The keyword was “the far reaches of space
We , children ,squatted in the river water with our folded legs firmly on the bottom sand and our head just above the water
As the bottom sand pulled us away we squatted firmly and looked over the dizzy waters
Toward the far reaches of space,toward the triangular Salihundam hillock with a hole on the top
There was long long ago a monastery where the hole is.
Where people lived,ate ,walked and prayed
Now there are stones where the monks wrote in incomprehensible language
The water here smelled good ,smelled of the distant mountains of Orissa which was the river’s home
Our ears buzzed with the sounds of the boys who jumped into the river with a splash
The brass pitchers of the women on the other side came floating towards us as they were filling slowly with brown water
There ,beyond the brown stretch of waterless river,were the boats that stood listlessly waiting for the passengers
Some times we,children ,played under the cashew tree on the hot sands of the river bank
There were beautiful yellow fruits at the top on which hung kidney-shaped nuts
Yellow fruits half-eaten by the birds,that smelled so fragrant
Mom says don’t eat the fruits which are not good for your throat
But mom, they are so fragrant ! So delectable!