Sprightly Fragrant

By Shobha  Diwakar

The twittering birds rested patiently on the swinging wires outside as the gentle rustling breeze shook them out of their dreamy world. They fluttered their tiny wings, twisted and turned their necks to peep into the breaking dawn with the dew still resting on their perch. They were no longer afraid of the stones or the catapult aimed at them whenever they perched nearby. The walls sounded hilarious when the birds began to sing and dipped their beaks into the pots to grab a worm peeping out merrily to steal the sunshine. This was a sight to behold; the sailing clouds sang as they cradled each other unafraid of the roaring planes that crashed into them now and then making them tremble with fright. The sun, the moon, the stars graciously bowed down to the earth for sparing them the torture of the gnawing, grating, blaring sounds that deafened their ears.

The days were in for a change. The world was resting while nature was blooming all around. The gaiety that spread its glorious radiance now seemed so pure and unsoiled. The trees shook their broad branches and bowed coyly to the romping breeze that cooled their green leaves and whispered sweet nothings into their awakening ears, which had ceased to hear their soft, cuddling murmurs. The capering birds and their young ones now nestled cozily in their strong arms with not a fear surrounding them, even as the singing breeze cooled their tired wings. The sky was bluer than before, no smoke, no dirt laden wind to pollute the sacred heavens and cause agitation to the celestial canopy. Over the years, did no one ever realize that God in heaven was abandoning the earthy beings for their selfish exploits?

The banter of the rushing, colliding wheels braked off; so did the mournful wailings of the dogs shrieking through the dull, sleepy environment that neither smiled nor waved to passersby. The wind halted its comforting wings and sped away like a ghost out of its grave. The tangy fragrance of the fruit bearing trees lost their delectable taste buds… the fruits, raw and insipid abandoned their branches. They dropped on the ground with ripened scorn… face upturned, muddy and rejected for consumption. It was fodder for stray animals; they gulped them down to appease their hunger, ignoring human need. Men tamed animals but neglected their needs… they strayed and ‘begged’ on the streets or gobbled up the trash littered everywhere. They ‘dung-coated’ the streets the same way that pet lovers left their dogs to rob the roads of their weal.

The quietude of the lingering days no longer seemed dull and slack. The everyday activities had revived the stifled prattle that had locked each one in their own domain of stilted umbrage. The distances condensed, the glowing hours of work no longer seemed endless, every member contributed with exhilaration. The shadows of darkness rolled by as a soft murmur of the breeze settled on the shoulders whispering a joyous song it had probably forgotten amidst the canker of yesteryears. The days and weeks were slowly melting away looking forward to a new tomorrow.

Krishna was there, somewhere, merrily playing his flute and enjoying the harmony of nature; the wind whistling, the trees heaving a sigh of relief, wild animals scampering in vivid gaiety, while the ‘heavier’ beasts of the jungle relaxed joyfully in their retreats with no evil eyes digging and planting traps for them to fall into. Nature had united to wash away the evil spread all around.  Nature, for once was joyful, bountiful and coyly enjoying its unadulterated charm. The clouds above enveloped them with outstretched arms as though to protect their undefiled beauty. The singing breeze frolicked and danced amidst the enchanted scenario, unabashedly kissing and cuddling the bowed leaves and branches that swung and hung to embrace the gentle touch, long forgotten due to the dust settled on them. Now and then, a soft twitter sent a thrill through them as they rustled and stretched out to protect the nestling young ones for fear they might fall. As darkness surrounded, stealthily the stars emerged so as not to disconcert the resting clouds, now tired and reclining… the majestic moon shone with glory, undismayed and shy frolicking with the breeze, now playing hide and seek even as the calmed clouds embraced her beauty. The dark night had suddenly come alive as the twinkling stars shed their virgin sheen upon the earth beneath. Where were they locked away until now?

Krishna’s flute sacredly echoed through the ‘maze’ of undefiled beauty of the forest that listened attentively to the soft notes riding on the ‘perfumed arms’ of the  chaste wind, caressing and making them feel the untarnished glory of sacred melodies, they had not heard before. Krishna played on, forgetting the time and the place… he failed to notice a tiny bird settling on his shoulder as though wrapped up in the joyous, radiance of the blissful notes… Krishna played on… and before long, a host of jungle beasts gathered around him, unafraid, undaunted of vile men lurking in the bushes to massacre them. Krishna forgot everything; he was engrossed in his flute that ‘ sang’ beautiful symphonies carried tenderly on the wings of the gentle breeze, awakening nature in its gracious garb.

Time moved on as it always did. The clock ticked the hours away tirelessly. The twittering birds freely spread their wings to soar as high as they could amidst the spouting clouds that meandered in the sky unstressed and jubilant. As they cajoled and played hide and seek the little birdies dived, bashfully enjoying the tickling feel of the snowy clouds that settled on their wings, which soon evaporated into thin air. Tired and exhausted after their winsome flight they sailed back to earth and into the safety of their snug nests that held them cozily until the next morning.

The cocks’ crew at a distance … the clouds banged and crashed the sleeping world, while in the distant a peacock spread its enchanting plumes to dance merrily, turning its head to show off its magical plumes.  A little beyond the quiet flowing river heralded the rising sun… the frightening crash of the clouds had now ceased as the sun made its  majestic appearance gently spreading its golden hue upon the earth beneath. The flowing, crystal waters collided and rolled in glee, rushing and merging into a giant wave and then tired, dangling alone peacefully… the game continued endlessly…

Un- tired, Krishna continued playing blissful notes on the flute. The soothing tunes lulled the tiring aches of yesteryears. The young, youthful Krishna, full of mischief soberly watched the world go by… the sordid past was now being cleansed… Krishna was overjoyed. The trees were no longer dust laden; the forests and its inmates were safe from whimsical hunters who snatched their life for petty gains. The lush green trees were strong, muscular and healthy, the birds secure and happy, the putrid air was now fresh and fragrant; the roads did not sigh and dread under the crushing wheels of the racy vehicles, they were clean and restful … no animals defiled their glamour; everywhere a calm had settled the surroundings were clean and calm… Krishna’s work was done …His flute could still be heard in the distant… the chaste notes glided on the wings of the fragrant, sportive air, resting on the prolific, complaisant, resplendent world glowing and sparkling with cherubic divinity.

The World is asleep! Krishna is awake! Hail Krishna!

About the Author:  

Dr. Shobha Diwakar lives in Jabalpur, India and retired as the head of English department at C.P. Mahila Mahavidhyalaya, Jabalpur. She has published many research papers, stories, poems and essays in national, international and online journals. She contributes regularly to writerslifeline and Indian Periodical. 

 

2 Comments

  1. Thanks Ms Diwakar for presenting today’s life (during lockdown)with such vivid imagery to show what all we had become blind to… We paid no attention to the beautifull world we live in. After ages I believe we human beings are realising what we had overlooked in this mad race for success & prosperity at the cost of our life for which we are paying a very heavy price today. Today our eyes have opened & we realise how important freedom is for each & every living being.

  2. thank you ASB for your supportive views ….
    yes man’s lust for material gains…. albeit by hook or by crook and plundering the earth , its rivers, mountains, flora and fauna have ruined everything around us
    nature has revolted in a sharp manner and now ….it is coming alive o0nce again

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