ery morning and evening I love watching the fluster around the banyan tree across the road from my fourth floor balcony. From that vantage point I watch the chirping and preening birds at the tree-top. Especially during winter when every twig of the tree is laden with cerise berries and the tree becomes the focus of a variety of twittering birds, thus augmenting the number of visitors who are out to devour the fruits.
The tree itself looks so beautiful, adorned with the red berries. And when the birds perch on its limber twigs, they sway as if delighted with the touch of the feathers. I feel blessed at the sight and sound of a pair of grey Indian hornbills plucking and devouring the berries with their long barbed beaks and simultaneously cackling in delight. The bulbuls and the koels, the sparrows and the squirrels consume the berries piecemeal. The squirrels with their furry bobbing tails slither down or clamber up the massive roots dangling from the huge branches.
Every evening, no matter how engrossed I am in my chores, the screeching of the hornbills and woodpeckers would draw me out into my balcony. With their incessant rhapsody it seems they want me to witness their mirth on discovering a tree abundantly laden with berries. Standing there I am in communion with the tree. The tree seems to me like a great grandfather blissfully shouldering and sheltering his great grandchildren. It seems as if coaxed and inveigled, the tree would reveal the umpteen fables and squabbles absorbed into its colossal form. From the swaying branches emanate great rapture with the downy touch of the divine creatures.
When the setting sun starts lifting and gathering its golden veil from the tree top, the tree starts embracing the twittering birds into it. As the crimson in the sky deepens, the activities and sounds start subsiding, and by the time the darkness of the night spreads its eiderdown, there is complete silence.
Early in the morning, when the sky on the eastern horizon would split into the shades of purple and dark blue and clouds are strewn like tufts of feathers filled with crimson hue, the silence would be suffused again by the winged chirping angels. The music is akin to tinkling tambourines and jingling bells, heralding the sunrise... the rising of a new hope… a new dream… a new day.