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Madhusudan Patra

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A Kingfisher's Tale
By Madhusudan Patra
Monday, March 02, 2009

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A commentary of one days experience at a place elsewhere...


A Kingfisher’s Tale
-Madhusudan Patra
As the day broke, I simply wanted to have a glimpse of that extended part of the A1 city. In fact, I was stranger there, having no experience to spend a night before. Through a white tangible darkness I could catch the sight of the big skyscrapers thrust headlong into the ground semicircled and at places, wavy. I felt, as if, in a dream a poet peeped into his world – tiptoed to explore wonders. The wonders here were lying outside this 4th floor apartment, though not unfathomable.

A little pond existed there, still! In the barricades of concrete it was the only oasis. A few trees and bushes were keeping their constant vigil on her, their only source of watering. Amidst a sylvan surrounding, life lurks, indeed! The emerald entity ushered in hopes and humanity a bit, not, at least, exaggerating the truth ‘the civilization can not end soon’. I had been gazing at this little work of wonder in a trance.

The misty morn slowly laid aside her blanket and yet failed to give up her gloom completely. It was seven O’clock on a December morning. The 4th floor apartment stealthily left one of its beautiful casements to the north to invite both wind and wilderness. I was fortunate to have been with such a scope to utilize as medium to interact with the outside from within. But the southern counterpart of it was closed for ever vehemently barring spring to intrude.

To have a better look of this neighbourhood I rubbed my eyes once more. The grassy oval-shaped lawn caught my eager sight only when Anuran, my 5 yr. old companion took me to the terrace. Leaning upon the parapet I had to pour down all my likings upon that green with almost a Keatsian craze. Had I not been driven out of the comfort of the room, I would have missed such a view. After a moment’s silence Anuran pointed his pretty fingers to the void overhead. The wide open sky, there, had already lost her virgin blue and scantily squeezed to a small firmament only. Anuran heaved a heavy sigh. I was startled and uttered silently, ‘I’m sorry, Anuran, I’m sorry’. Almost was begging pardon of him for not being able to present him a pure day break - a pollution free azure attire of his whole neighbourhood. Both of us were trying to find our resolve. Would it end in vain? The question uppermost would have been getting its multitude, if we were not so selfish.

Off and on colourful planes either diving down or hurriedly taking off their flights were breaking the faded calm of this shrouded morning. I wandered along the invisible tracks of their mysterious journey being quite unaware of a little pond below. Thoughts flashed upon the rippling water of that poor shelter of fish and frogs. All on a sudden, Anuran discovered a kingfisher, not in the sky above, but mush below on the very hind part of this Fortune city. She was patiently waiting for her hunt, as if, gathering all her primitive passions to concentrate on her present day fishing. On the other hand, the slowly ditched pond- how earnest to have her presence!- could only pray for the milieu still she had.

The mossy mud walls encircling the lonely pond, two date trees, one palm, a cluster of bananas and a few wild bushes creating a world of their own were proclaiming, ‘Peril no more. Let us live after our own choice’. The kingfishers sky-high were almost perishing the kingfishers’ knee-high. ‘How long will they run their business?’ the kingfisher cried aloud. ‘No one could give the answer. No one’- I only murmured.

It was striking half past seven. Masons and their men started digging a new town- another Fortune City! Cheer leaders had also been harvesting the fortunes of the kingfishers since long. Now turning a deaf ear to others’ cries they were bulldozing the greeneries here and there- all the sundry. The last abodes of peace, how are being mutilated! The miserable kingfishers of the ponds nearby were lamenting, ‘Is there no end to this inhuman butchery?’ No answer came from around. The workmen must have lost their sense organs to be responsive.

Though my silence was being overruled by the go of the day, yet the perfect realization awaited. Rising sounds of the pebble- bustles behind the lonely green and the howling hovering of the aircrafts in the blue above gradually were eating into the vitals of our perennial existence. Those unheard agonies of earth had been trampled under and yet the day progressed.

A bit bewildered Anuran gathered momentum keeping aside his primary upheaval within his heart. Clutching my fingers he shouted that the pretty little kingfisher fled away. He could not get her again within his sight. How could he? He cried aloud, ‘Pisai! You see, the foxes and the kingfishers will one day capture those buildings. Grasshoppers and butterflies will also join them. Won’t it be just, then?’

His last question remained unanswered. I, being his new companion began to envisage the beautiful earth and her innocent inhabitants making merry on the soothing green plain. My conviction strengthened; the kingfisher and her mates would one day be able to outdo all the invaders of this benign planet.

Anuran threw his glances to the infinite- his shining eyelids were brimming with dreams.

       Web Site: Little here Little there

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