One ‘Tyme’ Solution
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
It was a sprightly morning; the pan of milk testing my patience, coffee was all over my mind and body, probably the need of a stimulant was foremost on my mind. I turn sideways for sugar and then I notice it, safely perched on my kitchen door. Birds don’t move their eyes like us. I could see she was focused, her eyes pouring into mine, the twinkle in them, as if saying, ‘a happy morning’. But my eyes weren’t as romantic as hers, they randomly strutted to the broom in the corner to shoo the elegant, white dove away.
Dove’s eyes connote beauty and faithful love. Homing birds usually are grey, at least the ones near my apartment. Human nature is to probe. Without the quest, there seems to be no life at all. Wherefrom?
I venture to the balcony with my treasured cup of caffeine in a hope to see it again. There! Among a dozen or more pigeons, I noticed it pecking grains/ worms on an open ground. Did it escape from captivity? Similar to its eyes, I poured into details. Poor thing! Must be suffering from a disease called albinism. It struck as lightning to the cruelty meted out to these harmless creatures. They lack the color pigment, melanin. The pure white makes them stand out and when released into the alien sky, as symbol of peace, they are hunted down by predators.
My eyes wandered as lonely as a lone cloud, over shrubs and trees and finally resting on Wordsworth’s daffodils – the lone walk, the golden discovery.
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude
Couldn’t there be a one-tyme solution to all problems? Tyme is an archaic spelling of time? Hinting at my quest – old-fashioned.
In the evening, I catch a glimpse of this lone gentleman, donning a white T-shirt with a catchy statement – One Time Solution. He was walking or rather jogging to reach his destined location, could be ten rounds or 500 calories or even more. There’s news of a new road route that goes to 17,000 feet above sea level, to connect to Kailash Mansarovar. It was inaugurated recently and of course the tightrope walks of diplomacy and statesmanship had made their rounds. Maureen Dowd and her vagaries screaming all over the city, this is not a good time for vampires or bats or for that matter for her disapproval – live and let die. Neither is it the time for tick-tocks or target rating points (TRPs).
It’s the time for live and let live. Migrant workers on a quest to reach that shattered hut with a lone window – carried by a smile of the little one pasted on the cracked walls, and the images of home that make them drunk - stagger on the train track to reach homeland sooner, but only to be run over and killed.
Alas! How I wish I was Wordsworth’s lonely cloud, whisking them all safely to their love-cages! The desire was strong, for I notice it again from my window, stopping by for a cool sip from the bird bath. The grey pigeons formed a circle around it, like a Devi Kavacham.
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
But daffodils don’t grow in the tropics, it was a campaign in Trinidad against the use of the poem in school texts (The Middle Passage, VS Naipaul).
Burlesques apart, am I anywhere close to the grey pigeons or dove’s eyes?
Issue 91 (May-Jun 2020)