The Greener Past


Stood there at the terrace feeling the cool and gentle breeze from the east. It felt like a child’s light kiss. Saw a few cranes, and a peacock searching the fields for food.  Delighted, i stood watching the vast expanse of land in front of me. I wished it would remain like that forever. And i knew i would not get a single soul in that area who would similar feelings.

Anyway, quickly traveled back in time and the old memories emerged from the rusted mind. We had shifted to our home from the every crowded, ever friendly colony life. Our home looked remote and desolate, and i quickly decided that the area is lifeless. Soon i was proved wrong.  The first rainy season was special. When it rained, the area was became a scenic spot. To us it was like Venice. When we get out, it is just water everywhere. Usually the canals breach their boundaries, and it becomes difficult to differentiate the lake nearby and the area. As usual man made boundaries, wiped off by nature’s fury. To others houses floating in water looked funny, to me it was fun. For i got to watch snakes for the first time & crabs too. Anytime i was able to see around 10 snakes in water. Snakes of different colors, different textures. Remember the time, when i ventured into water and a snake slithered in between my legs.  Lost in childish enthusiasm, killed a lot when they ventured to land. Should be more than 25 i think. The only snake i have hit and left without killing is a Cobra 🙂 As myths have it, Cobra’s dont forget their offenders and take revenged and kill them. Anyway, I am Still waiting!!!! FYI, i stopped killing snakes after that. Once i saw Cobra mating with another snake in real. Early in the morning, when i am starting to school, would see Mongoose leisurely crossing the street. Everytime i wished, i would see it fighting with a Cobra, but it never happened.

As water drained, different varieties of birds & cranes used to visit the place. Few looked like they had migrated from nearby places. When it becomes dry, we get a flock of peacocks as visitors. Around 10 or 11, used to visit the fields nearby. It was here i was first introduced to Quails (Kaadai) and Grey Francolins (Gowthari). Nomads, occupy the area around the lake with their ducks and we used to visit them at times to get Duck’s egg, Cucumber, Brinjal which they grow.

Once as usual was aimlessly watching the fields nearby from the terrace, suddenly saw three dogs in a line running hard with their tongues out. Soon found a wild rabbit at the front. It was mesmerizing to see the rabbit’s effortless jumps and the agility. Had the effect of watching Nat Geo in real. After a while, they dogs came back disappointed. At times saw rabbits searching for food and hopping away, when i walk aimlessly through the fields. What i missed that time was a digital camera.

I was lost in those thoughts when sound of the bulldozer brought me back to reality. The land was being cleared and will eventually give way to some apartment or bungalow. The rabbits are no more, the peacocks have reduced, so are cranes, Kaadai and Gowtharis, snakes i haven’t seen for a long time and crabs are extinct i guess. What was once a home to snakes, crabs, peacocks, country birds & Rabbits is now an opportunity to make Lakhs & Crores.  What if a 4th grade guy shifts to a house in this area now ? What will he do ? Will he lose himself in man made toys and the virtual video games? Will he miss something ? What made man constraint himself to a walled prison and feel proud about it ? With few random crazy thoughts, i watched the bulldozer returning from work. Atlast, the area was slowly turning lifeless!!!!

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