Straight Angle™: Just a passing moment!
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
The reddish brown of the tiles in the terrace had long been won over into a grayish-green of the algae that once flourished and dried by the punishing sun. The rain that lavishly pampers the greenery in this part of the country never fails to bring them back to their last glory every year, year after year and the Sun proves its might too.....
The discreet whiteness of crashing waves, in an apparently unending grayness, stood as a flashing reminder of a sea that is silent from the distance, but rough within. The breeze was heavily laden with the salinity and frying fish of the seashore.
The quietness of the environ was disturbed by the swaying coconut tree tops and the breeze through them. That “whoosh” was complimented by the breeze’s reflection off the walls of the 10-feet water tank on the terrace.
Down below on the road, there were 5 kids, playing some unnamed, yet popular game, whose rules would be known only to the players and passed on through generations of wisdom and are immediately forgotten once the kids grow big enough to stop playing it or there are other kids young enough, to be eligible to play it. The rules would have undergone innumerable mutations, but would be be recognizable only to the immediate previous generation of players.
On the other side of the road, was a lush green garden with roses of all colours and an old neem tree, as an odd fixture. The house in the middle of the garden, stood like an aircraft carrier in the midst of a flotilla of sails. A typically Kerala style building that it is, the red tiles that covered the house stands out in stark contrast to the imposing green of it's surroundings....should have been refurbished recently!!
I was in the terrace for a long time, pacing through the terrace, enjoying the distant sea and the setting shades of a hidden sun, leaving his final traces of life for the day, as a newly wed girl leaving to her in-law's house...half hearted attempt to hide the joy, fear, anxiety and sorrow and in the process portraying a mixed emotion that cannot be deciphered. It would not be said as being sunny or cloudy or dusk or anything...it was neither evening nor afternoon...It's just a time of the day...
The sudden brust of giggles and yellings made me pick a glance of the road beneath...the children were now visibly excited about something. There seems to be nothing of any interest other than the dragon flies that were circling high with a buzzing sound....but then, there was something interesting...two men in their mid-thirties emerged from that house...one of them wore a lungi...a typical "Green-Pink" combination, silk lungi, that had been stereotyped with the Gulf returned "biggies".....the other wore a simple trouser-shirt combination. They doesn't seem to be out of place, except for the air-rifle that the man in the lungi, carried in his arm.
I understood the reason for the sudden euphoria in the streets. The rifle in his hands was what had lead to the yellings and giggles.....The rifle was a long, sleek one, with a brown handle and a built in binocular. The aloofness with which he carried it suggested something that I couldn't accept to believe...I looked at the kids amusement and found I myself had been amused to find out what he was doing with the rifle....
He raised the rifle and took aim at something at the adjacent building. The tall trees hid the building from my view and I was unable to see what he is aiming at. But the excitement at the children's camp was bubbling up and it had reached the crescent now. They were all running behind him, like the rats behind the pied piper...They had been mesmerised by the rifle and the courage that it symbolised.
I ran to the other end of the terrace to try to catch a glimpse of his target....even that corner revealed nothing but the swaying branches of the trees....then suddenly, in a flash of a moment, there was a smooth knocking sound and there was white smoke from his rifle. I could still not see anything falling down, nor any other sound...there was a momentary silence...a very brief interval, when the sound waves went on strike......a defeaning silence....
The children were jumping in joy and the man seems to have enjoyed his shot. I desperately tried to know what was that he had shot, when I looked up at the sky and saw two white doves fluttering by.......
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