It’s a rainy Saturday…I suddenly start humming a song I haven’t heard for a long time…Its “Strawberry Wine” by Deana Carter from an Album called “Did I shave my legs for this?”
Funny, how songs could stir memories of tastes, images, scents, moods and sensations…all out of the blue.
So here’s the link to the song, and the lyrics.
He was working through college
On my grandpa’s farm
I was thirsting for knowledge
And he had a car.
Yeah, I was caught somewhere between a woman and a child
One restless summer we found love growing wild.
On the banks of a river on a well beaten path,
It’s funny how those memories they last.
Like Strawberry Wine
The hot july moon
My first taste of love…Woah, bittersweet
The green on the Vine
Like Strawberry Wine
I still remember
when thirty was old
My biggest fear was September
When he had to go
A few cards and letters and one long distance call
We drifted away like the leaves in the fall
But year after year I come back to this place
Just to remember the taste of strawberry wine…
The fields have grown over now
Years since they’ve seen a plow
There’s nothing time hasn’t touched
Is it really him or the loss of my innocence
I’ve been missing so much!
In Kiliveddy IDP camp in Muttur, a tire is a toy for this kid. Deprived of his home in the Sampur battle, he doesn’t know how long he’s been here in the refugee camp. Not that he does not remember, but he cannot count. He does not answer anything more than his name, and that’s what he repeats, smiling…as if his name is the only language he knows. Obviously, he is not going to school.
Personally, I have seen tires in a different context as a kid. It is something I can never imagine as a toy. I don’t want to repeat what a tire stands for in my childhood, 1988, 1989 Sri Lanka: The world knows about it; and I have already written a story about it: Pallu (it’s listed under Pages). With that I imagined that it is out of my system.
And then I meet this boy, Seethan – if I got his name right, with his toy tire around his neck, homeless, probably rootless, and futureless despite my optimism for him and the others of his kind. Seethan plays with a tire that epitomizes the hieght of violence I have experienced in my life. Of course, he’s lived through another war, with its own symbols of violence.
I want to hug him as if I were his twin. But I couldn’t.
There’s comfort in walking
walking to remember and forget
without looking back
Behind you, your footsteps
sunk into the wet sands
are frisked away by playful waves,
in the froth of childhood innocence
Rising from the vortex
we walk onto the land
looking for what we have lost
in the currents of our times
Dressed in white of froth and foam
a woman walks onto the land
as always, searching
for someone she had loved and lost
in the currents of her times
As always, wandering
why she – of all – survived.
over the east coast, the sun also rises
only the life it stirrs
I met this woman in an IDP Transit Camp Kiliveddy, Muttur. I don’t know her name, but her smile will remain with me, forever; and the thousand hardships she could not tell me, in words…