Tag Archives: nature

Crickets


Sitting at my desk, the wind carries with it the humdrum of life outside. 

The chaotic little shrieks of children playing just after school hours reminds me of my happy childhood where I played for long hours outside, till my mother came calling for dinner.

The incessant blaring horns signal a traffic jam somewhere in the lanes behind home, leading me to imagine the frustrated looks and words exchanged by those caught in its midst.

This week late at night, as I sat at my desk furiously working the laptop while the energy outside started to mellow down, the slow chirp of crickets filtered in through my window transporting me to another time.

I have always wondered what made their sounds grow louder and louder and then fall way low, before they began the ritual again?  Often finding myself mimic their chorus or try and break their rhythm.

The chirp of crickets reminds me of late nights in the outdoors, camping under the stars, surrounded by darkness, with only their sound for company.

But what it reminds me of the most is this tree that lay on the road that led to my art classes. It was a massive tree that I think housed hundreds of them or so I imagined back then.

The sound of crickets terrified me then, so much so, that this memory lies etched in mind from 30 years ago.

You see, I was convinced that when I walked under that tree, these loud, invisible creatures would all at once sweep down and attack me. So there I was, all of 8, standing at the edge where its branches started, holding  my breath, gritting my teeth, clenching my fist, ready to make a dash to the other side where the tree ended.  

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Looking back, I am sure the crickets wondered why this little human increased her pace so furiously when walking under that tree.

This continued for the entire summer till art classes thankfully concluded and I no longer had to make that all too stressful walk under the tree.

What does their sound remind you of? Do you have memory associated with it?

Or any memory that gets ignited by a particular sound?

Do share if you do.

This week’s s poem by Gulzar again, about that tree…..his tree. Like so many trees, either lost to development or time.

treelined4

Mod pe dekha hai?

By Gulzar

Mod pe dekha hai wo boodha-sa ek ped kabhi ?
Mera waqif hai, bahut salon se mein use jaanata hoon

Jab mein chhota tha to ik aam udaane ke liye
Parli deewar se kandhon pe chadha tha uske
Jaane dukhti huee kis shaakh se jaa paanv lagaa
Dhaad se phenk diya tha muje neeche usne
Meine khunnas main bahut phenke the pathar us par

Meri shaadi pe mujhe yaad hai shaakhein dekar
Meri vedi ka hawan garm kiya tha usne
Aur jab haamla thi ‘Biba’ to dopahar main har din
Meri biwi ki taraf kairiyan phenki thi isi ne
Waqt ke saath sabhi phool, sabhi patti gaye

Tab bhi jal jaata tha jab Munne se kehti ‘Biba’
‘Haan,usi ped se aaya hai tu, Ped ka phal hai’
Ab bhi jal jaata hoon. jab mod se gujarte mein kabhi
Khaanskar kehta hai, ‘Kyo, Sar ke sabhi baal gaye?’

‘Subah se kaat rahe hain woh Kameti wale
Mod tak jaane ki himmat nahin hoti mujhko’

The Tree at The Corner

Translation by Pavan K Verma

Have you seen at the corner that ageing tree?
It is an acquaintance I have known for years.

When I was small, I had climbed on to its shoulders
From the adjacent wall to steal a mango
My feet touched on of its branches that was hurting
It threw me down with a thud
Angry, I threw many stones at it.

At my wedding I remember it gave its branches
To warm the fire of the havan
And when Biba was pregnant, it threw every afternoon
its raw mangoes at my wife
With time all its leaves and flowers disappeared
I would be jealous when Biba told the baby:
“You have come from that tree, you are his fruit”
Even today I feel angry when, as I pass the turning, he coughs
And says, ” Have you lost your hair”

Today since morning, the municipal authorities are cutting it to pieces
I do not have the courage to go up to the corner.

Bikhre Lavz now has a page on Facebook. Do like to get updates and more poetry related stuff!

Ambivalence


Enjoying a cup of steaming coffee
Looking outside at the rather unchanged view from my balcony
The mind wanders to the hills and its moss covered  pathways,
A longing for the cool winds and smell of the earth takes over.

Late at night on the rooftop looking at the city slowly going to sleep
Wondering what someone is doing inside their home on the 29th floor,
The mind wanders to the night bazaars far away that are brimming with precious metals, native foods and colorful puppets,
A desire for the bustle, unknown smells and exotic deserts envelops you.

Sitting inside the taxi while stuck in traffic waiting for the lights to turn green,
Staring at the timer as it runs out before you can make the zebra crossing,
The azure waters of a cove tucked at the end of the beach enters the mind’s eye
The heart pines for the touch of soft sand and tickling sea breeze.

A quiet, stress-free and well rested weekend inside a coffee plantation comes to an end
You watch time move slowly and gaze at the rain that drenches the earth around the clock,
That familiar crossroad that leads to home comes to mind,
You look forward to being back at your balcony sipping that all too familiar coffee, and smile at the thought of the view being unchanged.

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The heart never fails to create desires that allow us the momentary relief that comes from escape.  A feeling of ambivalence, wishing to be else where but here and then awaiting the mundane, the regular routine and humdrum of our lives.

This poem by Gulzar talks about the leaf that never left and died on its branch. Every time I leave the comfort of home to a new adventure, the heart skips a beat, the fear of the unknown, uncertainties and ambivalent feelings envelope me, but as every traveler must, I don’t let the voices get too loud, lest I become like the lone leaf.

Tehni par bhetha tha woh

-By Gulzar

Tehni par bhetha tha woh
Niche talaab tha paani ka aur,
talaab ke andar aasmaan tha
dubne se dar lagta tha
na tera, na udha, na duba
teni par hi bethe-bethe bil-akhir woh sukh gaya!
Ek akela shakh ka patta!

One lone Leaf
Translation by Pavan Verma

It was perched on a branch
Below were the waters of a lake,
And underneath lay the sky,
It was afraid of being drowned
But….
It neither swam, nor drowned, nor flew away
It just sat on the branch and finally wilted
One leaf on a branch!

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