Tag Archives: crow

The Crows in The Kingdom

Copyright@shravancharitymission

    Once on a fine sunny day, king Akbar and Birbal were taking a leisure walk in the palace gardens. Suddenly, king Akbar thought of testing Birbal’s wits by asking him a tricky question. The Emperor asked Birbal, “How many crows are there in our kingdom?” Birbal could sense the amusement in the king’s voice, and within a few minutes Birbal replied, “My lord, there are eighty thousand nine hundred and seventy-one crows in our kingdom”. Surprised and amazed, Akbar further tested Birbal, “What if we have more crows than this?” Without giving much thought, Birbal replied, “Oh, then the crows from the other kingdoms must be visiting us’’. “ What if there are lesser crows, asked Akbar?” “Well, then some of our crows must be visiting other kingdoms”, replied Birbal with a grin on his face. Akbar smiled at Birbal’s great sense of humour and wit.

Moral of the story:

There is always an answer to any question if one thinks with ease.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

Advertisements

SHORT STORY: LION, CAMEL, CAT, JACKAL AND THE CROW

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

    There was once a jungle that was ruled by a lion called Gabbar. He had a cat, a jackal and a crow at his service, along with other animals. 
    As a routine they were wandering about the jungle one day, when the lion saw a camel at a distance. This camel had separated from its caravan and was feeding itself on the green grass of the jungle. The lion took fancy to the animal that he had not seen before, “Let us go and ask this extraordinary animal, where he comes from.” 
    The crow, who flies to far-off places was aware and replied, “Master, it is called camel and this animal lives in villages. The flesh of this animal tastes very good. So, why not kill him and have him for dinner.” 
    The lion disagreed, “He does not belong to the jungle, so he is our guest. I will not kill him. Please go and assure him that no harm will be done, and bring him to me”. 

    As per lion’s instruction, they went to the camel to assure him that he would be safe. After persuasion they won his confidence, and brought him to the lion. 
 
    The camel stood before the lion and bowed. He also narrated how he got separated from his caravan and how he had reached the jungle. 
     Upon hearing this, the lion said, “Oh Camel, if you return to the village you will be made a beast to carry burden again. Stay in the jungle under my kingdom instead. You can feast on the abundant green grass of the jungle without any fear.” 
    The camel accepted the offer, and they began to live together in peace. Later one day, the lion got severely wounded in a fight with a mad elephant. Such were his injuries that he could not even take a few steps, let alone go out for hunting.

    Due to lack of food, the lion became weaker. The animals who served him were also starving since they were dependent on the lion for their food. 
    When the lion could not bear the hunger anymore, he called them and said, “Go and find any animal that I can prey upon even in my weak condition. This way I will provide food for you, and also for myself.” 
 
    All the animals wandered about the jungle without any success to find such an animal but they couldn’t. On their way back, the jackal had a plan. 
   He said to the crow, “There is no point wandering about the jungle when the food is right in front of us. The camel can provide us with the food for all of us.” 

The crow replied, “Indeed, what you say is correct. But the master has assured the camel of his safety under his rule. He will refuse to kill him.” 
    The jackal said, “Leave that to me. I will influence the master in a manner that he will agree to feast on the camel. You wait till I return after a discussion with the lion”. 

    The jackal met the lion and said, “Master, we have been looking all around the jungle but could not find an animal for you. All of us have not had food for so long. We have become weak and can hardly walk properly. Under the circumstance, if you agree to kill the camel, his flesh can provide food for all of us”. 
    The lion disagreed, “Shame on you! How can I kill the camel when he has my assurance that his life will be safe under my kingdom. It is a sin to think likewise.” 
    But the jackal continued, “Master, it would indeed be a sin to kill him after you have given him the assurance of his safety. But if he offers himself as your food, it would then not be a sin to kill him and you could accept his offer.” 
    The jackal continued, “What good are we, if we cannot be of use to our master in this time of need. Please kill one of us, for yourself, and for our other friends, to save, from the dying hunger.”
    The lion was fed up and failed to justify the jackal and said, “Please do what you think would be the best for all of us.” 
After this, the jackal returned, to other animals, and said, “Our master is sick and weak. If something happens to him, there would be no one to protect us. We have failed, in getting any animal, even after, wandering the length and breadth of the jungle. The only way now, to repay our debts to our master would be to offer ourselves to him. This way the rest of us would also be saved from dying of hunger.” 

    As planned, all of them stood before the lion and bowed. They informed the lion that they did not succeed in finding any animal for their food. 
    The crow said, “Master, we could not find an appropriate animal for your food. So, I offer myself. Please eat me to save yourself from hunger.” 
    The jackal interrupted, “You are too small to provide flesh for the master. Even if he agrees to your offer, it will not be enough for his survival. Indeed, you have proven your devotion by offering yourself. And that frees you from the debts of the master.” 
     He turned to the lion and said, “Please accept my offer instead.” 

    The jackal stood humbly before the lion, “Master, please eat me to save yourself from hunger. If you accept my sacrifice, I will be honoured with a place in heaven”. 
     Upon hearing this, the lion shook his head in refusal. This way, the other animals started offering themselves, but the lion kept refusing to accept their offer. 
     The camel who was observing all this thought, “All of them spoke so beautifully about offering themselves, but the master refused to kill any of them. I too shall seek to impress the master in a similar fashion.” 
     The camel said to other animals, “You all have offered yourself to the master. But the master cannot eat you because all of you are carnivores (flesh eaters) and belong to the same category as the lion himself. So now, stand by, for I shall offer myself”. 

    After this, the camel came forward and bowed before the lion. 
   He said, “Master, you need not kill any of these animals. Please eat me instead. I offer myself in return of your debts. I shall find my way to the heaven, if you will please accept my offer”. 
    No sooner the Camel made the offer, the other animals cheered. Having already been influenced by the jackal, the lion jumped at him. He was killed, and eaten by all the animals together. 

    Moral of the story: The wise indeed say: Always be on guard when you are in the company of wicked people. Don’t get carried away by their sweet words.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

THREE CORPORATE LESSONS

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Lesson no 1

    A crow was sitting on a tree doing nothing all day. A small rabbit who was passing by asked the crow, ‘can I also sit like you and do nothing all day long?

    The crow answered: ‘Sure why not, come along. So the rabbit sat on the ground below the crow and rested all day. But in the evening all of a sudden a fox appeared from nowhere and pounced on the cat and ate him up.

    MORAL OF THE STORY: to be sitting and doing nothing like a crow you must be sitting, very high up, on the ladder or position.

    Lesson no 2

    A turkey was chatting with a bull. ‘I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree,’ sighed the turkey, ‘but I haven’t got the energy to do so.’ ‘Well then, why don’t you nibble some of my droppings? Replied the bull. And added ‘They are packed with nutrients.’ The idea appealed to the turkey. He pecked at the lump of dung and discovered. That the bull was in fact right, as it actually gave him enough strength to reach the first branch of the tree. The next day after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally, after a fortnight, there he was, proudly perched at the top of the tree. But soon he was spotted by a farmer who promptly shot the turkey and had a feast.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Bullshit might get you to the top. But it won’t keep you there.

Lesson no 3

    A little bird was flying south to escape the winter. It was so very cold that the bird froze and fell on the ground in a large field. And while it was lying on the ground there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on it. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, it began to realise how warm it was. The dung was actually thawing him out. He lay there all warm and soon began to sing out of joy. Just then a passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate, following the sound. The cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung and promptly dug him out and ate him up.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Not everyone who drops shit on you is your enemy. Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend. And when you are in deep shit keep your mouth shut.

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

THE FREEZING WINTER MORNING

Copyright@shravancharitymission

–When I went for a morning walk in Delhi–

    It is six in the morning. The weather stands like the gory debacle waiting to happen. It is windy and close to pitch dark, numb and of course freezing. Foggy enough to, fog anyone’s senses. The teasing breeze has only intensified the chill that is now around six degrees—as I can see in my mobile. The streets are still barren. The amber streetlight round the corner is still glowing full bright. It has a sharp halo around it. In the backdrop of which, one can see the improvised screen of the cascading dew that looks beautiful, yet frightful, to even touch. There aren’t any dogs in sight like in summers, for a change. Nor can I hear mild growls, from any of the hidings around.

    I have now paced up my steps to beat the chill. I can see a few newspaper walas on their bicycles, along with a few milk vendors racing up and down with their milk-cans to reach on time. Everyone has a working world of his own. Some call it a career and some even a profession that God mandates. My walking track, is now laid out for the next one hour. Some priests … along the roadside temples, have just about woken up their God’s. So they think. In ten minutes of brisk walking I have reached the embankment of the sedate river. It is calm, and as if away, from the tantrums of the unruly gale.

    I look back … knowing well enough, no one is following me. Except for, the chilly wind, and that too, in the dark. Though my mind is in a slouch. Body is  feeling energetic. Just then I am able to figure out the first ray of the daylight that has breached the horizon to announce the dawn. This is when I hear the chatter of a few birds and I can also see a dishevelled crow perched on an electric pole, cawing away to glory. Suddenly I feel animated. A speeding car is now in sight. I’m sure. The driver of which must be feeling like a VIP with no traffic signals directing him to stop.

    Some street urchins are up by now. They were gearing up for the rough day ahead, with their little knick-knacks. The redness of the sun is now in sight. It has as if, painted the skyline red. But I fear. It might soon be overshadowed by the sulking winter clouds. The needs of the world are so strange. What one adores in winters is the sun and what one adores in summers is the shade. Conversely what one hates in the summers is the sun and what one hates in the winters is the shade. Nothing is constant.   Where, only the magic of time rules. But then time has strange ways.

    The warmth of the sun is now in the air. I welcome it with open arms. As I slowly begin with my routine calisthenics as I keep moving. My mind is now beyond the freeze for the first time in the morning. For light brightens you up and light freshens you up.

    I am past the river embankment now. It has flowed all night gallantly. It never stops, just like time. I am more than the half way mark now. Stray thoughts are now all over me. But superseding all of it is the thought of work. Till you’re alive there will be work to do. It will never leave you. So continue doing something or the other, even if you don’t have enough to do.

    For life is all about karma and without karma there is no life. And it is about time to kick-off the day.

*****

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(Archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. Book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

Story of an Indian salesman who is lowly qualified but fights his ways through uncertainities to reach the top. A good read for all salesmen. Now available in Amazon.com

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

*****

   

SHORT STORY: SWAN AND THE CROW: FALSE PRIDE

Copyright@shravancharitymission

 

    Once upon a time a rich merchant lived in a city located near the sea coast. He had two sons who had domesticated a crow as their pet. They regularly used to feed him with the leftovers in their plates. With the result, the crow had partied now for quite sometime on the tasty and nourishing food that he got from his masters and with that he had even grown fat. And, because of the royal treatment that he got from his masters he had also become arrogant. Where, he had started considering himself, a class above the other birds, in the surroundings and used to often insult them.

    One day near the sea coast some swans landed. Perhaps, they were coming from a long distance and wanted some rest. The sons of the merchant who happened to be there by chance, couldn’t help but praise those beautiful birds. The arrogant crow could not bear this and got jealous. So in anger and to show off, he went up to the swans and finally to the one who appeared to be their head and said—‘I want to have a flying competition with you.’ 

   The swans tried to explain—‘brother! We are long distance fliers. Our home is in Mansarovar which is quite far off. So by competing with us what will you achieve? And can you even compete with we swans?’

    To which the crow in an arrogant tone said—‘I know many ways of flying. I can fly at various speeds. And each speed, I can maintain for hundred yojans (miles). So, tell me if you have  the guts to take me on? And at what speed you all want to fly?’

    The head swan said—‘Dear crow! I know you are very talented. But I know of only one speed that is my speed and I’ll fly in that only.’

    Upon hearing the meek answer of the Swan. The arrogance in crow only increased. He said—‘Fine, you fly the way you want.’

    By then some birds had also arrived there to witness the competition. Soon, both swan and the crow flew towards the sea. Where, the arrogant crow soon started performing acrobatics in full strength. He flew ahead of the swan but swan preferred to cruise at his optimum speed. And upon seeing the swan trailing, the crows that had gathered there started cheering.

    After a little while the crow started tiring. He started looking here and there for islands with trees where he could go and rest. But he was unable to find anything around except for the deep blue sea. In the meantime the swan surged ahead of the crow. By now the speed of the crow had dropped. He was extremely tired and was about to fall in the sea. That had various types of mammals and fish that could have eaten him up.

    When the swan realized the crow was left behind. He turned around and came up to him and asked—‘brother what is the matter with you? You look extremely tired and you’re unable to fly anymore. Soon you would be touching the waves of the sea. So which is this speed of yours?’

    Upon hearing the sarcasm of the swan. The crow in a humble tone said—‘Dear Swan! we crows, only know how to caw-caw. So how at all, will we know, how to fly long distance. I have paid the penalty for my arrogance and stupidity. Kindly, therefore, save my life.’

   The swam took pity in the half-dead, semi-conscious and drenched crow. He lifted him by his legs. Loaded him on his back and flew over the sea and dropped him at the same spot from where they had started flying.

    The short story only conveys the downside of being arrogant and where being humble is the biggest virtue one can possess. 

*

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

                                                        https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

 

CASUAL CAUSERIE- MY HOME ALONG THE COUNTRYSIDE

Copyright@shravancharitymission

123

By Aolla Tripathi

The cock would crow in the nearby village almost at the stroke of dawn. The chatter and chirping of the birds wafted in the air, as I would linger on my bed a little longer, listening to it for some time. There is almost a languid laziness about the whole morning scene. I would get up yawning, bleary eyed. The footfalls of the cowherd, approaching, can be clearly heard. It is mingled with the jingle of the tiny bells around the neck of the cattle. The herd is almost always accompanied by a village urchin, the nominal ‘cowboy, just the antithesis of the gun slinging gunfighter of ‘ O.K. CORRAL ‘. All he has on his body is a nicker, a nondescript stick and a flute in his hand. Swarthy, he looks unruffled and happy.
The boy would ride a buffalo or rather recline on its massive back as the herd made its way to the green countryside a little beyond our house. The cattle spread out and settle down on the verdant pasture. The whole scene affords a blissful quiet occasionally broken by the lowing of a cow or the laboured chug of a passing train clambering up a gradient. The tracks are bare and empty with no nocturnal traffic. Where do they vanish at night has always been a mystery to me much as what the ‘cowboy’ eats during his long sojourns with his cattle.
It has rained last night. The trees are still dripping and the sun is trying to break out of a leaden haze. Our good friend ‘Gungadin’ appears once more with his merry band and heads straight to the Watch Tower which has always remained unmanned, why, a riddle as tortuous as the ‘Riddle of the Sphinx”. Though intended for Security it is only poetic justice that the young ‘cowboys’ use it to keep watch over their cattle. Well, this tower serves them during the rains. On a clear sunny day they would be rather on the sleepy meadows without a care in the world. It is not long before the strains of a folk song are audible. The little group is singing. The difficult rhythm of the folk song is soon abandoned; the easier ‘Filmi’ songs are tried out. Mom is up in arms against my slow motion cameo to the morning chores. I remind her it is a holiday. I hurry with my rituals and chores while sneaking a peek at them. This entire rustic scene is soothing and gives a restful continuity to my life. Years back life was not so humdrum. There was so much variety, so much innocent pleasure: Opening the coop and feeding the chickens, fetching water from a nearby spring, stealthily eating berries and oranges from the fenced orchard. Then there would be all the time in the world to laze around near the spring watching the seasonal brook going down in all its eddies and whirls. The water used to be surprisingly warm in the mornings. We wended our way over the ridges and ledges and ere long we were at the water point.  The noisy torrent of the stream would add to the din of our impromptu singing. The ‘soprano’ would take up a new piece as suddenly he would discard a new one. Alto, tenor, bass and all would join in the fun. While all this went on someone was sure to filch our meager repast. Oh! It was great fun. All the magic of youth and joy of life was there. I wonder if you have tried filling water in a bamboo stump. It is tricky- especially if you are collecting from a stream. Having apparently filled the thing and congratulated yourself for doing a good days work, you were more likely to find the ‘container’ less than half full on return home.
But it was the small fishing trips with my dad I enjoyed most. We would, for hours by the swimming pool, be waiting for ‘Godot’, as it were. Noise was forbidden. A tongue-lashing was in store if I made the slightest sound. There would be sudden ripple, a gentle tug on the fishing line amidst a flurry of movements up would emerge the silvery. The anglers are a queer lot. I have known some who would spend a whole day waiting for a catch. Catching fresh water prawns is another thrilling corollary, meant for the experts, I believe.
My mother, one of those traditional stay-at-homes would discourage these outings and would rather that I helped her out at home. I used to sneak out on some pretext or the other. Over the hills and dales and down the vale –that is how I used to love it-a far cry from the concrete jungles where I live now.

*****