A picture can evoke a thousand emotions. Here’s one that reminded me of my childhood. This is a picture of a kuniyo (harvested rice piled before it’s thrashed). I grew up in a farming community (playing around similar kuniyos when I was a kid, and planting, harvesting, and thrashing rice and building kuniyoswhen I was a teenager). In my novel, The Fate of a Moth, my characters go around the village during harvesting season, wearing smiles in their weathered faces, as if nothing will ever go wrong, as if no unhappiness will ever return to their lives.
So, here are a few things (in the order labeled in the picture) I noted:
- A bunch of Sayapatri (marigold)
- This is precisely where an orange or two are hidden (offered to God?)
- As (mischievous) kids, we used to climb up the kuniyos looking for the oranges
- Shadow of a hard-working farmer sitting (perhaps catching a breath)on top of another kuniyo
- Two other kuniyos nearby
- A lunch pack or some oranges wrapped in a pink plastic bag
- A sweatshirt or a towel
- Rice almost ready to be harvested
- Rice harvested and spread for drying before it’s piled up in a kuniyo
- Space between two (or more) kuniyos—a sanctuary for kids (especially to play card games)
- An October sky
*I thank Rabindra Giri (of Syangja, Nepal) for this picture.