The Jalebi Tree
- Art & Story by Chandana Banerjee
One day, when the sun sauntered out from the west, when the birds began talking and when leaves turned blue and red, there came a small orange cloud, stuffed with Jalebis. (Note: Jalebis are Indian sweets, shaped like circular squiggles, deep-fried and sugary sweet, and a hot favourite with many.) The cloud hovered over a field, where rabbits sunned themselves, meek little door-mice scampered around looking for treats to eat and blackbirds painted themselves with white polka dots.
The cloud wobbled around a bit, heavy with its load. "Ah! There are plenty of happy creatures to enjoy my treats," he said with satisfaction, as he surveyed the field full of mice and rabbits, and the sky abuzz with birds. So, with joy, he showered the field with crisp, squiggly, sugary sweet jalebis. It was a sight to see! Jalebis tumbled down from the sky, each a different shade of orange, each glistening with its golden syrup. Some of these jalebis got stuck on the branches of a lone tree in the field. They rocked gently on the ebony branches, as the polka-dotted blackbirds swooped down to grab their share of sweets.
Well, I was just passing by and happened to see this sugary sight. I took home a few jalebis, wrapped in my handkerchief and enjoyed the nectar-filled sweets. And if you ever chance by that field, let me know if the jalebis are still stuck on the tree or if the blackbirds have feasted on them.