Crisp moonlight like a scimitar ripped apart the burgeoning darkness that surrounded the terrace. With gentle wind fanning across my face and patiently waiting for the electricity to come back, I listened intently to what my mother crooned:
“Aseen aaya aahyun gulari main, chambri le lo gul …”
My interest was instantly aroused. I asked Ami the meaning of what she sang with so much delight; although what she sang was in Sindhi, I could not grasp most of the words.
“We’ve come in the garden, to pick your rose,” Ami softly translated for my benefit, a far-away look of nostalgia etched upon her face.
“When we were in Diplo, during school recess, we used to play this game in which we sang these lines. Four or five girls would cluster together and then walk some distance to another group of girls, chanting these lines. Then both groups would face one another; the one that had arrived chanting would select from the other group the girl they found best; who would subsequently join them. Once the chosen girl had come over, the other group which had lost a girl would repeat the process – chanting the same lines and picking the girl from the other team. And so this game would go on until the break got over …”
I was fascinated.
“I remember I used to get so happy whenever I was picked by the other group,” Ami beamed fondly at the joyous, carefree memories that she narrated to me.
I, with my chin cupped in my hands, leaned forward to learn more about the times my mother spent in my village … that goes by the curious name of Diplo.
Shimmery moonlight slanted across the two figures settled on the terrace; now thoroughly indulged into tales of the bygone days.