• PDBC visits Thol Bird Sanctuary: Part 2 Snippets and Moments from that dawn

    21.01.2024

    4:30 am

    Tiptoeing in a sleepy house switching on those tiny yellow lights and making tea without making any noise, the house reminds me of it being a home as I listen to grunting of the fridge, the dripping of water somewhere and the noises that are not accounted for or listened to when one is with people. As I fill up the thermos with tea for the tribe of crazies who identify themselves as readers my heart too was filled with warmth and giddy joy. Off to chasing the night away armed with tea, rugs and books.

    – Nirali

    ‘Oh I am glad Shanker is making coffee’, I thought as I ended the wake up call.

    – Priya

    There is very little I have woken up at 3 a.m. for. If I cast the weak net of my memory far and wide into the waters of my mind, not a single instance of early-morning-wakefulness drifts in. Mine has been a life of late mornings and some stray early afternoons. But that has also meant a life of very few sunrises and very few early-morning birdwatching. I had never intended to do the Thol trip with the PDBC group, but two days before the fact, I thought, Ah shoot, what of it? Here is a group of people I enjoy spending time with, going to a place I have never been to before. What is the worst that could happen? As a matter of fact, the worst that could happen is that I slept for only three hours the night before, but it is perhaps indicative that I never once asked myself: What is the best that could happen? And just as well. There were too many wonderful things that happened; listing them would have been tedious, if not impossible.

    – Aswathy

    Is one ever truly lost…! As a young adult/ child/ teen (Truly don’t remember when) I read “Being lost is never a matter of not knowing where you are, it’s a matter of knowing where you aren’t…” Am I making sense? But in this case, we wanted to be somewhere and we wanted to know where we were, so we were lost.  

    P.S. A certain two readers were lost, rather in their words they took a scenic route.

    – Nirali

    Out there in the middle of nowhere and somewhere, sky hanging above us in a limbo in betwixt and in between, we huddled, shuffled, murmured through clattering teeth and wait did my brain that’s almost a cold soup with all the morning madness made me think of northern lights… I saw the greenish hue over the horizon and inky blue of sky…sense and sensibility rebuked me telling it’s the light pollution but hey that moment looked beautiful. Almost alien. Which is rare looking at how everything we see is always seen and known.

    – Nirali

    There are some moments that are suspended in time. To me, these are the moments that seem to escape the technicalities of time and space and enter, unabashedly, into the realm of magic. I once read about “thin places”—moments that seem to be touched by the divine, which straddle the space between the real and the unreal. I don’t claim to be a believer, and yet, as I heard Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese” being recited, and as I watched the flock of geese pass overhead and the sun make its gradual way across the sky, I felt that touch of the divine. It was in that moment, I think, that I understood the necessity of beauty, of poetry, and, above all, of community. As someone who had spent a lifetime telling herself and others that she is better off alone and happy in her solitude, I recognised that our refuge lies in other people, in good art, and, just sometimes, in early mornings.

    – Aswathy

    Where were all of these hiding the whole night? What all are they talking? What is this urgency? Every morning, imagine waking up to talk nonstop blabbering like this…creating a ruckus, flying in formations and going berserk screeching clacking and  flapping…!! I want to be an insider of this structured madness unfolding in front of me.

    – Nirali

    Aswathy reading in her ooni topa

    Looking all around me, I saw these people. Shaurya trying to make a time-lapse and forgetting to start the recording, Bhavik with his DSLR, Prince on his portable chair and Nirali taking my cold palms underneath hers, holding the hot mug of chai together, as we listened to stories and birds, till it was time to go home and leave behind a hope, ki fir milenge.

    Can we go back? Is there a deeper meaning to these moments we call life and hence walk slowly in pursuit of? Is the cold numbing my poetic understanding of the joy of this walk together in the dark, looking for a spot to mark as our own? Or will I feel it much later, in the past tense?

    – Priya

    – Sameer reading Rumi

    When people you had met a few months ago, wake up at 2:30 am, make tea-coffee, cut and apply butter on bread slices, pack carpets and mugs and books to read from, with one vision, to watch the sunrise together, you know that it was all worth the work behind making such a community of readers and friends.

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