The Sounds of the Countryside
This poem is based on a place called Nellayi, in Thrissur district, in Kerala (a state on the western coast of India), where my in-laws’ stay. If you stand at the porch and close your eyes (which is what I do, on every visit), these are the sounds you are most sure to hear, during the monsoon season (June to August).
For all those who have not visited, this poem is a honest description of the place. So, if you do wish to experience it, plan your next trip here. For those who have experienced it, I hope I have done justice and I have been able to bring back sweet memories.
Kerala is called “God’s Own Country” and not without reason. Since this poem is based on a place in Kerala, I am sure you will agree with the title given to Kerala, once you read the poem. Let me know if you could imagine the sounds and feel the tranquility and the peace, as you read it.
Peace is what I feel in the countryside,
Away from the chaos and the clamor of the city,
I stand in solitude and gaze, eyes wide,
Taking in, the blissful serenity,
A calmness engulfs me, and I wonder,” is it the silence here?”
I shut my eyes and listen-
Trip- Trop, Trip-Trop, the last drops of rain on the tiled roof,
The whistle of the wind in the trees,
The neighbor’s cat mews, as she strolls in, aloof,
The rustling of leaves, in the monsoon breeze,
The quacking of a hundred ducks, in the paddy fields beyond,
Visitors of the season, they do not cease.
Tring- Tring, it’s the fisherman’s bell,
The cawing of crows perched on the trees, in and around,
The dogs bark in unison, heralding his arrival,
The squirrel’s shrill chattering, wonder what they found,
Another ripe chickoo or maybe a yellow papaya at their mercy,
Thud! It falls, half-bitten, on the wet ground.
Dong, Dong, Dong, the temple bell, loud and clear,
I hear the creaking of the wrought iron gates,
The squeals and laughter of the children as the school-bus they await,
The swishing sound of Ammuma‘s sari, as she hurries out to check,
Listen hard- there are sounds other than these too…
zzzzzzzz, zzzzzzz a incessant, rattling hum plays in the background,
Of the dragon flies and the crickets, playing a never-ending song,
A frog croaks in a muddy pond,
I stand there dazed, I know not how long,
Hearing the beats that, in harmony dwell,
My eyes shut, I hear the music of the trees, the birds and the bees.
An orchestra at work, a melodious symphony,
They do not bother me,
I let them fill my mind, my heart and my soul,
So, when the buzz of the city rings in my ears,
I can close my eyes and hear them again,
These sounds of the country-side.
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P.S. Ammuma means grandmother