Under the gnarled boughs of the aging banyan
In the courtyard,
Beneath the canopy of the jade leaves fluttering
To gentle breezes,
Grandma would sit, with her books strewn around.
Welcoming with a smile, arm outstretched in greeting
She would beckon.
Eagerly we would cluster around, on our haunches
On the earthen floor.
Yes, all of us siblings, to hear her stories and fables.
There were no avengers then, no superheroes either
Or characters from marvel.
There were only tales of gallant kings, beautiful queens
And freedom fighters from history.
Grandma told those with conviction, passion, and pride.
Under the tangerine sky, painted in yellow’s and gold
We learned about valor.
To the zephyr’s that rustled our hair and the leaves
We learned about bravery.
Lessons of our heritage steeped in history and culture.
Grandma taught us to be indomitable
Like Prithviraj Chauhan.
Grandma instilled in us the bravery exhibited
By Rani LaxmiBai;
Heroes from our rich past who fought for India.
Under the knurled branches, under the shade of
The sagacious Banyan.
Grandma regaled us with the Mughal and Greek
Invasions of the past.
O! How our people suffered and were trod upon.
From Gandhiji’s Satyagrah to the freedom struggle
We learned under the tree.
Lessons that are Grandma’s legacy and those that today
We teach our children.
Although, Grandma is no more but her legacy continues.