By Suresh Nellikode
It’s been a long, hard winter – I was told. Ice melted away. Green sprouts everywhere.
Gary says, “Winter is like that last drunken-party-guest who just doesn’t know when to leave.” Gary is a self-proclaimed travel nut, with apt observations and inferences. He reasons well and his wits are bold.
Suja likes spring. The rebirth of nature. The hide and seek of rain. She’s in love with the lilac that stands in front of our house – drowsy, leafless, with a faded wintry smile. Every morning she tries waking her up.
“Laila, my Miss congenial, lazy bum, get up. It’s time to put your shoulder to the wheels. Don’t think that you are the only plant that carries the agonising pains of winter.”
Like a coy bride, Miss Lilac doesn’t even look up. She nods to sleep again. But Suja forces her way into a sunlit world. Finally, under allround pressure she slowly wakes up to the rough realities of this not-so-lit world. Green sprouts like goose pimples. Lilac answered to Suja’s calls. She even gets up before Suja does, like an early to rise tot waking up her mother. A few days, and it’s green everywhere.
Sapsuckers landed on white birches and they rustled their leaves in response.
The slender, hardy asked, ” where’ve you been all these days when everything was falling apart?”
For a while he bowed down. Then said, ”winter was so harsh and turned my marrow frozen red. Couldn’t stand and flew.”
”What brought you back over?”, asked the tree.
”The sap… and sap alone in you makes me oblivious of the miles I flew”, said the bird.
A tear had slipped down from the birch.
”Still you held me in fond remembrances. You’re a guest to my immobility, and I’m honoured.”
Once barren, ice-coated and frozen branches now brimmed with life and started waving their leaves.
The bird started hammering away, excavating cavities in the trunks.
Tuk ……Tuk ……tuktuk…..
”Haven’t you still got the right wood for your ship?”
Woodpecker raised his head.
It’s none other than the Saw Whet Owl.
He does not like the round eyed who always act like a spy and question all others. He’s lazy, never makes a nest and always use the cavities or nests made by others. He’s always prying into the personal matters of others with a scornful look. Other birds are even scared to look into his round round eyes. When they call him ‘Snoopy’, he gets irritated and offended, follows them and shouts back to a peck of troubles.
Woodpecker stopped his work and flew away, telling the birch that he would be back after some time.
The hooter angled his looks down here and there, couldn’t see anyone to tease, also flew back.
A little away, a column of smoke winds into the sky.
It was the advent of spring! Hope it’s eternal.