I was 10, when one day I saw some people in our playground. I saw them discussing something but could not hear because a glass door stood between us. After they went I saw Shriya, my best friend out in the ground. After seeking permission I went out.
“Shriya, what were they saying? Hope you have heard them.”
“Yes, Roshni. I heard them.”
“Good, what did they say.”
“This field is no more ours. The Joe builders have bought it. We cannot ever play here again.”
“We need to find another place.”
“Ok, call Kashyap and Geetu and off with your cycles in search of a new place.”
We searched the whole day but not in vain. We found a large ground with a giant Banyan tree. It was far, infact very far. But was place was so good that we couldn’t leave it. We decided not to tell it to our parents but Shriya and Geetu protested. If one of our mothers came to know then it would circulate in no time. So we decided to tell it.
Ma and Dad first scolded me for going so far and then started discussing that all the mistakes were not ours. If the builders take away all the fields then where should the children play. I could understand much but I was happy that they did not have any objection. Nor did the other parents have any.
The Banyan tree was a friend and a member of our group. We named him Taru, I do not remember whose idea it was. Taru was good in playing catch- catch, he caught the ball with his branches but it was selfish so did not give the ball back. We had to climb and get it. It was fun playing with him as he never responded in negative. It was Raksha Bandhan and we had no brothers so Taru was the option. Sriya, Geetu and me, we tied Rakhi on Taru’s trunk.
We got transferred and so did others. Five years later we decided to meet in the same ground and we did because we were bad at breaking promises. Taru had ceased to live but the trunk was there. Taru had no more leaves but still he served by letting us sit on his trunk. Joe builders had again captured that field but they couldn’t cut Taru completely. A multi storied bulding stands there today but with taru at an extreme end. Now we can’t play there but visit regularly to meet our dearest brother, Taru.