Bio Note: A November trip to the hills gives one a decisive feeling of the oncoming winter, much more than the trapped smoggy chill of the city. The Himalayan skies are very blue, the sun embracing and the colours of flowers more vivid against the post-monsoon greenery. Our own padam tree (prunus cerasoides) was bare when we arrived, but was soon covered in prickly pink blossoms that covered the branches, attracting small birds and bees. I have recently written some haikai poetry and been published in a few journals.
This occasional rain in summer sharpens my senses. A koel’s call rings through a tree, gyrates in my ears, nestles in the heart. Wet leaves glisten in sun-shot branches of the neem, defying me to breathe their fragrance amid so many. The nest-building barbet’s tuk tuk is more strident, its occasional chirps cheerfully clamorous. From a bush chat’s nest in an opening in the wall seeps water. A pigeon flaps to the feeder to sip rain. The sky is mirrored in a puddle in the lawn. A vendor hawks his ware of watermelons. I choose one – an oblong green with a yellow underbelly It is heavy and hard; my knuckles twitch to its deep sound. This is the one, borne long to ripen by a vine - summer’s gift of crisp and juicy sweetness. The sky in the lawn’s puddle has gone, a silver flash in summer’s mother of pearl.
©2023 Neera Kashyap
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