It is one of those times when I am finding it hard to write, and postponing new posts day after day. There is much to write, nevertheless. A lot of Ladakh is waiting to be written. Many of the experiences from Ladakh have been inscribed into my travel journal, but there is a lot more that needs recollection from memory. And then there are stories to write from some short journeys, like spending time along the beaches of Goa.
At the moment, I am sitting in a small town in Malnad region, enjoying the experiences of the rain. I might as well write a bit about what is happening in front of me.
File photo of paddy fields in the monsoons
It is cloudy here through the day, and rarely does the sun come out to say a quick hello before he disappears. There is a gentle breeze blowing most of the time keeping the air fresh and the weather pleasant. The temperature is just perfect, slightly on the colder side but not cold enough to take out warm clothes from the closet. I am sitting on an easy-chair on the veranda, sometimes reading something, munching something nice and hot, answering phones or trying to write this post. Distractions are many, when you are not too keen to write. And I am not in a hurry either.
After some letup for the first two days I was here, it poured well this afternoon. Rain excites me and makes me feel good, and I can just go on staring at the world. As I watched from the porch, a Magpie Robin flew in and rested on the grill, its whole body wet. Water drops dripped from its wings. It did not look like a happy bird as it shivered a bit, shook its body vigourously and tried to get the water out. They say someone’s misery can be another’s happiness: it was my turn to feel happy as I silently sat in my chair snugly, watching the Magpie.
Birds have been entertaining me well here, even when rains were absent for last two days. I was walking past a paddy field yesterday, through young and lush plants half immersed in water and telling myself that I had not done this paddy field walk in a long time. Getting close to a tree, I stopped, seeing a spotted owlet with its back towards me. It preened for nearly 10 minutes as I watched, and when eventually satisfied with its just-out-of-the-beauty-parlour look, decided to look around and see if the world is ready to receive it. And then having seen me watching him/her, its instincts kicked in suddenly, it’s neck elongated with added alertness. It flew away the next moment.
Along the paddy field was a meadow where many birds went on living their every day life. Some lapwings walked back and forth looking for food and calling their counterparts with a shrill voice when they found something. Bea Eaters sat on power lines and inspected the insects in their periphery. Scaly Breasted Munias hung around in small groups, again on the power lines. The lines seem to be favourite of every one: they hosted magpies, red whiskered bulbuls, mynahs and occasionally even treepies. Larks and lapwings were an exception – they preferred the meadow. And parakeets sat only on the guava tree in the garden, searching for ripe fruits. When they did not find anything of intrest, they let out a quick squeak and flew away, without wasting any time to sniff around and search thoroughly. Sparrows did not seem to have a taste about perches. They shifted location between power lines, meadows and anything else they could think of. Sometime they chirped continuously, sitting on window grills not very far from the porch where I sit and watch the rain from. When it rained, some of them disappeared and went into hiding somewhere. But thick skinned crows did not seem to care much and continued doing their work.
Buffaloes seemed equally thick skinned. After a passing rain, they sat on the small puddles formed in the meadow, trying to be as inert as possible. They barely moved an inch, staying perfectly still until a crow or a pond heron flew in to disturb one of them. A quick shake of head and the birds would fly away, allowing the buffaloes to return to their meditation. It must be a good life, being a buffalo.
File photo of buffaloes emerging from water
I am probably not being a great deal different from the buffaloes. My hands are typing something, and sometimes I talk, listen or munch, but rest of my body is doing little else. It is last day of idling for me, until I return to the city and continue the not-so-busy life I lead. But the buffaloes have time to while away till the monsoon recedes.