People of Poi Tanda vs the Grim Reaper

People

People of Poi Tanda vs the Grim Reaper

Illustration: Saachi Mehta/ Arré

“T

hey have come,” said the neem tree to the Baya birds. “It’s time. Go now, please. I want you to remember me as strong and whole, resilient and happy. It will be more painful to have you watch as they chip away at me, until I stand no more.”

It took the three little birds all their strength to flap their tiny wings and take flight from the strong, woody arms that had cradled them unconditionally. That day, even the wind stood still, because it knew no leaf in the village would want to rustle, not when they wanted to mourn.

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