The mornings of this first week of September have been very painful. A thousand years may not be enough to heal this hurt. I don’t think I can bear this for another minute. As I watch these mornings pass me by, my heart is filled with a sweet pain. “As you chase the views on the hill with your camera, you are missing out the beauty around the cottage.” Lohi says.

He brings firewood and I light the fire. We thank each other for these mornings, sometimes overtly, other times not.

Moonlight reflects on western hill, on the stream and the waterfall. It awakens me hours before dawn. How do we deal with such expansive moon light? Whitey gets up to mate with other dogs. These days Whitey stays in the cottage only in the night. It is the mating season.

We used to fear that rats would nibble away at books and cloth if food was not accessible. Nights are now filled with noises of Rats. If there is no sound, we assume that the rats decided to give our cottage a skip that night. The secret of the residents on the roof is revealed after the sunshine following the rain. Whitey could make it out. It looked at the roof, barked, and calmed down.

In the afternoon, Lohi went to the nearby village. Pot holes and puddles of water will guarantee that his return will be delayed. Whitey is with its tribe. I was about to lay down on the bamboo bench. A snake slipped from roof through the plastic sheet (placed to save the roof from drenching in the rain) along with a rat that is fighting for survival. When it rains water flows like threads through the sheet.

The whip snake’s tail is slipping on the roof in the course of struggle. It managed to keep away from our sight for so long. May be we did not cross each other. I waited for Lohi. What does Lohi say? ‘Do you know who is residing in the roof, I have seen.’ I told Lohi without delay when he returned. Lohi made light of the situation and said ‘It’s been living with us for all these months. Let us continue like that.’ There you see, nights we sleep on the pial and the snake is awake on the thatched roof.

We are happy that we have additions to our family.

About four days later, I lay in the hammock after finishing my sewing. Shadows on the pial are very drowsy. With intermittent showers and cool breeze there is Sunlight all around. A cobra snarled in trying to catch a Chameleon. It stopped near the creeper. I wanted to call Lohi and show it to him but it turned back and disappeared into the trail close to the stream.

Don’t worry spiders,
I keep house casually
-Issa

(Original in Telugu by Jayati Lohitakshan)

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