I remember having a collection of these as a child. But somewhere in the midst of growing up, I lost them. I don’t exactly remember when or how. But then it was quite normal. I knew a place where there was a Manjadi tree and I could always collect from there, if I ever wanted them. If I remember well, my association with these lucky red seeds started during my visits to Guruvayoor Temple as a child. One could play with the thousands of these seeds kept inside the big Uruli. That was the favourite part of my temple visit. Later on growing up, my visits to any temple reduced considerably and even stopped.
It was in 2012 when Manjadikuru the movie got released. I watched the movie only after its DVD release, but. And there started my vain pursuits to get hold of a few of these seeds. I wanted to grow them in the backyard of my house. I wanted a Manjadi tree in my house. My little research over the internet showed that it would take nine years for its seed to sprout. I was ready to wait.
That tree which I knew was no more there. And one can’t simply lift the seeds from the temple. So what next? I directly started searching for the plants. In and out of nurseries I went hunting them, but all went futile. My sister too did a little bit of investigation sitting in Doha, where I could find them from. Unfortunately, our inquests denied the existence of all those manjadi trees we remembered as children.
But happiness comes from unexpected corners. It was a usual community visit today and the kids in my school were taking me to place which they said was really nice. And there I find these little gems. I find the tree. I find my lucky red seeds. I started picking them up instantly. The boys with me seemed confused. Who was the child here?
For me, the answer lied in nostalgia. Pure nostalgia.