Time and Tide…

It was getting darker in the jungle and I still had some distance to cover before I reached home. I could make it in time, before raising much alarm, if I started right away. What was to be a quiet walk in the wilderness for 20 odd minutes had taken more than a couple of hours. It was all because of the intriguing and beautiful bird that was singing in its melancholic tune from a tree nearby. I wanted to leave and make a move ever since I stopped to listen to it, but somehow couldn’t. I was acutely aware of the passing time all along, of the sun setting swiftly, and of the darkness closing in.

An internal melee had started ever since I spotted the bird. Something told me, it would not be easy pulling myself away from it. For some time I played with the idea of taking it along with me only to abandon the thought reluctantly. For starters, it was next to impossible capturing this free spirit here, in its turf all by myself. And more importantly, much as I loved listening to its beautiful song, and admiring its beauty, it did not belong to me and could never belong to me.

At last, my fear of the impending darkness took over, and I dragged myself away from the singing bird in slow heavy steps. I quickened my pace grudgingly, to make it home before anyone got concerned. I was almost there, and could see the outline of my house now. My legs were aching because of walking beyond my comfortable speed, while my thoughts still wandered to the bird I left somewhere in the wilds behind.

I was very close to my premises though not quite there, when I heard the familiar soothing song again. I turned slowly in the direction of the sound and found the bird on a tree singing its spellbinding melancholy. I had to go home, but I also wanted to hear it just once more. The melee had begun again before it could even subside if only slightly.


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