Early Summer | Rehan Sheikh
March has just begun and it’s already the summer. The lonely tulsi in the balcony is crying out for water; perhaps they need water more often than other plants. I have always wanted a garden of my own but that could never be possible. However, the balcony of my new residence being enough only for one plant and the tulsi being of some vital uses, it was decided to place this little plant there. At the start of the season, fresh tulsi leaves should be hung at the door to keep the evil spirits away. And also, they are useful to your health if eaten every day. So, it can be said: a tulsi a day keeps the doctors (as well as the evils) away!
Summer invites the cuckoos. A pair of them lives in the Neem. They occasionally leave their place for that it may be captured by the troublesome crows. Cuckoos are invaders, in a sense, pervading the area in summer. In the break of the day when very few people are passing by the tree, it begins to whistle faintly and then sings at such a high pitch that no human can sing. If I slide open the window, it stops singing. As day advances, its song becomes only lovelier. But during the close of the day, it becomes lazy as well; in the lower part of the tree, away from the human race, it goes to sleep.
Here comes a big fat honeybee in the afternoon. Having been stung by these bees in my feet several times, I am a little wary of them. My mother says, “Bees symbolise prosperity and money. Don’t kill them”. But I’ll stick to the long, golden dragonflies- no bite, no cry. Bye, bye Rich Honeybee! May you prosper more and more!
Once it happened some many years ago when my music teacher was giving me some lessons on Sargam when a little fellow landed in his glass of water. He drank it unseen and, certainly, the result was very bad. He was bedridden for some weeks and could only take classes after a month. He could never ever again sing or sing freely and this is, probably, why my mother had him out. Seeing that, I should confess, I could never again speak freely for the scare that the same would happen to me. But till now, fortunately, I am good and well!
“Let me climb! Let me climb!” I felt as if the spider cried out like Alice when I was going to assassinate him with my paper roll. He was trying to climb but failed each time. Grandma used to say, “When a spider climbs up the wall, it means that soon all your desires will be fulfilled”. But never did I allow any spider to climb up to the ceiling and I don’t think any more of my desires are yet to be fulfilled.
Insects are the admirers of summer. Sometimes comes a bee, sometimes a spider, sometimes a moth, and sometimes a dragonfly. I open the window and let them come sailing into my room. As far as they are not bothering me, I’m never wary of them.
Suddenly comes a ladybird sailing in through the window. It lands on my desk. It crawls round and round for some time and then again takes the flight. It keeps buzzing around, sometimes soaring high up and sometimes sinking down. I start scribbling on my notepad some gibberish and the ladybird flies away. I keep the window open for it to come again if it wishes.
Sometimes I wonder what was the need of so many creatures in this Creation- why not only humans? I ask myself over and over again but I shall never get the answer. Besides, in this fast-paced world where nothing remains unknown, some secrets are best left untouched.
Written by Rehan Sheikh