August 13, 2013 § 2 Comments
The war began over a week ago. The screams from down the street target open windows through the rain, flooding in and echoing wildly. I know this isn’t my battle, but it remains crippling nonetheless.
Last day of June
Clouds spiral into smoke as the evening sun sets them ablaze. On my left, in the glow of the evening, Pariah Kites crowd the tops of a cluster of coconut trees as the monsoon thermals momentarily catch their breath. Almost instinctively, I glance above to the branched home of nearly a hundred Fruit Bats. I continue walking.
Six months into 2013, and I’ve already left two homes. With new landscapes, we give time to observe, understand and accommodate. I’ve often taken this city for granted. On the surface, it was rarely pleasing and almost always unfamiliar, yet this street and my memories for today are my home. From here, I have watched the sea gradually become a distant neighbour. From days of fishing and open skies, to making playgrounds of newly constructed sites that soon drove traffic through my street, to longer walks and waiting for trees to grow taller, and shelter nesting birds and us from a view of a trapped sea; my first friend, first poem, first puppy, first bloody knee, first fight, first cycle, first mystery to solve and the beginning of all my journeys.
There is a little street in this world that has always been my familiar, always been my home. And tomorrow, I get back on the road.
A month later
I returned to struggle with questions of identity and belonging. My old familiar had been rattled in my fleeting absence. The steady Kite population had soared, and captured the local prey base. Little hope remained, and most others fled to look for less competitive grounds. But not the House Crows. Warriors of Today, the only ones that fought back were the Kites, nesting Drongos and the Bandicoots. However, the Crows’ cleverness overcame them as they drove away all other competition, leaving room for the Kites to rise. Threatened, they formed camps and sent out troops, 10 to 1, no matter the target.
The Crows were slipping in their ranks. Worry began to creep through the grey skies, with storms dampening spirits. It was time for a new reign, and they had tried all they believed possible – overturned every nest, every breeding and feeding site, and every home; except for that of the Fruit Bats.
The Fruit Bats, who never had reason to flee, continued to return each evening and chatter into the night. The patch of Copperpods and Gulmohars had always been their home, always been their familiar. This haven soon became a distant memory as the attacks began to plummet their everyday.
I had missed the initial scream, the haunting cry of a Bat in distress. Now they bleed through the skies as every evening, the Bats struggle to claim what has always been theirs, but remain beat by the Crows’ strategies and numbers, and are forced to flee. The screams ring through the night, creating nightmares for those of us that lie outside the battleground. The Kites keep watch until the sun rises, but they do not push out the Crows. They only wait for them to tire, wait for the coming of what they believe to be the Final Battle.
June 28, 2012 § 2 Comments
There is no rain, but dense clouds smear themselves across skies with bated breath and stillness. The elusive sun is displeased, wanting to gaze at Blue Mountains before setting off to witness another day. Deep yellow light swiftly floods through the gray, as we stand with our backs to the sun and watch it skilfully set on pronounced hills in the distance. Shadows begin to dance as two rainbows join frogs and cicadas in a revelling display of light and sound. I slowly wonder where tomorrow might wander as clouds climb inside rooms and form shadows.
May 23, 2012 § 11 Comments
I wish I could give you the sound of the sea, not sealed inside a shell. The grand power with which it conducts its frothing waves that struggle to burst forth all at once, but are victims of melody. The silence you hear when it holds its breath in anticipation of lightly toeing the sand, the only moment when it is mere and vulnerable. The sounds that it permits the wind to carry, and those that it keeps close, drawing you nearer. The heaving of the tides, the spilling of the waves onto lands littered with crab-holes that travel deep into places you cannot traverse without holding tightly to the roots of palms. The same sea that through eyes of many, travels to plains that become deserts, that become mountains, that hold snow that greets clouds who dust it through skies bereft of rain that has already fallen on your outstretched hand; I take it in mine.
April 25, 2012 § 14 Comments
Clouds appear the colour of the heavens as they swirl around us, sending scattered showers of comfort.
A midsummer storm duly approaches to smother us in its intoxicating display of light and sound and ensure we look past the worrisome heat that glared down at us mere hours before. The dense darkness that swallowed the night keeps my window open for the sudden lightening to sneak in and delight upon a hot mug of tea and plate of pakodas. We laugh in relief and awe that the wishful sound of our turning of the rain-maker was heard by the gods.
March 19, 2012 § 2 Comments
Purple jacarandas lean heavily on the heart while mornings burst with scattered yellow promises. Uneasiness sets in as a shallow walk leaves shallow breathing. How it is to be young and run like clouds upon dusty lands and unadorned mountains; when painfully crashing into sides of earth brings rain and new life; when a heavy heart and weary mind lead to breathtaking thunderstorms; when lightning becomes from an understanding scream.
Dustless skies reign forth with tumbling purpose, as my return to the hills brings new blossoms and affliction.
December 20, 2011 § Leave a comment
The sun sets differently at different elevations.
Being amidst the evergreens and the sounds they carry through themselves is reminiscent of another kind of plenty; where cockroaches ramble and early mornings are far less of a struggle; where coconut trees catch root and the water they present is refreshing; where the sun gently nudges you into the shade of a jackfruit tree for an afternoon.
Tea and the cackle of a hornbill remain and remind you of a country of gaur, as you roam a country of elephants.