Did you ever watch a sun wake up from deep slumber ? I can’t think of a single day in all my revolutions around the sun when I could take out time to watch sun slowly getting rid-off the calm, cold and moist air surrounded by a velvety thick blanket of darkness. Or taking slow nimble steps to come out of its bed and rise in full bloom, minute by minute, one ray at a time. My most common memory of the sun getting ready for the day is seeing sun rise in a half-awake pose with one half of the sun hidden behind the mountains of the earth. And this half having woken early enough, goading the remaining half to follow it. Because if they are late anymore then the whole world will have to start working on a new day light savings plan. And habitual late comers to workplace will have a new slogan to sing to their bosses – Blame it on the Sun!
It is strange that such a sublime moment of transformation for which the whole flora and fauna are so eager to welcome, very few of the human race have ever watched the entire makeover of the sun – from the sun getting out of bed to making our day bereft of any presence of the dull and somber night. But the same is not true of the sun going to bed. We observe very grudgingly the sun leave its ordained place for the night from the very first hint of dusk that starts to follow us from work, back to home. We are all very tired of the stress that weighed us down for the day and trying to get ready to bid a proper goodbye to the day. We have still some chores left for the day all along watching the sun leave us slowly and trying to get to dinner as early as possible. All through this misty-eyed endeavor our eyes are firmly planted on the nearest timekeeper of the day trying to match pace with the hands of the clock. Though none of the evenings are in any way similar to the preceding one, they all somehow share a common trait of rushing through the last rites of the day in the hope of an early, sumptuous and a warm cozy dinner. All our evenings are rites of passages with very neatly drawn out plan of actions to wrap up the day with a silent wish. A wish for the sun to stay a bit longer than usual and come back tomorrow a bit late than usual.
My earliest rendezvous with the sun is not of the first rays of light peeping through my window blinds and making a clarion call to get me out of my stupor. Instead it is the chirping sound of the birds flocking in unknown numbers of varying sizes and colors cooing and whistling me to sing with them and to wake up with a song on my lips. These winged damsels usher the dawn for me and beckon me to be as chirpy and lively as they are for the day in waiting. I also wonder about the first bird in the vicinity of my house that wakes up to the earliest traces of sunshine. And then rallies all the birds of the community to join for the early morning jog around the town. They then pass on their infectious laughter to the mankind lest they become oblivious to the sunny ambience. You can cover your windows with the best available blackout blinds and draperies and delay the inevitable onset of the day but there is no escape from the soothing sonorous sounds of our airborne friends and their resplendent wake-up call. Though I cannot ever find the first bird that wakes up around my home but within my home I am pretty sure of the first bird like creature that wakes up and pounces on me and my wife to wake up with her and to attend to the first part of its never –ending duties and demands of the day. What starts of as a whimper and scowl gradually grows into a growl and finally takes the form of a roar and with it all the remnants of yesterday and its worries are firmly put to rest. Just like the birds outside, my daughter too believes in starting the day with big splash which in her case takes the form of either a loud shrill cry if she finds no one is prepared to rise with her or chirpy laughter if she gets to watch her favorite cartoons straight out of the bed.
Coming to think of it there are many things that my daughter shares with the birds. She is in her terrible two’s so still has a long way to go before she can clearly speak the words that normal adults can understand. We always observed birds creating mellifluous sounds with bright colors adorning their wings and at times a majestic crown on top of its head and we run closer to get a better glimpse and whoosh…they are gone! My daughter too when alone and playful all by herself she makes funny sounds and talks to herself and her dolls and makes a very delightful sight and you just want to run and hug her and in that process you kill her spontaneous self and she becomes conscious again and whoosh…she is human again. Like birds, running is the only mode of navigation that she is aware of when she has to move from one place to another. She needs explicit holding of hand and reminding that she needs to just walk. Not to forget that most talkative of all the birds, the parrot which imitates almost every human sound, we see a similar instinct in all the toddlers of mimicking their parents. My daughter too is not different here but somehow we experience this most vividly when she is angry as she starts to use the exact same words that we use when we scold her. It’s funny but still does not sound sweet for those tiny lips.
Most of her communication is in mono syllables as everything for her is either a victory or defeat, there are no in betweens. Every desire is communicated with a simple – ‘kaava’ (meaning – I want it) which 9 of 10 times is forbidden for her either because it is too big for her or is too dangerous for her to handle. And then she starts the anger mixed with withdrawal pose. And every request to appease is strongly ignored with a simple –huh! And no amount of cajoling will make her relinquish her stated position that we were wrong in rejecting her the very first time and we better not repeat it next time, any time. But just give her a distraction of a song playing on TV or her favorite food and off she is from her perturbed moody self. If only it was so easy to employ similar techniques on adults.
Just as every day starts off on a fresh note, all kids have this innate quality to start each day with the same kind of enthusiasm irrespective of how yesterday treated them either at home or school. Why do we hold onto yesterday and some of its venomous aftereffects for so long ? Why do we keep dragging yesterday into every moment and committing the foolish mistake of making the following day a prisoner to all these negative external stimuli ? The sooner we learn to wrap up the night and get ready to welcome the following day with poise and optimism the sooner we will learn to live like the birds. These birds seem to exhibit a lifelong appetite to move onto another tree and branch and enjoy the brand new view from the new perch and keep looking into farther horizons. If we spend even half the time that we spend in planning on how to end the days, instead on how to begin the days, then our lives will be at least half as joyous as we hope them to be. So stop dreaming of happy endings and start focusing on fresh beginnings! There goes your day again, catch it and hold it before it turns into a cold and gloomy night in the blink of the sunshine!