Grandparents are the go-to people, the quiet, unassuming support system that works on its own autopilot, untiringly, opening up the blocked channels so that the children can have a better life.
Enjoy Morning Meanderings with a hot cup of tea or coffee and some cookies to munch on the food for thought. 😊 ☕️
As I peeped through my bedroom window, on another July morn, I was intrigued by the sight of a nest, high up on the neem tree, where I could glimpse small bird heads frantically bobbing up and down. I watched, bewitched, as small hungry beaks greedily gobbled up the food that their parents thrust down their small gullets. What a heartwarming scene it was!
Listening to the peacocks squawking up a storm, my heart almost burst into a happy song, catapulting me a year back to a rainy July morn when I sat in the porch of Birders’ Inn, Bharatpur , mesmerized by the play of vibrant colors all round.
The cicadas were still singing when I opened my eyes, but they were later joined by the exuberant squawking of the peacocks, probably happy that their relentless squawking had brought the rains. A lone bulbul on the top most branch of the Siris tree fronting the corridor outside our first floor suite no. 25, was contorting its tiny body in different shapes, trying to slurp the raindrops hanging from the leaves, while we slurped our bed tea, sitting on the sofa.
I was fascinated by a bulbul which had now hopped on to the parapet, and was looking around, blissfully. A happy bird, having slaked her early morning thirst on rain drops. Sumptuous and spirited.
The rains elsewhere in Rajasthan had thrown life out of gear, many people were stranded, many women had to be rescued from the wrath of the rains, many schoolkids had to be evacuated in tractors, water had seeped into houses, but, thankfully, here in Bharatpur it was still a soft, soothing refrain.
I soaked in the notes of this soft, soothing refrain, as it serenaded me with its pitter-patter-patter-pitter.
Now raindrops sat everywhere; on the leaves, on the table in the garden, on the chairs, and also on the sleek body of the cat as it roamed around, glowing in the first rays of the sun, and the butterflies flitting around merrily , drying the wetness on their tiny wings in the warmth of the sun.
Happiness was indeed a rain song serenading me soulfully, merging with the sound of the lawn mower down below.
As I slipped my feet into my sneakers, all set for the bird sanctuary, I heard the rain whispering outside. I hastened to the window to confirm my worst fears, yes it was raining! This torrential eloquence of the rain calloused my eardrums, jeering at my enthusiasm to soak in the avian opulence – it rained and rained. On other days, this rain would have excited me no end, but this rain put a spanner in the wheels! Our plans of going to the bird sanctuary were once again sabotaged.
An interesting scene outside the window tried to perk me up. While the rain continued to pour with rhythmic resounding roars, I parted the curtains of the window to see an old couple, probably in their late seventies, shouting at each other and at their invisible grandchildren.
“Sab so rahey ho kya abhi tak?” (Are you all sleeping?)
“Saari naali block ho gayi. “ (The drain is blocked.)
“Raju, zarra ek danda to lekar aa” (Raju, get a stick.)
None was around. But soon, one teenaged boy peeped through the door, flicking his mop of hair in place. Another peeped from behind his big brother, wearing a vest which exhibited his biceps to an admirable advantage, and two young girls also appeared holding plates. They were the grandchildren, probably, so far who had been invisible. The narcissistic boys strutting around like vain peacocks and the two gluttonous girls, gorging on crisp, hot parathas, studiously ignored the pleas of their grandparents.
Then, with an angry toss to his head and a determined stride, the old man, headed towards the clutter lying in front of the house, and rummaged in it for something. He picked up two long branches and with a dexterity belying his fragile frame, briskly tied the branches together and with the vocal support of his wife, cleared the drain, poking and thrusting it with the improvised poker. The old woman, picked up a broom and cleaned the space fronting their house in tandem with the raindrops, while the crow pheasant perched high in the neem tree maintained a noncommittal silence but the drenched pigeons on the terrace fronting the hotel yodeled appreciatively.
Where were the son and daughter-in-law? I wondered.
Later, when we went down for breakfast, we found a young couple, busy enjoying breakfast, while a not so young man, stood holding a baby.
“Papa isko bahar ghuma lo jab tak hum nashta kertey hain.”
Ah, so he was the child’s grandfather! Holding the baby in his arms, he dutifully went out. It was definitely not a day for grandparents, I thought, settling down to have my breakfast.
Looking through the window of the dining room, I heard some hullaballoo in the neem tree in the garden. Perched aloft the tree was a nest, and the young ones were creating a ruckus while their parents fed them amidst frantic, hungry chirps. Parents will be parents and children will be children, I thought, looking at a chattering horde of foreigners making their way towards the dining room, while a five year old tugged at the skirts of a wizened, old lady, who was probably his grandmother. She bent down and picked him up and the little one, took her face in his tiny hands, and kissed her on her sunken cheeks.
I shook my head, removing this memory chunk of last year, proceeding to greet another July morn. Had the rain-clouds started singing their rain song, or had my imagination again gone into over drive?
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