courtyard

Maruti Naik
2 min readJun 24

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my home in Goa

its not huge
our courtyard
but it sure seemed so
when it served
as our nursery
for all manner of games
the tulsi serving
as the starting point
for the bloke with the “den”
while the rest disappeared
determined to hide
and not be found

one of the points
for slinging a clothesline
a makeshift net
while we pretended
to be Prakash and King

it was a screen
for shadow shows
as we sat on the steps
leading from
and to the house
that lone bulb
lit up behind our backs
when the electricity board
got it right

as night fell
my aunt would take over
light lamps in all corners
a small prayer under her breath
as she tucked in her gods
we rushed to clear up
the many things edible and otherwise
all dried up
ready for the next day

dinner done
cool nights
the cots would come out
as would a million stars
and a moon rising
from in front of our house
it would take its time
playing hide and seek
with its friends in the forest
till it came right above us
gently lulling us to sleep
and even the gods around

some of us would wake up
bathed in dew
stirred by the alarm
raised by birds
setting on their way
my aunt would nudge the rest
as she started her day
collecting flowers
for the gods inside
already bathed
the both of them

our courtyard rejoiced
when mandaps were erected
to herald a birth
celebrate a union
or welcome friends from afar
I am sure it even
grieved with us
when a loved one departed
never to return
though it must have been
more busy soaking
the tears we shed
like a good friend does

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Maruti Naik

I write to remember. I write to remain honest. I write to leave a bread crumb trail for my daughter. I write to relax. Trying to impress my better half, I write