On the bench

I’m sitting on a bench. The big green in front of me is fringed with a row of pretty townhouses. The sun’s just above my head, and on my shoulders. My shadow is thick and stout, and sitting by my feet like a good dog. It’s very quiet here today. I can hear the distant din of the children in the school playground. And I can hear the birds.

It’s strange how you can really hear the birds at the start of spring, and after the thick silence of winter. You’re always aware of their voices – in the morning, outside the window, in the park, beside the bench. In Bengali, a lot of words come from the rhythm of sounds. Daily sounds, turned into words of literature. Simple, unsophisticated; but just right. Like kichir-michir, which is the word for all the things birds say. Or fur-furé, for the lightness of a spring-summer breeze. And chup-chap, a word for quiet. Saying it makes your lips stick together in silence. 

But the birds are anything but quiet today. Like Chotto-ma, they have a lot to say. And right now, they’re saying, ‘It’s springtime’. Or singing it, like in an old-time musical. With saturated colours and large flowers nodding in the breeze.

I’m really feeling the spring this year. Like I’m hearing the birds. It’s very sharp on the senses, and it’s been making me ridiculously happy. The kind of happy that also tends to make me utterly useless. All around me, the change in season seems to have spurred everyone into a squirrel-like busyness. There are people clearing out their garages and sheds, and painting their fences. Spring-cleaning. That is what the season is supposed to do to you. Spring you into action. 

Not me. I’m too happy to be busy. I can’t clear the shed. There are far too many daffodils for that. And too much birdsong.

I’m sitting on the bench.

16 thoughts on “On the bench

  1. and the bench seems like the perfect place to be. as i sit typing, the window is open and i can hear the evening chorus. quite often at this time of night i'm rushing around, tidying up after the day, but today i'm hearing your kichir-michir echoing in the glasgow evening birdsong.
    beautiful photos, pia

  2. and i can only sense your desert, anita, which is stunning, i'm sure. but i'm yet to set eyes on realms of sand. i'm happy it was spring there for a bit 🙂

  3. ah, thank you for sharing your evening with me, sheonad. i can see you sitting by the window, and i can hear the glasgow birdsong. here's to beautiful kichir-michir, and to your quiet evening – the tidying up can wait a little longer 🙂

  4. I'm glad I'm not the only one who cannot work when the world is so overwhelmingly beautiful. I love your words and your pictures. I noticed the birds as well the other day, but I have to admit I was drawn to their song by my cat's interest..

  5. yesterday, my daughter watched our neighbour's cat take a rather strong interest in a lovely white bird. animal planet, right at our doorstep. she had many questions, which had to be answered in much detail.

  6. its always nice to read your thoughts pia. i saw a sparrow after ages..they have are such a rare sight in india. lovely clicks , happy spring !

  7. and it's always lovely to have you here, shruti 🙂
    i'm very sad about the sparrows, though. really? i've been telling my daughter much about the sparrows and the crows!

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