^z 19th December 2023 at 3:09pm

A striking image of life, from Chapter 17 of The Moor's Last Sigh, a novel by Salman Rushdie:

Children at Mahalaxmi played ankh micholi, hide-and-go-seek, in and out of the crowds of adult legs. This is how we are to one another, I thought, divided by generations. Do jungle animals understand the true nature of the trees among which they have their daily being? In the parent-forest, amid those mighty trunks, we shelter and play; but whether the trees are healthy or corroded, whether they harbour demons or good sprites, we cannot say. Nor do we know the greatest secret of all: that one day we, too, will become as arboreal as they. And the trees, whose leaves we eat, whose bark we gnaw, remember sadly that they were animals once, they climbed like squirrels and bounded like deer, until one day they paused, and their legs grew down into the earth and stuck there, spreading, and vegetation sprouted from their swaying heads. They remember this as a fact; but the lived reality of their fauna-years, the how-it-felt of that chaotic freedom, is beyond recapture. They remember it as a rustle in their leaves.

TopicLiterature - TopicLife - TopicPoetry - 2002-07-12

(correlates: UncivilServants, Fading Traces, InBalance, ...)

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