Essays & Short Stories

The calm before the surge

The hues of my city, with the Bay of Bengal at the backdrop. Photo credit: Amrita Paul

Looking out at the outstretched Bay of Bengal with its closer to blue colour makes me wonder every morning when the sun rises. A perfectly clear sky and slight warmth radiating out in the weather. A few seconds before there was still a touch of chill in the wind. The horizon is illuminated with the first rays of the light. It’s a warm light, making me stick my hand out. The first few moments presents a reddish orange or orangish red (can’t make up my mind to which one) hue on the horizon. It quickly dissipates and is replaced by a darker shade of blue. With each passing minute, the colour of the sky changes from the palette of that of a darker variant of grey to the serene and clear blue of the ocean. A lone bird flew high in the sky above all the high rises.

The adjacent plot is vacant but full of plush greenery. Tall bushes are reaching up to the waist and in some places, even the shoulders are visible. Coconut and Palm trees dot a trail path along which a dog is running from here to there, probably looking for his lost bone. He has found something and settles at a spot. There is a gentle breeze picking up and slowing down in gushes and the trees graciously bend to its loving embraces.

An old, bald man wearing a multicolour lungi folded up at his waist is seen to be trudging along the path. He has a follower with him too. A younger fellow from the looks of it. I have lost them in the maze and heavy tree line from my balcony. They appear after two to three minutes holding a couple of coconuts which may have fallen in the night. Hopefully, their lunch is sorted.

Bird’s eye view of the Buckingham Canal. Photo credit: Amrita Paul

The placid waters against the bright and shining sun glimmer and holds your attention till a herd of cranes fly with all their might. With their white outstretched wings and beaks making shrill sounds fills my morning routine. Two of the two dozen attempt to fly higher to see the tall order. They claim it for an instance and then fly down to join their own, which is followed by their loud chirping.

Two weeks post Cyclone Nivar and the high white waves continue to rise in the sea. The ships far far away on the horizon have turned off their lights, but an outline continues to be visible to the naked eye. A little far out, the Buckingham canal continues to lavishly flow after breaking its embankments.

The water seems to be clean with no garbage restricting its flow. Many housing complexes continue to battle standing water which refuses to recede. A white pigeon flies up to my balcony and wishes me morning in a sing-song fashion. I go back to enjoying my cuppa Darjeeling black tea and Nice Time biscuits. I can sense the wafting smell of the idlis being cooked from my kitchen.

Contributor: Amrita Paul

About our Writing Program Student
Amrita Paul is a Senior Programme Officer with the Prison Reforms Programme, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. She has a Master’s Degree in Law (LL.M.) Human Rights from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore. The primary focus of her work is to target unnecessary and prolonged detention of undertrials and work towards systemic interventions to prevent it. She loves watching movies and sitcoms (when she has time), cooking and creating new recipes, reading Christie’s and murder mysteries and appreciating music.

The Lifestyle Portal

Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: