Saturday, May 1, 2010

Summer Sounds

There's a koel that sings with deep passion and full throatedly outside my window on all summer mornings. There's a banana vendor who goes 'mauz mauz' selling fresh chitewale mauz on his push cart, more polite and better mannered than his cousins on the main road. There's the sound of a water tanker backing abrasively into some driveway to offload water into a dried up sump surrounded by anxious house owners. There's the raddiwala trying to get us to sell him old newspapers and he has a very irritating quality about the way he yells 'Paper, paper'; he has stopped now and continues to scream loudly. I know because the voice is not fading away anymore. Should I get up and yell at him as well?

There's the sound of someone sweeping their front yard, or perhaps its the sweepers cleaning up the colony roads. The people are up, come on man. Hmmm, there's the suppressed sound of a crackling fire of some dried up leaves being burnt. And there's the sound of leaves rustling and falling off trees at the slightest breeze. There is a distant clattering sound of some tools; perhaps the workmen digging up our colony roads again. Was that the sound of a drop of sweat hitting the ground?

A pressure cooker goes off somewhere signalling that maybe idlis are on their way. An almost inaudible sound of a small bell tinkling informs us that someone is at the morning prayers. The refreshing sound of water being splashed on some plants soothes. The clatter of dishes in the backyard confirms the arrival of the maid. The fan whirs on relentlessly, a tired sound to it. Somewhere an air conditioner is chugging along manfully, making sudden, startled sounds once in a while. An irritating sound of water dripping from some pipe or tap beats a torturous drum inside my head. And then the small tinkle of a spoon against a glass - limejuice being made? Or is it the slosh of buttermilk being mixed? Cool, refreshing.

There's someone talking on the mobile phone, whispering and smiling. The plants whimper at the end of the day. The dog is silent and hardly moves. Cats look on in a hostile manner and find the most unusual places to rest, in flower beds, under flower beds, over window sills. The postman comes a little earlier than normal wheezing away the heat and the burden. The fruit vendors sit surrounded by their colorful watermelons, grapes, mangoes, pineapples, bananas, mosambi and act like they could not care less if you bought them or not. The young school kids on vacation are scouring the roads for places to play and entertain themselves, murmuring to themselves.

The heat buzzes on all day. The rain smothers this constant buzzing. Sleep shuts out all noises as I drift into a space where there are no seasons, no sounds, cool and comfortable. Summer, drowsy summer.