After a two month break - was in the hills July/August when it was searing heat and suffocating humidity in the plains- I am back in home sweet home and my daily tryst with nature, something which almost makes me feel on cloud nine begins once again. Now hopefully the weather is changing for the better. In my home town Patiala my connection with nature is on a micro level. I commune with the flora and fauna of the park which is my destination for a morning walk for the moment. Why I’ve chosen this venue is due to its being at a stone’s throw from my house and secondly it is not frequented by many. I prefer to connect peacefully with the objects around.
Today (5th September) for example the birds kept me company. When I stepped in, scores of white cranes- with long black legs and yellow bills- were busy pecking in the grass for worms. I could note the change in their body language instantly. They stopped pecking and stood alert, straining their long necks for any danger signals. Satisfied that nothing is amiss and perhaps trusting me they resumed their activity, but after flying to a safer distance away from me. Then I spied a vulture overhead and sensing danger the whole lot of them flew away within seconds.
There was also a crowd of the ubiquitous larks twittering gleefully and hopping with abandon, relishing their breakfast as some of them with worms hanging from their beaks seemed to be in the look out for a secluded place to savour the delicacy. They seemed to be having a field day with short flights here and there inside the park, in search of food. Underneath the dark brown exterior their wings show white designer patches which look enchanting when they fly. I left them to their antics.
A few fish tailed blackbirds attracted my attention next as they were chasing a yellow coloured bird probably a predator in a frenzied squeaking. A lone black butterfly with speckled behind, hovered around. A couple of pigeons I spotted fluttering their feathers above the window shade of the house across the road. Overhead a foursome of parrots flew past hurriedly as if on some important mission. Perched on a high voltage wire a lonesome dove was coo cooing perhaps waiting for her partner. On a richly leafed tree a kind of warblers were having a gossip session vying with each other to keep up the crescendo.
Two black stray dogs were giving me company as well. Though I better not to have such company. One was lying in the middle of the pavement and I passed by it many times via a safe detour and the other was having a snooze under thick bushes. I was all the time conscious of their presence. The stray dog menace in spite of many tragic fallouts is here to stay. The authorities refuse to learn any lessons and pass the buck all the time. The hapless citizenry looks on.
However the creature that affords me utmost pleasure and inspiration- guess who? It is the utterly cheerful, fluffy and sprightly, squirrel. It is my all weather friend. What a designer body!!! Dark brown and silver grey stripes on the upper body and mouth and tail dons a salt and pepper coloured fur. They present a picture of endearing positivity. Pause and get treated to a live display of their capers from one tree to the other and their ease and daintiness as they cross the gaps between railing spikes around the park. Their liveliness is infectious. I enjoy watching their graceful scampering on the ground, as they forage for seeds, nuts and acorns. I sometimes ask myself, “Which setting of genes they‘ve been bestowed with by nature that makes them so carefree and happy?” We surely can learn some life lessons from them. When I return home I feel bathed in the sunshine of gaiety and mirth which my dear friends rub off on to me.
As soon as the sun shows up in its glory, these visitors leave for their shady environs. But before they do so, I too get back to my safe haven.
Dear friends: Your comments on the write ups are welcome and will be earnestly appreciated. Pl. share your own experiences.
Here is a light moment:
Mother: Please God, don't let John play the match. But if he plays, let him win.