I am sitting under an old gulmohar tree (delonix regia), that resembles a large green umbrella, that is a part of the boundary fencing between where I live and my neighbour’s house. The tiny leaves on the stems are neatly arranged like the plumage of a bird giving it a very gentle and peaceful look. The mild breeze on them creates a movement like ripples in a pond that has been disturbed by a falling pebble. I wonder how many tired souls this particular tree must have helped rejuvenate under its cool shades. If only it could talk…
The cool breeze, which is highly unusual for a place like Sarpang, caresses my face and the exposed part of my skin. I am wearing a boxer shorts and a vest. It is very pleasant. Such cool days, during this time of the year, are a rare treat and a luxury here. There are no mosquitoes to bother me today. The gentle breeze has driven them away.
I reflect back at the past week. Numerous things have happened. There was a party, in fact a blast of a party, thrown by a friend on the joyous occasion of his promotion. All most all people of this small community attended it. Booze was flowing freely and there were plenty to eat. The dogs had a party too, later. It took them the next two days to clear the debris of leftovers.
Then there was a death, two days after the party. A colleague has died, so suddenly. May his soul rest in peace! The doctors declared it as a “sudden cardiac arrest”. Life can be so fragile! One moment you are very much alive and kicking, and the next you are no more.
The decease leaves behind a mourning wife and two lovely children, both of whom have just reached their early teens in the journey of their lives. Life is so uncertain and unfair to some. If only had they known about this pending doom! But could they have done anything? We human beings are piddling creatures in front of the force of nature, especially if that force is something as dauntless and impartial as death itself.
The raucous created by the cawing of crows on the branches overhead draws me back to the present. Looking up I see that two crows are fighting over a piece of meat. Neither is willing to give up the prized possession. In the melee they dropped the piece that is the bone (meat?) of contention. As it lands right in front of me, I see that it is a piece of fresh ‘juma’ (intestine), about a metre long. Suddenly a scabied and almost bald dog scuttles to it and eats up the piece. The crows are just watching the act from their perches, helpless.
It would have taken them many attempts to steal that piece of meat from the greedy watchful eyes of the human owner. If only had they settled down to amicably share, both would have had their fill. But of course they are only crows. When humans can’t settle such things in a way beneficial to all concerned, how can it be expected of crows? Their greed cost them a satisfying and a fulfilling meal. Many such good opportunities are lost in life because of our greed.
The evidence of the impermanence nature of life is everywhere; in the falling leaves, ripening fruits, decaying of earthworms, time gone by and everywhere there is life. But to die so young leaves a lot of room for regrets; many unfulfilled dreams, widowed woman, orphaned children, to name a few. If only we could turn back time.