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Steev Punnan Abraham
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike.
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Steev Punnan Abraham
A Holiday Morning
Inspired by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer
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A HOLIDAY MORNING The river is flowing with calm and peace glistening in the morning sunlight, while I am sitting on a wooden chair with a cup of tea in my hand at the back of my house. The backyard between the house and river resembles somewhat of a jungle due to the careless pruning of the outgrowing grass and god knows what else which grows there. This is a daily ritual I initiated after seeing that there are other inhabitants and passersby without permission occupying my land. After I take a sip of the hot tea made from the powdered tea leaves of the Kannan Devan Company, I notice that the weasel family is quick in their steps to the property of my neighbor. The family is lead by a weasel who is bigger in size, who steals a glance or two towards me while crossing the house. He (or she) is followed by three younger weasels walking in a straight line as if they are taking part in a parade. The younger ones are sniffing everything along their way and looks at me like they are asking as if this guy has got nothing better to do. I blew a raspberry at them in return of their mockery. They crossed the little gap that was left between the wall and the river which was crowded with shrubbery to my neighbor’s land. Next event is the 100 meter speed race of the monitor lizard from the north end of my property to the west end. He is right on time and is seen perching up the north side wall of my property. He will start his race against the river which runs parallel to his track just as he catches the sight of me sipping the tea for the second time. As he is warming up, the cup’s round edge becomes nearer to my lips. He slips into the starting position, and I slowly gulp down the hot tea, the race has commenced. Within seconds, he crosses my property, which would even amaze Usain Bolt. The lightning speed leaves even the tranquil river with awe. After he hurdled up the south wall, I noticed the time and said with the authority of a referee that there is a slight improvement. I don’t know if he took notice of my judgment as he disappeared behind the wall. As the teatime is ending, I wonder where the Neerkoli (which the English has imposed the heavy name of Checkered Keelback, I am in doubt that even if the neerkoli knows what it means) went. It’s his time of daily morning dive from the top of the granite laden barrier which separates the land from water. I think he got sick and is avoiding moisture for the time being. He might be somewhere in the dense jungle of my backyard waiting for someone to step on him. Ahh, the dog party has arrived after their morning roaming through the neighborhood. It’s time for me to get inside the house and watch CN and read Balarama.

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