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August 2017


Living Without

Brijesh Raj 

A sudden gush of cool breeze spins the bright yellow, red and orange colored pin wheels crazily fast. Tens of them are mounted on two ferris wheellike wooden stands. A pair of teen aged boys standing nearby smile at the spectacle. They stare for a few seconds more, then square their shoulders and carefully heft the ungainly stands. It is Sunday at the beach and time to earn their keep.

            noon warmth
            still green
            these fallen leaves

Monkey Business!  


Aju Mukhopadhyay


        you left us long back
        in our jungle abodes
        but we haven’t forgotten you


Animals which are near man in terms of evolution are our close followers. They watch men from a close quarter. In modern India most of them are mischievous partners of man when they live close to us in temples and cities. They were human partners in a good sense; part of Lord Rama’s soldiers. Helpers of Lord Rama and his most confident supporters and spies; their stories have become immortal in Ramayana. Remembering that tradition of Rama-Hanuman relationship Indians aren’t very averse to monkeys. Hanuman as devotee of Lord Rama is an object of veneration and worship in India. In short we Indians cannot think of giving up their company entirely. Whether chimpanzee or monkey, of whatever species, they have the evolutionary link with humans, they have not forgotten man. They closely follow us. We allow ourselves sometimes indulging in their activities. This is true in other parts of the globe, at least Man do not entirely reject Hanuman. 


        None remains
        at the same spot
        neither man nor Hanuman


Two feet long including the tail and a ring of white far round the black face and neck; Vervet monkey is a creature cute indeed. But in Kenya it is quite mischievous too. Closely observing human activities this intelligent animal has found out that the most preferred item of services that a man needs is the supply of electricity. So a mischievous, cunning and adventurous tiny monkey of Vervet species climbed on to the roof of Gitaru Power Station and jumped onto the transformer which immediately tripped tripping in turn all other machines in the hydroelectric power station setting off a nationwide blackout in Kenya for more than three hours creating a modern monkey-history. It has become famous throughout the world.

        Don’t forget
        we are your companions
        we can undo what you do! 


 Stone Lion


The more I moved through roads, parks, malls, offices and even some clinics more I appreciated the efficiency of the government in establishing strict rules and regulations, in maintaining the system of government including the order and cleanliness of the city. The roads are wide enough but mostly one way. There is hardly an occasion of traffic jam. Pedestrian crossings and vehicular traffic are always controlled by automatic red, orange and green signals. Cars and buses pass very fast so crossing the roads other than in marked places is risky. Trees are on both sides of any road, not only on the highways and avenues. Green is so much respected here; somewhere greeneries spread, even small social forestry has adorned the spaces, wherever available. So are the constructions of the roads, bridges and buildings; their colorfulness. Hardly any breaches are seen on the footpaths or roads. Houses; tall glass houses, modern skyscrapers and old colonial gothic structures with high pillars, all painted fresh, adorn the city; beauty everywhere.  All these because it is still observing its golden jubilee of independence; the very young city was made anew with all sincerity. Scarcity of land deprives it from producing much of industrial goods and any agricultural crop. Wants are made up by imports. But they honor the greens for better environment. Beauty abounds. Rivers are not many but reservoirs keep the ground water level sound.

        With pride
        for manmade excellence
        man pines for more


As members of the Duck Tour party we moved in a bus-cum-motor launch, jumping into the Singapore river passing through the city, swimming across the water body. The contour of the city, a man made excellence, became audibly visible with sounds of the traffic on roads and water, interspersed with chirping of birds and low chatting of the duck party members who are mostly visitors. Coming to a prominent bank of the river we saw the milk white legendry statue of a lion, after which the Singapore city-state has been named, spewing bulk of water from its open mouth. It seemed to be an epitome of lion-beauty in art form. Amazed, everyone snapped it from different angles as it happens when an object seems very attractive. The boat proceeded farther and after completing the round was returning back close to the other bank of the river when the lion seemed remote and forlorn.

        Wild life is vibrant
        imitation pales it
        rose is above roseate. 





Adelaide B. Shaw


In the country there are many animals: farm animals, house pets and animals that travel the countryside as they choose. Deer, rabbits, skunks, raccoons, groundhogs, foxes, and too many birds to name. They come and go, eating their way through a property or just passing through to a more abundant source of food. We can go weeks, even months, without seeing a deer or rabbit. Like people, these travelers, change their routine. Then one morning I find my hosta have been eaten to the ground and the large gold-orange marigolds are nothing but stems.


        the midnight owl returns
        to the twin pines



Reaching One Hundred  


Family and friends gather for his hundredth birthday. A barrage of phone calls and e-mails coordinating plane reservations, car rides, motels, hotels, free beds and who brings what for the meal.

April 17 in Los Angeles is a beaming day, the kind of day tourists come for and never leave. The guests are gay and toast his health. The local television evening newscaster sends greetings. The guest of honor is calm, relaxed, quiet. 

"So," he says, "Yesterday I was ninety-nine; today, I'm one hundred. Why so much fuss for one day?"

        clocks turned ahead
        becoming older