The Hills Beckon Again – 4

I am cold, very cold now. My feet are freezing, the cold penetrates my clothes and soaks through the skin, freezing the bones. I am about to lose my patience, to seek the shelter of the house when the song begins. It’s an ancient song in a strange tongue, it’s the song of the mountains. The mountains sing to me in their own tongue, and I listen.

I listen to the chirp of the birds, the soft swish of the leaves, the rustle of the underbrush as life slithers across the mountainous landscape. I can hear the throb of the deep waters of the lake which lies to my far left, washing the foothills. The bark of a lone dog, far away in the valley floats across to me, buoyed by the light mist-laden air. It resonates in the valley for some time, echoing from the opposing faces of the hills which encircle the lake. There is the occasional growl of an engine as someone makes his way home after the day, up the winding roads. The engine groans, and growls, and emits sounds which seem incongruous in this place, and at this time.

The sound of water… a stream of water trickles from an open tap somewhere….the soft plop as drops of condensation drip down from the leaves and hit the earth below….a soft drizzle has begun now….the sound of water dropping on the dead leaves, and scrub, and vegetation, is continuous now. It is accompanied by another sound, a strange scrape, swish, a low howl, as the wind, laden with moisture as it is, streams through the wet trees. The cold wind has picked up speed, it brings with it the icy droplets of water……

I am getting wet……..I rush indoors, inside is safety, warmth, and light, outside is cold, dark, and wet. As I open the door to step inside, I turn back to look at the mountains once more. They are dark, covered with a luminescent fog….the clouds have descended into the valley….and the rain is making it impossible for me to see the lake….

I enter the house and close the doors behind me. The temperature change is palpable. There is light and warmth inside, all the comforts that man seeks. Outside is nature in all her raw beauty, raw and dangerous….wild, untamed…..inside is man-made comfort, heat and light, and an illusion of safety, of comfort, of permanence.

‘Dinner is served’. Vaishali is calling now. I am also tired, I must have food and must rest…..the hills are asleep now, I must sleep too, and get up when the hills wake me…..when the birds, and the breeze beckons….I shall rise when the mountains do, for isn’t that why I am here, in Naukuchiataal, in my favourite house on the hill, the one with the green top?

Check out these Amazon bestsellers from the author –

The Battle of Panchavati and Other Stories from Indian Scriptures
Daffodils: A bouquet of short stories

By Divya Narain

Additional Professor in Plastic Surgery, doting father, loving husband, newbie author. Love travel and literature. Love reading religion, politics and history!


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: