A twilight scene at Kadambini Tea Estate planted long long ago by the colonial masters.
Birds sang, the sun sank, and tribal men went hutwards.

Standing on a pot holed street at Kadambini Tea Estate I saw the orange disc sinking on

the horizon.

Bikes whizzed past, and soiled the plants and me,

The green tea leaves shrouded with thick layers of dust

Tribal men paddling hutwards slow, some with dry hays and twigs, a few with wives and

children in colourful dress on their back.

Birds chirping, ah! heard such cacophonies never–

Some coo, some che che che, ghrur ghrur, tuk tik, kaeak, grurururur, kaek kaek kaek,

chik chik,krur krur, trur trur trurrr rapid, uek uek, ka ka ka, quick quick, chrik chrik

alone, one or two faintly calling,

A new long kieech kieech from a sleepy unknown continued.

Mosquitoes buzzed around ears, and miniscule dot-shaped worms hovered over head

with persistence. such recalcitrant they were.

Light long gone and darkness thickened

The doleful call of mournful muezzin wafted the neighbourhood yonder.

Car with patients shut blinded the street with dust

Rain trees stood naked, and silent,

Mists laced the yonder trees, and hazied them

A truck lumbered past

I felt cold

No air blew, so calm and quiet all

Broken by the birds distant cries

Alone, a while past

Sun set, a few unseen birds calling still.

Dews fell, and dust softened

Cuckoos cooed , crickets sang

Songs of the birds slowed and rare,

Stray goats bleat and homeward gone with jingling bells

Birds stopped, not all, only a hoarse kae kae kae occasionally heard.

Others fell asleep,

But yonder the cuckoos cooing still

Vision blurred, birds slept

Fire burnt in the yards.


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