*First Blog Post – Launch of THe Wandering Hippy*
A lot of things go with coffee. The French croissant, or Italian biscotti, these are undeniable. Closer to home, toasted malt bread and marmalade, lady fingers, pecan pie and biscuit‘s of all description. The increasingly unpopular (and noticeably absent from MY morning coffee routine) first cigarette. All of them bliss in their own way. But here in a small hotel in Burja Rajasthan, They do it differently. It is the call and cry of peacocks that fill the breakfast air.
Alright, at first, I’ll admit it was irritating. After all, the peacock aint no Malabar whistling thrush! Yes it’s real, ranked #5 on topyaps most beautiful bird calls. The peacock isn’t even ranked when it comes to its singing voice! Some say it’s downright screechy. But, there was no escaping it…my morning coffee and the lonely distress call of a peacock. He seemed to be in full voice, and enthusiastic. There was no real end in sight, so I was forced to consider a few things. Reflect in the reflecting cerulean light of a Rajasthan Sunday morning as it were.
1. It wasn’t a crying child. Already a plus point for the bird. Distraught children within earshot is a reoccurring theme in my life and travel. On airplanes, in trains, buses, even shared Tuk Tuk rides, serine mountain gondolas, ferries, longboats, hay filled farmer’s wagons, neighboring tables at most restaurants and in one instance, an adjoining stall in the men’s room (COME ON, why is he crying in there?!?)
2. It wasn’t a cell phone! Or car horn, as a functioning New Delhite car horns ring contently in my ears. Or the mind numbing drone of a TV set. Each of these things have seemingly wedged themselves unwelcome and permanently into my life. Into my quiet moments. My reflection moments, my meditation (aka nap) moments, my intimate with my wife (WHO could be calling NOW) moments and of course my all important Blogging moments.
3. Finally, and most importantly, I have NEVER heard it before! Over coffee or otherwise. This unique voice of nature, this call of the wild, a song from arguably the most beautiful (albeit foul) foul in the world was being sung just for me.
So I sat considering these points, as objectively as possible, while munching on my thin unbuttered toast (noticeably NOT included on my list of favorable coffee accompaniments). Suddenly, it didn’t seem all that bad. In fact, the caw sounded somewhat musical if you really listened. In that moment, the sun actually seemed to brighten. The morning began what I like to think of as it’s magical slide time. Like it normally does on Sundays. Surrounding you in that warm, wrapped in a grandma knitted sweater feeling. When all of your worries and concerns don’t seem credible. When all of your pressures and stress just melt away. At that very moment even the upcoming five hour motorcycle ride though life threatening Haryana traffic, seemed more palatable. In that moment I was connected. To nature, to that silly bird, to something that felt bigger than me. This majestic creature was telling me, “it’s okay mate, just enjoy your coffee, don’t stress today, everything is going to be peachy keen”. Suddenly, just like listening to Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds, the sheer beauty of it calmed and comforted me. Looking back now, it makes me wonder how many bird calls have I missed in my life? Not paying attention, rushing around late for work. Late for the bus, late for an appointment…….late for being late. How many moments like this have slipped by without me even hearing them? Yes, all these thoughts are bit deep and introspective. Maybe so, but at that moment it left me with one new and unshakable truth. You’re safe on Sunday mornings just sipping coffee listening to peacocks….if even for only a few moments, and ya know what?….That’s okay.