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The Story of a Walk

I engaged in a bit of ambling today at my favourite 12-acre garden by the sea. I contemplated stretching, some yoga poses, sitting down with eyes closed and feeling the whiplash of breeze from winter's last pangs. But the body was going into ambling mode, and i don't like to stop the body because it is the vehicle to my soul.

I had just messaged a friend, indicating I wanted to walk on wet earth, barefoot. I crossed the first grass mound (those who know the garden will know what I'm talking about) and hit the second, only to crash into a rather long hose pipe, the length of a reticulated python. I gingerly walked along the length of the python to get my feet as wet as could be. Perhaps the earth was not as porous today, or perhaps the mud was soaked to the point of overflow. Little wading pools had formed across the grass and even tiny rivulets of water. So I followed the course, blithely.

At the BPT garden, if you're bumbling along garden paths, you're bound to stumble into a sitout-by-the-sea or it will bump into you. there are five of them, if I'm not mistaken.. elevated humps encircled with smooth rocks and tufts of grass.

At low tide, the rocks create little tide pools in the ocean.. as pretty as the wading pools in the grass today. As you've probably figured, the sitout's a great place for scenic-scapes - tide pools in front of you, wading pools behind! Flocks of gulls perch at the line of water unruffled.. to their right is the Afghan church, its steeple like a spinal cord arching for the sun. There's plenty of pink in the background, most likely fall colours of the Indian almond tree.

Badam leaves turn a plush shade of crimson before they fall. When the chlorophyll breaks down, leaving anthocyanins in its wake(purple-maroon-red spectrum - the kind you see in eggplants and strawberries). Temperate fall colours are a rarity here, so it's definitely something to look out for. To my immediate left, I see a flash of bright red, internally hoping for a new bird, but it's a rapidly falling almond leaf that landed itself in a bit of trouble - a powerful gust of breeze. To its immediate right is a young crow; I've seen so many little crows today that I'm beginning to think it's mating season for the species.

I leave the sitout and venture back to the second grass mound. A bunch of giddy-headed girls have collected the flowers of the beautiful samudraphal tree in their palms and are doing an aarti with them. Whatever floats your boat, I say.

The sun's spilling over now.. and it's searing my skin. It's nine fifteen.. the skyscrapers edging the garden are conducting multiple reflections that are blinding.. to say the least. That time has come to walk away from all this imagery. I pass a yellow silk cotton tree and a red silk cotton on my way out... Two months of annual bloom is all they'll spare.

Little ecosystems live within larger ecosystems. The entire garden is part of a cosmic soup fed on oxygen.

There are layers of ongoing interactions that we will never comprehend... biospheres that will kill us with their magnificence.. Our only hope is to watch and be awed... by the backbreaking beauty of cellular birth and cellular death.


Images by Karen Menezes All Rights Reserved.

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