An Evening in the Frontyard, Goa — By Seeya Kudtarker

Around fifteen to twenty years back, in my early childhood, time was really different in my hometown. My home was a typical joint family from Goa. Lunch was followed by afternoon nap and then the evening tea. The males of the house would have their tea and then go on to business while ladies and kids had their tea a little later. After entire day of cooking and serving food and afternoon siesta, the ladies would sit in the patio of the house. Watering the plants in the garden took place at this time of the day. The hose pipe was long enough to cover the garden that stood proudly in front of the house.


The smell of mud and the sight of water seeping from the raised platform of bricks (plants looked better on the platform than on the ground, I think ) welcomed the evening. The spruce tree looked better as water drops fell from its tiny pointed leaves. The Tulsi Vrindavan in front of the house would gulp water quickly. This has always been fascinating for me. The mud floor on one side of the garden and cement floor on the other side would be wet by now and our playing area would be restricted.

The jasmine vine had taken almost the entire portion of the arc in front of the front gate of the house. Climb on the arc and you would be sitting next to the lion statue. Each statue of the lion sat magnificently on either side of the front gate. Climb on the arc a little more and you could pluck the jasmine flowers in the summer season.

Being the residential area, there would hardly be any traffic on the road immediately outside the compound of the house. Jasmine from the sides could be plucked by climbing the arc. The front side of the arc from which jasmine vine overflew halfway and was few inches away from touching the front gate, would overflow with the flowers. A long bamboo stick cut at its diameter at one end one inch deep was used to pluck jasmine flowers. The flowers either adorned the hair of the ladies of the house as well as the neighbours or would be given in temple.

The house has been since long. People knew each other very personally. A passerby if he had time would stop to give some news.  Then the banter would begin and would go on till the sun called it a day. There was hustle to go inside after sunset to begin the chores for dinner. Thus, another evening was done to pave way for the next.


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