I stumbled upon an old photo of mine. I must’ve been around 14-15 years old I guess. What I recall of that photo is that I used to love that outfit and this was also shortly before my elder sister managed to chop off all my tresses in the bid to make my hairstyle look more balanced. I was mistaken for a boy for a while after that everywhere I’d go. It was annoying at first but I learned to love it quickly.

This photo was taken in the balcony next to the living room.

That first floor apartment was oddly luxurious with its spacious terrace balcony towards the extreme end of the flat. I watched my father diligently create a terrace garden there. He grew everything in that smallish garden with no regard really for colour coordination etc. He’d rescue plants and they’d all flourish. He’d throw mystery seeds on the soil and they’d turn out to be something amazing! Couple of those plants are now gigantic trees at my dad’s home in Imphal.

In the photo the two rubber plants you see in the pots behind me are now massive trees. They’ve really framed my father’s house and stand tall and proud next to the gates. I didn’t realise that it was those two potted plants till my mother told me about them.

In the photo below, you can see the rubber trees at the upper left corner. And of course you can spot my father still tending to the trees, plants and paths around the house like he’s always done. Some of the trees have recently been chopped down to make way for a new building in front but the rubber trees still remain. They form a deep connection for me from my childhood – an assurance of continuity I imagine and also a testimony to my father’s incredible green thumb.