White Scarf, Bulbul and Peace
It was kind of symbolic.
In the past few days, I have gone through a self-designed process. I asked myself to let go of certain things and people, which have been causing discomfort to me quite stubbornly. And I mentally detached myself from some others, meaning I will continue with these but they wouldn’t or shouldn’t affect me emotionally. Life seems simpler. I have peace, relatively speaking that is. This morning as I was about sit in meditation – an every day ritual – I saw a bird, a red-vented bulbul doing this:
There was a white scarf of the kind I got as a welcome gift in a hotel in Ladakh tied to a tree in the garden. To my understanding the scarf – known as Khata – symbolises purity in intention and compassion[i]. The bulbul decided she must pluck its threads to build her nest. She kept at it for quite long.
I haven’t been photographing much since returning from Kashmir about four weeks ago, except with my mobiles. For the past week or so, I have been thinking about resuming early morning photography – my usual weekend activity in Mumbai for nearly two years. When I woke up today, the neglected camera and lenses came to my mind fleetingly. The bulbul provided the necessary inspiration. I ran inside to get my camera after changing lenses quickly. I feared I’d lose her but when I returned, the bulbul was there. The light was low so I had to increase the ISO.
She was continually plucking threads and flying off to her nest to deposit them even when I finished meditation – today’s was a hurried one. I sat on a garden chair with the camera, waiting for her and writing a blog post. She came back with her partner briefly and alone many times after that. I took as many photos as I could. The sultry, breezy Friday morning seems even more beautiful now.
© Text and Photos: Sanchita Chatterjee 2015
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