The crunch of leaves
Not a soul in sight
A howl surrounds
A noise rebounds
I skip a heartbeat
Clutching in fright.
The walk has begun
That will last till dawn
With veins throbbing
To the song on my lips
Armed with a pen
Mightier than a sword
Ecstatic in delight
Poised I am, capturing the chants
Sung by the ants,
Sung by the trees,
Splashes from a puddle
In splendid harmony.
A whisper here, a crackle there
A hiss here and a growl there
The walk has just begun, my fellow
Silence beckons in this sleepy hollow
For the song of the forest
Is a song of charm
As if in subtle prayer
The species disarm
A magic is cast
As Nature hums itself to sleep
Listening to their prayer
Spellbound I remain.
Now that, is my second attempt at writing poetry. Deeply inspired from my trip to Lonavla recently.
Six of us. The day has comfortably settled into late evening. Armed with a scribblepad, a pen and a folder, wearing a sweater and a monkey cap, I was the youngest trekking through the dense green forests at Lonavla, a quiet breezy destination on the Western Ghats. The others - my crew members from a television shoot for a travel show, now recently telecast on national television. We're making our way uphill slowly and surely.
The purpose of our climb - to record sounds from nature. Sounds of crickets. Bees. Insects. Snakes (If any. Hope not!)
I'm feeling a terrific sense of adventure. The blood streaming through my veins knows it. These are moments which I've read about in adventure novels, Enid Blyton mysteries, that television series on AXN - Amazon. And now I'm living each and every moment of them.
We're totally bathed in moonlight filtering through the treetops. As we march slowly, finding our way through the dirt track, the cold wild snuggles in through our sweaters. I raise my head like a wolf to the moon and see my warm breath diffuse into the stillness of the air. The recording goes on, slowly and cautiously. And I take copious notes in my scribble pad, in whatever light nature has on offer.
In a few hours, we shall see the sunrise. The breathtaking horizon is still several kilometres away. I feel drowsy occasionally with all the dark figures around. It's been a tiring day of shoot. We've been up since 4am, visiting several caves all day at Karla, Bhaja, Lohagarh, scrambling through highways till the light is right. I'm almost stumbling onto the trees. The crew members have quitened down for the obvious fact that they're looking for natural sounds to record.
And then, came the hiss.
All of us heard it. I almost jumped out of my skin. My first thought was - one of us stepped on it and therefore it hissed. The big question - who was it? On dense bushy paths, sound often gets muffled in a host of various other noises. And our senses often get lost in the transit of fear and logic.
Strangely to confirm our worst fears, we want to hear the hiss once more. Was it really a hiss? I look around to check whether everyone is alright. I check my belongings. All intact.
And then another hiss. I've heard it right, this time. I follow the sound. It's a constant hiss. Strange thing to do for a snake, which has got no business whatsoever in scaring the shit out of us. Our director, a professional wildlife documentary film-maker, knows snake sounds better and claims it's not a snake's hiss. A total of 15 seconds has passed since the first hiss, when we finally chance upon the source of the sound.
A unit member eager to relieve his bladder, back in the bushes. Warm, bodily piss touching the blades of smooth misty-grass. And in the warmth, as it makes contact with the blades of dense grass, comes the frighful but delightful pseudo sound of nature.