Home > Totternama > Hornbill on the Ridge

Hornbill on the Ridge

Went to Kamla Nehru Ridge Park on Saturday. Had to keep car outside the gate and walk. Notorious place. Epicentre of crime. Didn’t appear so in the late afternoon sun. All serene. Inside, the colonial structures are decrepit, entrance barred. Protected monuments. Relics of time. Adrift in memory. Asphalt promenade lined with trees. New road being laid, blood red brick powder against dark green vegetation. Sun light filter through tamarind and Neem tree leaves. The place is relatively clean.

Afternoon lethargy. People slouch in park benches. Dogs are fast asleep in moist grass. Monkey families rest and groom under trees. Monkey adults bare teeth in ancestral benediction!  Monkey kids scamper for cover as we approach.  Dragonflies hover overhead. Butterflies flit past. Fruit chaat wala’s, gardeners, rubbish gatherers. Amorous couples near secluded spots. Heads welded together. Awkward. Not them. Us. They smooch, we blush. Ironic.

Birds, many! Bulbul, wild pigeon, mynah, parrot, wagtail, magpie, sparrow, HORN BILL!!!! An Indian Grey Hornbill, engrossed in open mouthed contemplation of the universe! Never seen one before. Beautiful bird. It flies past us. Lands on a branch nearby. We watch, intently. Let us freeze he, she, it in pixels; for time immemorial. Let us not leave the task to volatile memory. Lights, Camera, Action! CLICK!!! The bird is gone, leaving no digital trace! No, all is not lost! It will live on, a grey smudge in our synapses, axons, dendrites; the biochemical image of  a fleeting reality. To be remembered, ruminated, recalled, regurgitated – not visually, orally. Hornbills inspire open mouthed philosophy. Wake Up! Time to Stop!

Categories: Totternama
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