‘Of Kali and his wife Ponna’
Kali stared ceaselessly at the stump on the portia tree where the branch had been cut down.
It looked very much like the sort of small stump that would stick out of the shoulder if an arm were severed from a body. He could still see the desiccated cuts left by the sickle on the bark. They looked like fish scales. It was he who had cut down the branch, having grown tired of his mother’s insistence to get it done. That particular branch of the tree had been a favourite of his. He used to see it as the tree kindly lowering an arm towards him, lovingly asking him to climb on to it. In moments of excitement, he would jump up and grab hold of that branch. And he would swing from it until he couldn’t bear the pain in his hands. At that point, he would heave . . .