By Wendie Lovell
Indian tea with an almond biscuit
Paintbrush in hand, he paused to observe her sitting under the ancient Indian almond tree, where it’s two twisted trunks offered some welcome shade from the blistering heat. Although these trees were known to grow wild in this part of India, they were often cultivated for their striking looks and their tasty nuts. He noted that the smooth bark of the tree shimmered with the deepest hue of grey-brown.
She had many similarities to the tree he thought, with her smooth, dark skin, wild tendencies and striking good looks. He’d wanted to take a photograph of her sat under the tree, so that he could paint her when he got home, but she had insisted on no camera. Her long, silky black hair fell around her swollen belly, bearing the fruits of her love. As she looked shyly up at him from under her long lashes, he noticed that her eyes were the exact same shape of the almonds scattered on the ground, like confetti on the sand.
When the painting was finished, Saachi got dressed, took the money and hurried back to her people in the village. All that remained of her was the painting and her footprints in the sand. For a brief moment he had considered that there might be a connection there, with their minds and spirits entwined like the two trunks of the tree.
Although the memory of her lingered on, with age and the passage of time, it began to fade and crack like the bark of the tree.