Tag Archives: random thoughts

An afternoon at home

I am sitting on the tiny balcony, an Oscar Wilde book in my hand. The air, until a little while ago, was smelling sweetly of pomelo flowers. Very sweet indeed!

Then there was this smell of dust. It is that time of the year when the roads are sandy, dusty and they soil your feet. I find it hard to breathe. There is some dog smell also.

A cuckoo is cooing sweetly, while the crows caw.

There are tiny kids playing cricket on the dusty playground few feet across. I watch the child, a girl or a boy, I do not know. They are at that age where you do not get to know what the sex is from afar, when there are no curves in the body and the hair is boyishly short. I watch the kid, smartly posing as the ball comes, bending the knees like a professional would. Impressive, I think. Myself, I have always been afraid of being the batsman in a game of cricket, afraid of embarassing myself by not hitting the ball once.

Sunlight vanishes as I write this. Conch shells are being blown by the women. Mosquitoes are nagging at my legs, time to go inside.

For years, I have sat on this balcony. When I was younger, this hour would mean the hour of light snacks and getting back to the heavy books – physics or maths. Today, I really don’t have much to do. Today, I am a grown woman visiting home on a vacation. There are only couple of days till I get back to my real life, my work life. Until then, I wish to soak in the smells, the sights and the sounds of this hour. Like a much cherished pickle, for another desolate afternoon, in a city eons away from here.

Measured leap

Today, while I was walking to office, I encountered a brave, young squirrel. I am not sure how young s/he was. For the sake of convenience, let’s assume it was a he (Disclaimer: I am not promoting an anti-women sentiments here. It’s just that writing his/her too many times feels clumsy)

Anyway, I am amazed by the level of physical fitness Mr. Squirrel had. The tree was one and a half foot away from the boundary. The ground was about three feet below. Mr. Squirrel gazed at the distance separating him from the tree briefly and bam! He made the jump.

He landed straight onto the trunk of the tree and clung to it. If all of it were to happen in slow motion, my heart rate would have gotten faster: Will he make it, or will he not! Thankfully, I was spared that nerve-wracking tension in the early morning.

Which brings me to my point: measured leap. Mr. Squirrel was smart enough to make a mental estimate about the distance for which he could take a calculated leap.

Let’s break this entire episode down: with his tiny eyes, Mr. Squirrel sees the tree and knows he wants to be there. In fraction of a second he makes an estimate of the distance. Bracing himself (?), he takes the leap. And he lands where he expected to. For a creature with such a small brain, it is a feat, or so I think!

As I saw him, I imagined myself waiting on the edge of the boundary, waiting to take the leap. In that mental picture, I made the jump and scraped my limbs badly on the tree-trunk and fell on the ground, scraping myself some more. With a body-mass as myself, that’s probably the most logical outcome.

But I am adept at taking other leaps. I was brave enough to leave home and travel to another state for work and I am proud of myself for having done so. Having completed almost four months in Bangalore, I realize that living on your own, thousands of miles away from home, is not particularly difficult. Of course, you need a bit of luck: which is what helped me get a good place to stay and a charming roommate. Maybe, the squirrel was just lucky too!

After the land, Mr. Squirrel ran at a great speed to the top of the tree, and was soon hidden in the thick canopy. He was home! I will be too – come this February, I’m going home for a short vacation of 9 days! Woohoo!

Tell me about a time when you took a measured leap and landed successfully on your feet. Tell me how this incident changed your life. I’m waiting to hear your experience!