Wild strawberries

Sunita Giri 9:32 PM |

During the long winter vacation and when I was preteens, there was not much to do in those days, no television to pass time and almost no books to keep me busy during those days and hold my restlessness. Knitting was the only option to keep us busy, but doing it all day and week and months was definitely not fun. So, I used to sneak out, to take a stroll in the forest; which was behind the back yard of the Bal Mandir. For a girls of my age, nobody expected me to take a stroll, in that forest, all alone. I was not aware then, but today I know it; why I was there all alone to take a stroll. I was a restless child, as well as fearless also. I was fearless, not only with the people around me but the unknown things around me also. Wheather, it could have been the eerie silence in the jungle or the things nobody prepared for, in that the jungle.

Bal Mandir was well protected from tall walls around the four boundaries, so there was nothing but different kinds of birds in the forest or some sneaks too. But to scare us from the unthinkable nannies used to tell us, that the forest was filled with all kind of wild creatures. It was not, except for that small and harmless insects. However, it is another fact that, even a smallest caterpillar is enough to sent me in almost into like half coma.

But otherwise the forest had nothing, as such to harm a person of my age. Nothing that was which a real jungle have to pose any kind of threat. It was a different kind of feelings, to stroll alone in the forest and even try to cross some half broken wall to go further. Some times, we used to be there with other boys or some girls also, and some body had already made some holes or bring that wall from one side of the corner to make it easy, to pass to another side of the forest, which was more inside and more quite place to be and of course eerily silence area. Except, some birds used to make noise and I was definitely, far away from the daily noise Bal Mandir. Ever so crowed and noisy place, but who is complaining ? we got used to of all those noise. But at the same time, taking a stroll in the forest, was quite fun. It was very tranquil place and I can not describe more in words, how peaceful place that was; to be. It must have offered me the much needed silence, from all the time chirpy and noisy crowed of Bal Mandir with 200 children to make it, all the time.

Its not that we did to do any thing, during those vacations but I was restless and very restless kind. reading and knitting always was not enough to hold me for long. Because staying at one place while reading and knitting was also boring, even though how good pattern you are learning or doing or how good book you are reading. So sneaking out into the forest was a good and much needed escape for me. The forest in fact it was not that vast as a normal forest should be, its was big for me when I was growing up in Bal Mandir, as a child but now its just the vast property, which was unkempt properly.

Occasionally, I used to find some things to eat on the grass floor, besides some fruits, like wild strawberries, or the other wild fruits. We used to taste it not even knowing it may be poisonous and might be fatal to my health I used to eat it. Wild strawberries are of course, much smaller than the strawberries we can find in the market. I came to know about it only recently when this Mike Hawk was talking about this small berries in his show Man, Woman and Wild, which pulled me back in my memory lane.

We used to eat all kind of grass and roots when we were in the Bal Mandir and its so strange to learn today that it never made us sick or killed us. We do talk some times those things only make our digestive system strong that people thought otherwise. And look at us we are so healthy regardless of our so unhealthy eating habits. Our digestive system is unbelievably strong than other wise, it would have been. In fact its stronger than those, whose eating habit was a lot fussier than ours.

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