The sounds of power tools pierces the stillness of the village. The birds try valiantly to compete to be heard over the monstrous wailing, but accepting defeat, make their perch a little farther, so that they too may have the validation of being heard.
This need to be heard in humans has always fascinated me. The evening conversations in the cafe were always like a volleyball match between opposing players, with one talking about themselves, sending a solipsistic volley across the table littered with ashtrays brimming over with cigarette butts, Lighters & the stray pack of rolling paper.
The other person would counter with a narcissistic backhand of their own, and on & on this went as the evening blended smoothly into night.
This must be exhausting, I thought, this need to be heard. The neurons firings away would never have a chance to slip into an idle state, being called forth only when there was a need to be used. I suppose this is the new idling state of the city brain. Always firing, all ways looking, noticing, apprehensive.
The villagers on the other hand would be well received by a Zen Master as peers & equals, especially the older ones.
The younger people seemed to have started the process of transformation from rural to urban lifestyles. I notice that they tend to seem more anxious, & their eyes betraying their mental movements, more active & energetic. The influence of the stillness of their parents & of the environment of their upbringing seemed to be starting to be washed away by the novelties that only modern life can provide.
All that remained of the thunderstorm of the previous day was a phantom memory, making me wonder whether it even happened or did I dream it all.
The bright blue sky sultrily draped itself with a thin linen of white clouds, like a beautiful woman just having stepped out of the shower lustily eyeing her mate.
It’s hard to feel depressed or anxious in this sort of environment, especially when alone. Over the past week, I’ve noticed that I’ve only had the old instances of existential pangs or nihilistic tendencies arise when around groups of other people, reminding me once again of the things that I could be or I could have done, forging the path of excellence & success that my ancestors probably dreamt for their future progeny.
The aquamarine beetle haltingly scuttled across the thin blade of grass, gripping the edge like an expert ropewalker. It didn’t seem like it was in a hurry to go somewhere. I don’t think it was in a hurry to go anywhere. It savoured every breath of the chilly mountain air, enjoying the sights & sounds that its limited sense organs had the capacity to present to it.
The breeze at my back sent a shiver down my spine, as if reminding me that I couldn’t be completely complacent about the previous storm, and that the mountains would send another spell down just to remind us who’s boss.
We could cut, quarry, till & tar large swathes of the mountain face, but it could still destroy all the years of work in a few hours of fury, as mountains tended to do from time to time.
I got shit on by a beautiful black & yellow mountain bird about the size of a sparrow. I was the only person in a radius of a few hundred feet, & yet all the laws of probability decreed that it was my turn to be shat on.
This wasn’t the stinky green slime of the Mumbai pigeons that I’ve come to except from bird droppings.
This was more liquid that solid, with bright red seeds embedded in the watery mass. I was seeing the ecological cycle in real time. The undigested seeds would no doubt take root in the first showers, completing the symbiotic transaction that compelled the plant to generously let the birds feed on its flowers & fruit.

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