Nature – A Haibun



A five year old me standing near the hedge fences on my first day for school: Photo taken by my father



In my bumble bee days I also had wings. I’d stealthily flee from study books and pour my soul on the hedge fences and watch the mother Bulbul incubating three tiny eggs with Kathamrita* eyes in their twiggy nest. The eggs were always three; never four or two, with purple sprinkles on off-white shell. When the teeny tiny hatchlings without eyes opened their mouths they were almost like baby Gopala’s** showing His Ma Yashoda the universe. I’d often fake their mother’s call when she wasn’t around just to see those large hunger-holes quiver for food. Their father, who would always be nearby in the mother’s absence, of course disapproved my curiosity. His angry alarms and flying over me flapping wings rather noisily sent me inside for fear of rousing my grandpa’s wrath. What hunger! What growth! Both parents fed them in such quick successions that I would often worry about their stomach. I took it upon my duty to shoo away the scheming cats whenever I happened to be there. Sometimes there would be nasty ever-hungry red ants in files and rows before it was time the fledglings could fly safely. Sometimes I would see one chick less and grieve over whatever had happened to the poor angel.



Those butterfly, firefly days did not last long. Change like the Bengal Tiger had me in its grip. I lost my wings to Time just as hedge fenced houses made rooms for the bigger housing-complexes with less greenery, lesser sky.



Carefree, bubbly stream

Will not stop till meets the sea

To lose all sweetness



*Kathamrita literally means ‘Word-Nectar’. It’s also a hagiography in five volumes on the life of Sri Ramakrishna, who often likened the eyes of yogis to the incubating mother bird’s eyes. He used to say that mother bird’s mind is in her eggs so it sees or hears nothing. Similarly when yogi’s mind is on God he is so immersed that he neither sees nor hears.


**Gopala is the God in His baby form in Hindu Mythology. It’s said that once while playing, Gopala put a little lump of earth into His mouth. So His mother Yashoda was very angry and wanted him to open His mouth. At first He would not listen but when His mother threatened to spank Him He opened His mouth and Yashoda saw the entire universe whirling there.



Posted for my Midweek Motif ~ Nature: Her Words @ Poets United


15 thoughts on “Nature – A Haibun

  1. “In my bumble bee days I also had wings.” I share this and the hedge fences, deep in memory until age seven. Didn’t we also have hunger holes? How much universe was already there when we were fed by the adults and other protectors? Such sweetness, such vastness, (even) before we met the sea. Love.

  2. What a cute little girl you were Sumana. Yes ,once you reach the ocean all the sweetness has gone. Row your little boat gently and slowly down the stream engaging in a lot of kathamrita along the way delaying the reaching of the ocean for as long as possible.

  3. O for more greenery! O for a greater sky!

    Thank you for taking us into your world through prose and poetry.

  4. I was floating away on you beautiful description and loved to learn about kathamrita and and especially Gopala, that the whole universe could be seen
    The Haiku is stunning

  5. Aww…you were such a doll, Sumana! ❤
    As they say, nothing in nature blooms all year through….so, 'bumblebee days accelerate too!! I loved this…the haiku is awesome!

Thank You :)

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