Mornings are the best parts of living in the hills, especially in the heart of the wild. Or at least in the upper torso region where your tongue plays peekaboo with the chillness in her breath. You thirst for the pulpy orange juice stains on the bluing sky at the break of her dawn. Your vision is beautifully compromised. You cannot see the cruelty in nature anymore. Suddenly, she is no longer indifferent to your existence.
Your mind conspires with silence to sneak your body into her mist-shrouded womb. She invites you to snake through her, like a baby electric eel feeling its own surge of energy for the first time. With the dawn pouring in, through the pine trees, your expectations, fears and anxieties fade away.
You drown out the noise as your ears pick up the songs of the caretakers of the hills. Each one, like an airborne paintbrush with a giant canvas for a home. Bulbuls in varying moods, falcons at different speeds, and doves, whether spotted or collared, that always seem to come in peace.
You feel the moisture on the blades of grass kissing your feet. And then the ground below quakes calling your attention to a herd of wild cattle, marching slowly away from you. So thick are the forests that they hide even the largest of beasts and the most threatening of fears. Their stony flesh glistens, like limestone, in the morning light. They look peaceful in a way that you don’t fully understand. You watch them leave, not even trying to.
You start walking downhill, away from them. You pause to watch your big toes blush red with each passing dewdrop. You feel as though you are walking on a poem about a pastry dish.
You stroll without a cause until the loud squeaking of giant squirrels beckons you towards their direction. You keep going down, with only cicadas and unearthed fungi for company, soon forgetting about them. The terrain, as familiar as it may be, surprises you. There always seems to be so much that you haven’t seen.
Time releases its hold on you. You are connected to everything. Just for a few minutes – you tilt your life’s hourglass to the side and watch it even out.
Fulcrum doesn’t feel like a plan on a piece of paper anymore. Or a ceremony. Even an interpretation of light in another’s eyes. It is a leaf that dances as it falls to the ground. It is dirt that fertilizes wild lands and rebirths trees. A shapeless cloud bursting into a family of mythical beasts.
Karma doesn’t feel like anything that is yours for the keeping. It represents a choice that you get to take every time you wake up. A faith, unbound by history lessons and hierarchies, which you can rely upon just before you go to sleep.
The birds and mammals featured are those I had seen during my morning strolls or treks in Kodaikanal, which is one of my favourite places to wake up in thus far.