar if you are a local.

The path comes to an abrupt end at the road. At the side of the road, further ahead, is a shack to which I proceed hoping to buy some pop to quench my thirst. Don’t you remember me asked the girl? Yes! was my hesitant response. Anything to placate her! Taste the pop drink an indefinable bland flavour. Baffled, I proceed to look at the label which states — made from orange flavour.

Interested in people, nature, science and technology, and history. MSc in Research Methods (Birkbeck), MA Industrial Design (UAL)

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