Of all the hundreds of thousands of teas I have drunk in my six decades, today’s is the best... as it is in the now… Above me a sunbird flits, a warbler’s song mixes with the chirrup of a squirrel, a lapwing’s cry, the scolding of the seven sisters, the mynahs grumbling and the pigeons urgent coos.
Under my feet at the edge of the feature below the tree whose bark is covered with scurrying ants, the ribbon grass, asparagus and ferns shiver in the breeze, which nips at my ankles and ruffles my hair.
My tea is flavored with the scent of wet earth. With each sip, I savor the cloud-covered sky, the colors of the dwarf zinnias, the marigolds, the cosmos, the dianthus, the geraniums and the portulaca…
Dhaba is the name given to roadside restaurants in India and Pakistan. They are situated on highways and generally serve local cuisine, and also serve as truck stops.
In a darkened room, as I lie down for my afternoon nap, I look at the beautiful table lamp in the corner opposite me. It has very fine brass latticework; a lid of copper and a carved brass stand…a gift from my father.
When the light is on the shadow pattern on the wall resembles an eagle’s outstretched wings…and I am transported to the skies, to a new sport, parahawking and I can only imagine the rush of wings as a vulture lands on your wrist to take the morsel you hold out, while soaring hundreds of feet above the ground.
As a very young child, I once had my lunch snatched out of my hand as I sat on a playground bench. I still remember that brush of wings. The other raptors in my life have been viewed from a safe distance…at the San Diego Zoo or through a friendly ornithologist's binoculars…
I just received news of a friend’s son having passed on yesterday…he had been ill for several years,was at home when he just slipped away while talking to his sister…much like my lamp, which,when switched off, throws no exquisite shadows on the walls…no eagle’s wings…
Dr. Shashi Angelee Deodhar is an ophthalmologist turned haiku poet, haiga artist and translator from Chandigarh, India. She has translated six books of haiku from English to Hindi.