I love nature. The colour green attracts me, refreshes’ me, makes me feel healthy, gves me peace, but all this only in broad daylight. I do not appreciate nature in the wee hours of morning. Yeah it sounds a bit strange. People, mostly say that it is the best time of the day to enjoy Mother Nature. But I do not agree.
Yet, I have experienced Nature in all ‘its glory’, only in a different way. It so happened that I had to prove a point to my family. One day I decided to get up very early. Don’t get me wrong. I am not an early bird. I like to rise myself when the Sun God is well up in the sky and is imploring, literally begging for my attention. Not that it matters to him. But the others around – “People”- They talk. “She is an odd one.” “Never wakes up on time.” “Lazy bum.” “Have never seen her working or helping in the house.” You get my point?
The sun does not like to hear such comments. After all, I am among one of his favourite children. Now don’t ask me why? There is no logic to that. Maybe he thinks I am the ‘sun’ of my family. Bright, cheerful, full of life except when I am sleepy.. So one day the sun decided to go on strike. Let my darling daughter sleep as much as she wants. I shall not come out until she wakes up herself, he must have thought. But the timing was unfortunate – For them. I was vindicated. It enlightened my family on why I should not get up so early.
The day he decided to go on strike for me, I decided enough was enough. Everyone from my parents to my little nephew had made fun of me and my habit of waking up late. I had to show them that they were all wrong .I tell you, I am not lazy. I just do not want to get up in the dark and do the rude job of disturbing the people I love from their lovely dreams and sense of freedom. Freedom from all things they want to be free of. Besides, a lo…n…g… good night’s sleep is bliss. You do not need ‘cinkara or any other tonic to feel pepped up for the day.
Ooops…. I have wandered again! Pardon me. Let us go back to the story. So, one fine day, I decided to put my alarm for 4:30am and show them my ‘Early’ side. My mom usually gets up at that time. I thought I would help her with her morning chores and make breakfast for everyone. That would teach them a lesson. I could do all that they can. Only, I choose not to. Unfortunately, (on second thoughts fortunately), that day mom decided to break her routine. And it was only I, who woke up obediently when the alarm went off.
It was dark outside. With nothing to do and yet an absolute determination to prove my point, I decided to make use of the time and go out for a walk. Though it was still quite dark, I could see the colony guard from our floor – to -ceiling drawing room window. That eased my apprehensive mind. It won’t be so bad, I encouraged myself and took my call.
As soon as I stepped outside the morning breeze softly touched me from head to toe. I felt exhilarated and just right. I decided to go to the nearby park. It was around 5:00am. The Sun would be out soon I thought, comforting my doubtful heart. (It does not like the dark). Few people were out walking, I could see. I guessed they must be those who either suffered from insomnia or some such thing.
Anyways, I followed the slowest of the group. Obviously, you cannot expect a person who has woken up at 4:30 am in the morning for the first time in her life, to walk like they show people walking in the parks, with purposeful strides on the TV. The program is called – How to KEEP FIT or to that effect. To tell you honestly, I believe they are just camera tricks. Fake.
But I had to prove my point. And I was pleased with myself. Now I will show them all. I will have the last laugh. I was actually telling the Green trees surrounding me as I completed my first round in the neatly maintained park. We were having a pleasant conversation. I think, I forgot to mention I talk to trees…but of course at a decent hour. The hour had yet not arrived. Still. I was in a happy mood. And I talked and sang to the trees. They seemed to love it. My watch showed 5:30am, the dawn had not arrived yet fully. My heart had by now accepted that I would not yield to it. So it followed me.
But all of a sudden, I found myself alone. The others had either moved very fast or I was too slow. And there I was all alone. I grew conscious. And after a couple of minutes felt something creep from behind me. Still, shrugging the feeling, I kept walking. But slight movements on my left made me turn and look back.
I was on the jogging track. But on my left at a little distance was this huge Peepul tree. The noise came from there. Someone or something was perched on one of its branches, I felt or saw. I heard the rustling of the leaves and the soft ‘witchy’ laughter again. I looked around for someone anyone who could help me. But as I said they had all vanished. I wanted to run. But my terror did not let me move.
I froze as the thing moved (even with the slightest of the breeze), as if that would deter it. It sure looked like a lady with black cloak on, peering at me from atop. Then suddenly I found my voice and shouted as loud as my lungs would allow – Help! Guard Help….Please help. Running footsteps and someone calling out ‘Madam ji’ never sounded so much sweeter before. And then I fainted.
When I regained consciousness, I saw the whole family sitting around me. Oh darn! I was supposed to wake each one of them and show off my feat… suddenly it all came back to me. ‘How did I come here? ‘I asked weakly. ‘The guard got you here. It was difficult for him. But he managed somehow.’ Said my brother with a straight face, (he is always trying to indirectly hint I am heavier then I should be). ‘Oh Ok. Remind me to thank him,’ I said stupidly. I noticed something odd. Each had a smile on their face instead of any real concern for me. ‘So what had happened?’ My mom asked, the kindest of them all. ‘Huh… Why are you asking me? Didn’t the guard tell you?’ I enquired irritated.
‘I saw a lady. I mean there was this figure of a lady sitting on the Peepul tree. I don’t know. It looked like that…’ I ended shuddering at the mere thought of what would have happened had the Guard not come on time. My 6 year old nephew burst out laughing then. ‘Oh Bhua, it was nothing. It was just a piece of cloth that was hanging there on the tree. Nothing else.’ ‘The noise then?’ I looked from one to another, turning deep red with embarrassment. ‘Those must be the dry leaves or something.’ And they all laughed out loud.
‘Oh laugh all you will.’ Do not expect me to get up at a God forsaken hour. There is nothing one can do inside the house at such an ungodly hour and who knows what will catch you when you step out so early in the morning. ‘Prevention is better then cure. Said I, justifying myself strongly. The others nodded seriously. One cannot argue with a patient.So, from that day on I got another reason to wake up when the Sun was well above my head. :-)!