WPC: Gathering

Our morning tea gathering just got over 🙂

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In response to WPC: Gathering

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The Pigeon

Yesterday evening, a pigeon strutted into my bedroom through the open balcony door. I sat on the bed, amused at the grand entry.It walk around bobbing it’s head,surveying the room. It was not perturbed by Junior’s noisy entry. The same cannot be said of Junior -“Mama, a pigeon!“he squealed and froze near the door. The pigeon, on the other hand, gave a cursory glance and proceeded towards the bedside table.

 Fascinated, Junior and I watched as it inspected under the table, hid behind the curtains.It had fluffed it’s feathers. The green-purple neck and throat feathers glittered in the soft white light of my room. For the first time in my life, I observed carefully the black bands on the wings, the orange eyes and the pink feet of a pigeon.

It was getting dark outside. I got up and shooed the pigeon out of the room into the balcony. Strangely, it did not fly. It walked away clumsily.

“Mama, why is the pigeon not flying?” Junior asked.

“Maybe it’s a baby pigeon…maybe it’s a mother pigeon ready to lay eggs( it looked fluffed up and fat)…Come’on, get inside Junior. It’s going to rain,” I replied. 

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In the morning, my husband found the same pigeon on the balcony ledge. He noticed that it had some problem with one of the wings.

“What do pigeons eat?” he asked.

“NO feeding pigeons in our house, please,” I said, “unless we want a balcony full of bird poo.”

A few minutes ago, I opened the balcony door and found the pigeon dead, lying right in front of the door.

 I am feeling terrible…miserable……stupid…guilty……….. The thought that the pigeon had come to me for help, and that  I had turned my back on it is killing me. The collage above is of a pigeon flock that regularly visits my apartment lawn. Maybe this unfortunate pigeon was member of this flock.

Daily Prompt : Our House

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Our House.”

The drawing room windows were open. The white lace curtains bellowed in the wind; one of them wrapped itself around the tall earthen vase kept in one corner. My mother had drawn intrinsic designs in white all over the vase and placed a tuft of golden paddy  in it.

I stood on the window sill.My tiny palms clasped the iron grill tightly. It was my favorite spot in the house. I loved the view from the window – endless stretch of paddy fields, ponds and hills.

A few months back, right after the first showers of rain,I had watched the tribal women in colorful saris bend over and sow the paddy saplings in the water covered fields. Over time,the green paddy had slowly changed color. Now,I watched the same women accompanied by men harvest the golden crop.

I stood there singing at the top of my voice, holding onto the iron grills and swaying from side to side. I was in no hurry.

The sound of bells coming from the temple on the top of the hill broke my rhythm.I jumped down from the window sill and plonked myself on the cane sofa.

The sofa had lots of big and small colorful cushions. Mother had recently bought them from a Rajasthani handicraft exhibition.They were embroidered with bright red, green, pink and yellow threads. Little shisha or mirrors of various shapes were fixed to the fabric using embroidery.

 I picked up a cushion. The mirrors bounced the sunlight off them and made abstract patterns on the walls. I played with the mirror reflections for some time until the cushion slipped from my tired hands and I fell asleep.

Mother had decorated the walls with framed pictures of the Ajanta Frescoes .The picture of Padmapani, watched over me as I drifted into sleep.

Unfortunately,at present I do not have any photograph of the house or the neighborhood. Junior had recently drawn a picture of his neighborhood. Do you see the contrast ?

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WPC: Pipilika…Pipilika

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Beneath Your Feet.”

Pipilika, Pipilika Dol-Bol Chari Eka

Kotha Jao, Bole jao Shuni…..

 Pipilika (Ant), tell me where are you going without your troop, all alone ?

IMG_0011The ground beneath tiny  ant feet !!

WPC : On the way to school

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “On the Way.”

Is Monday too late for Friday’s  Weekly Photography Challenge ?

I thought so, till I clicked this pic on my way to my son’s school today. 🙂

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Although the school is on the outskirts of the city, we had never seen donkeys on the road before.

The kids enjoyed the unexpected halt.

 

WPC: Motion

This post is in response to WPC : Motion -This week, share your photographs that have captured motion, and tell us the stories behind the images.

It’s still cold and misty as I run between the neat rows of tea bushes.

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I skip down the stony path.

IMG_4255-001I turn back and see, a wisp of cloud  following me 🙂

IMG_4244Oh ! it is not alone. Many more clouds are coming this way !!!

IMG_4266They are slowly drifting past me towards the valley….

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Daily Prompt: SAHRUL

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Local Flavor.”

Write a piece about a typically “local” experience from where you come from as though it’s an entry in a travel guide

“Karma, Chandu, Budhiya, Kolha, welcome ! welcome! How have you all been ? How is your grandma, Mangal ? I’m so excited ! Spring is finally here. I get to meet all of you, again”, the old tree shakes her branches in excitement and anticipation.

Karma, Chandu, Budhiya, Kolha along with the other boys have come to clean the premises and ready it for the festivities.

The old tree watches attentively as the boys cut the grass, trim the bushes and whitewash the altar . She is the village tree and tribal from all over Chotanagpur Plateau,India come to pay their tributes to her in spring. They call her SARNA DEVI and her abode the SARNA STAAL.

SARHUL , SAR refers to the Saal tree, HUL refers to worship. SARHUL is an ancient ritual of  nature worship.

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The dense Saal tree forests have long been destroyed and replaced by the concrete jungle yet the people from far and wide assemble at the SARNA STAAL in  the month of April to pay their tribute to nature.

It is a surreal experience. You are transported to the time when man  and nature lived in harmony. Tribal representing different villages come to the SARNA STAAL with their village flag.The ‘Pahan’ or priest dressed in white with a Saal flower tucked behind his ear chants and conducts the rituals .People wait eagerly to hear his weather forecast for the coming year.  The ‘Pahan’ checks the water level in the holy pot. If the water level has decreased then it is bad new, droughts and dry weather is in store. If the water level is normal then it indicates ample rain and hence good crop. After the rituals the crowd pick ‘Pahan ‘ on their shoulders and carry him to his house. The ‘Pahan’ gives Saal leaves and flowers to everyone. It is the symbol of friendship and brotherhood.

The festivities begin.The song and dance begin. The sounds of tribal drum fill the air. Their songs tell stories of forest and its people. Men and women dressed in their traditional dress dance hand in hand intoxicated by the song and the drum beats. The festivities continue for the whole night.

If you happen to be around this region during April. Do stay back for Sarhul. Come and pay your respect to mother nature.