Amazing Interlude | Sunday Observer

Amazing Interlude

17 October, 2021

A silver dewdrop glides gracefully across the green surface, hesitates for a millisecond at the pointed edge, falls on the grass below, and disappears.

What did the dewdrop say to the leaf, knowing they will never meet again? Did they exchange a teary farewell or comfort each other with a brave goodbye?

I know if I were the dewdrop, I would have promised the leaf I would come back, if not tomorrow on some other day. I will wait for the sun's rays to lift me high towards the clouds, and form myself back into a dewdrop. But would the leaf be happy with such a farewell, knowing that her time is running out, knowing her looks will soon wither, and she too will descend to the ground, perhaps to fall onto the same place where the dewdrop fell today? Who would know, except the leaf and the dewdrop…

Or perhaps Bunty squirrel who scampers up and down the branches of the mango tree knows the answer. But Bunty is busy, halting every now and then to turn his tiny black nose up towards the sky, twitch it a bit, fix his button eyes on me. He wouldn't mind sharing things with me if only he weren't so busy. 'Tin, tin, tin,' he says, he must run to meet his aunt on the tamarind tree. She has laid a feast for all her kith and kin today to celebrate her birthday…

Tamarind flowers

A feast of tamarind flowers, is it? But Bunty has already disappeared, and it is Mr. Babbler who fills me up with what is going on in the neighbourhood. Bunty's aunt has a whole crust of bread for her relatives to nibble on, says Mr. B. Times are hard for most of us, he concedes, but not to the likes of Aunty S on the Tamarind tree. Unlike most of us with families to feed,' he says with his head on one side, giving me a stern look as if challenging me to disagree. Of course, I agree. This has been a challenging year for all of us, hasn't it?

It is Mrs. B, landing gracefully on the electricity wire, who answers me. She casts a disapproving look at Mr. B. “Things will get harder if we stand around talking, talking, talking,” she glares at both of us. “The children are hungry. Better move on.” Without another word, Mrs. Babbler flies out of sight. Mr. Babbler gives me an apologetic look and follows her.

I am alone, except for a sky dressed up in red, yellow, and pink. The vast distance between us prevents us from greeting each other. But from the looks of it, I already know the sky has had a long night, partying. I know soon she will change into her day clothes, a patchwork dress made of different colours of blue, a dress much worn and greatly faded; in some places, patches of blue have turned white.

Before the blink of an eye, I see the culprit responsible for bleaching the sky's blue dress. He showers golden rays on the young flowers and wakes them up, one tiny petal at a time. I watch a group of butterflies dancing on the gandapana bushes. They move from one flower to the other, leaving no trace of their presence, loving the purple flowers peering at the world from a crack in the gutter and the expensive hydrangea in a pot, in equal measure.

A voice from my left makes me turn my head. While I envied the butterflies he had been silently watching me. He looks into my green eyes for over a minute, unblinking. Then he begins to move. He walks away from me, turning his head every now and then to see if I'm following him. I realise I have no choice but to obey. Together we peer at the weeds in the garden, searching for his main source of bliss; catnip.

Faint chords

Suddenly, the faint chords of Beethoven's Für Elise reach my ears. Time to dash indoors and pick the cash in the jam jar. The air is filled with a few seconds of anxiety. What if Für Elise dies out on me before I reach the gate? Luck is on my side. I walk inside clutching a loaf of bread with the crust baked to a golden brown.

The amazing interlude is over. Sunday morning has begun.

And I, the wayward writer, having wandered in far-off lands and on the neighbourhood turf, has returned home to the Sunday Observer.

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