Sunday, August 7, 2011

On Coming back from the Hills in July


Hello friends!!! Let me tell you how I am feeling after coming back from the hills a few days back? It is like simmering in a cauldron of hot water throughout the day. True to the adage that ‘grass is greener on the other side of the fence,’ we decided to return to our nest, tired as we were by the continuous spell of rain at Kumarhatti, where we  put up for the summer. OMG, what a damning decision it proved to be! :(  The minute we stepped out of the car, my blinkers got removed, reality stared at me straight and clear. In the act of unloading our things itself, we got bathed with sweat and all the excess salts poured out from the skin pores leaving us limp like wilted flowers. We opened all the windows, doors and switched on fans and ACs to get a breather. No luck of course. Humidity stifles. Anyway I had to set the kitchen in operation. Fortunately we had left the refrigerator running and I immediately stuffed it with the eatables and fruit which we had bought on the way. Washed the few utensils needed. While I got busy in my empire, hubby dear, right away started fixing the computer paraphernalia and TV dish set up box. At this break neck speed we worked for about two hours at our respective domains without exchanging a word and succeeded in organizing the essentials.
 Over the years I have learnt to wind up the house in such a manner that both of us only need a couple of hours to start the house running once again .After the needful was done, it was  time to replenish our energy with some victuals. I prepared my favourite Tulsi tea.(I was missing it so much at Kumarhatti) Mercifully my Tulsi plants are still there with plenty of leaves  while the other plants and lawns showed utter neglect. I had instructed our gardener in detail but I had truly wasted my words on him. When the cat is away the mice will obviously play. I put out the intended tirade before it welled up furiously inside me.
 Tea, some rest and I was on my feet again to start the washing with loads of clothes which I had brought with me. Two wash cycles of the washing machine finished the task well enough. Then after changing the bed linen to prepare for the night, I decided to call it a day. So did I tell my hubby who was still wrestling with some chores.  
 The hardest part of resettling however is to get a new part time maid. The household tasks which are beyond me are: intensive cleaning and mopping after the house is closed for months. It is four days since we came back and I could manage to get the house cleaned only once. Have not found the right one so far. I am trying and will have to succeed. By the way we‘re off to Amritsar tomorrow and hubby is insisting that we pack up to go back to Kumarhatti again as he feels like a fish out of water. And I feel no better. Will decide on coming back from our short trip. It is like living one day at a time now. Don’t know what lies ahead?

Agreeing with the assertion that one should learn to live in incertitude, I remain prepared for anything now.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Morning in the Hills of Kumarhatti during Monsoon-(22nd July)

It was actually the rays of the rising sun penetrating through my bedroom window, which welcomed me, when I opened my eyes in the morning. The golden glow made me jump out of the bed instantly. The warmth of the sun we missed terribly for almost a week, because the sickeningly cloudy weather interspersed by intermittent rains had starved us of the healthy feeling of a sunny day. It was sheer madness to waste the precious moments inside when the beauty of the day was beckoning me literally to ‘make hay while the sun shines.’ The sun seemed to be coercing the weak mist on the mountain tops and slopes to go and relax and let it brighten the lives of the folks down under.

I immediately prepared my ginger tea and mug in hand stepped out on the balcony. Tell you why I was in such a hurry to come out. In hills especially in July and August the weather is the king, queen and also a spoilt child. Its changeability is phenomenal. You spread your clothes for drying and airing on the balcony railing and come inside for finishing some chore. Lo and behold! Suddenly belligerent and menacingly dark clouds appear from no where, without any warning of gurgling thunder or lightening and start shedding their excess baggage of water. You have to have the speed of a sprinter to salvage the stuff which you have put outside for sunning.

I have an ambivalent attitude towards this sort of wantonness of the clouds. It is appealing after a couple of sunny days but disgusting when confronted with a continued spell of wetness. The chameleon like character of the clouds keeps you on tenter hooks all day long per sure. For locals it is no big deal. They are used to carrying umbrellas and trudge on slowly and steadily.

Coming back to this particular morning which fascinated and prompted me to pen this piece; I dragged a chair to sit and closed my eyes to savour the moment in all its glory. The sweet cosiness of the sun had a friend in the balmy breeze which was gently carousing around. Soon I became conscious of the scented air teasing my hair and my face being caressed by a fragrantly sensuous fairy like touch. I floated in a dreamy trance. Time stood still. After a while I came to myself and opened my eyes to a feeling of chill on my bare arms. The sun had disappeared. I looked skywards. The army of clouds was marching ahead in a threatening posture ready to charge. The cool breeze turned cold and hinted that I wrap myself with a shawl.
  I didn’t go inside though. Another episode equally enticing on that particular morning was inviting me to partake of its dance and song sequence being enacted on the pine tops and adjacent bushes, a couple of meters away from my balcony. I could not help standing up to watch the thrilling spectacle. Supporting myself by the terrace pillar, I was drawn irresistibly into the avian arena and got swayed by the shrill music and merry playfulness of a score of a kind of sparrows: grey plume, white breast, black shapely crest and eyes surrounded by a white ring. (A hill species I suppose). Their sculpted small bodies, agile, alive and alert, danced from bough to bough in a twittering madness♫. A spectacle absolutely unbelievable!!! It was an exhibition of supreme joy, like being on cloud nine!!! (: