Winter Solitude


A lone eagle in the sky, cool breeze brushing my cheeks, parakeets making a racket on leafless poplar trees, yellow leaves drifting aimlessly to kiss the ground, larger trees swaying in a rhythmic, spiritual dance. Shivering birds search for night shelter. The rayless sun hidden behind the wispy clouds decides quitly to make his exit and let the night take over.

Somewhere a door slams shuts breaking the silence. A group of seven sisters noisely circles around the park and the lifeless, pale buildings and settles on the top branches . Today was a nipping day when one wants to be wrapped in a warm shawl or a cloak or a veil of memories.

An aeroplane flies past distruping the calm , a crow objects. I spot him sitting on the electric pole. A loner yet not so lonesome. There is something about the crows, mysterious, grand and regal. Something that does not want me to shooo them away like others. He looks around and takes a flight into the sky which  has turned  a peculier shade of grey today.

The stray dogs oblivious to all the changes around them cuddle on dry leaves and sleep as always. The cars zip past them but the only movement is a raised ear, or a half opened eye.

It’s began to drizzle. The clouds seem to be gathering in my eyes too, ready to pour. I watch.Standing near the open door. Inhale the sweet smell of the earth mixed with the roses in my flower pots. Fragrant evening.

Slow and steady falls the rain. The trees grieve with me. They look exhausted so am I. My eyelids are heavy with sleep. Hot tears burn ny eyes and yet I am unable to cry. Partings are never that easy. I reflect on the events of last few days.

I ask myself again and again why didn’t your footstep echo with mine? Everything seems to be rendered silent by the loss.

A steady drizzle of quiet moments.

I can hear the Aazan from a closeby mosque and the temple bells for the evening prayers. It is around 6 in the evening and already dark and dreary. One after another images come floating in my mind.  I hear whistle of a train winding it’s way in the mountain, the explosion of colors in the evening sky over the snow clad mountains of Ranikhet, the sound of rain pelting against the tin roof of the army rest house in the cantonment, thunder and lightning and the darkness thats slowly fills you till your very core.

A bitter sweet symphony of life. I love the evening rain that slowly builds up in the night and the fresh morning after that. A smile struggles through the tears and I switch on the music. Rain and music- two things that heal. I inhale deeply and take in the fresh sweet night air filling my senses and then exhale slowly letting out hurts, resentments, grudges, pain.

I remember lines from a poem by T.S.Eliot

I am moved by fancies that are curled
Around these images, and cling:
The notion of some infinitely gentle
Infinitely suffering thing.

Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh;
The worlds revolve like ancient women
Gathering fuel in vacant lots.

(From Preludes)

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