It is a radiantly mellow morning in the early summer.
It has rained during the night and the world looks fresh and bright and
sparkling, as though the earth, having just showered, has put on clean new
robes of green and clutches armfuls of gaily coloured blossoms to her breast
In the sky little white balls of cotton wool, sunlight glinting off their
edges, are chasing each other across the shimmering haze. On the bank, it
looks as if some of that vivid blue and pristine white the sky was painted
with appears to have carelessly spilled onto the ground, becoming patches of
wild violets and jasmine clustering by the wayside.
Raindrops sit heavily on newly washed leaves, swaying them drunkenly,
then rolling smoothly off their tips.
A clean, scrubbed fragrance is in the air.
Sunrays filter through the thick leafy tops of the trees overhanging the
little path. I try to catch them but they stream out of my fist to dapple the
ground in front of me, with a dancing interplay of light and shadow.
My feet squish into puddles as I walk.
At places my feet sink into the softest of springy grass. From high above
comes the faint chorus of unseen birds. Stopping from time to time to smell
the flowers, and moving on again, I step carefully over those velvety red
bugs that the rains have left scattered everywhere. I remember searching
enthusiastically for them as a child after every shower -- how lovely it was
to stroke that incredibly soft velvet body, with its brilliant crimson
Ah! I have now reached a place where it doesn't seem to have rained in quite
a while. The road is rock strewn and barren. Dry leaves rustle and crunch
under my hurrying feet. The friendly trees soon drop behind and the sun
blazes pitilessly down on my unsheltered head. I walk on as rapidly as
possible to feel the cool shade over myself again.
Sometimes I meet with old friends going the same way, of which I had lost
sight of long ago. Just as surely, the pleasure of this meeting gives way to
pain as others part company with me; either falling by the wayside or as
happens, sometimes, choosing to take a different turn or fork in the path. It
is all a part of this odyssey and one has to take it in one's stride as such.
I often wonder where this path meanders to, or what is even the point of this
mysterious journey. But then perhaps it'd be nicer not to know just yet. It's
the element of surprise, of not knowing what lies ahead, the winding turns,
the undulations, the odd unexpected stumble that pushes one forward; the
sense of some great adventure lurking around the corner, of some marvellous
discovery yet to be made; these are the things that keep one going. All that
I know, or need to know, is that it is a new day, and it's good to be alive
and on my way. As for what lies at the end, I'd prefer to be surprised.
Bio: Anuradha Rao is 37 and lives in India. Writing is her hobby, and she also reads a lot.