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It felt good to renew acquaintance with the old familiar spots this evening, now that I am back home. Walking up to the roof terrace, I found Anamika, the tree, was at it again. Having shed all leaves save a few right at the top, it was standing bare-branched, and this at the beginning of summer.  Rather true to form, this.

Other familiar sights welcomed me. The coconut tree-lined skyline to the west where the sky was a beautiful dark orange now that the sun had gone down. The eastern sky was slowly being shrouded in darkness. A thin veil of clouds covered the night sky and hid the stars. The moon though was nowhere around.

Lights twinkled like fireflies from the houses in the distant hills. The three apartment blocks about ten kilometers to the north, rising up as if out of nowhere from among the surrounding greenery, had columns and rows of lights shining in them. A pretty sight. A new block which has come up to the east had fewer lights. Maybe all the houses weren’t taken up yet and/or residents were yet to move in.

The magic of the hour was shattered by the streetlights coming on, their brightness garish, intruding. The breeze though was gentle and cool, just what the doctor ordered, and more than welcome to intrude and kiss the brow.

Luci pranced about, happy to have her Mom back and get back to old routines. Thrilled, she rolled on the cement floor a few times, shook herself vigorously and went to stand at the half wall to peer down hoping against hope of finding a stray cat or dog to bark at. No luck.

That reminds me. Earlier today, I saw the two kittens from next door foraging in the dustbin. They looked absolutely cute that I went to call the L&M to come and take a look. From the kitchen I beckoned him. That’s all I did. And who do you think sprang up pronto and waddled over? Obviously not the L&M, but Luci.

Who called YOU? I asked her, but she did not deign to reply, simply walked ahead and waited by the door. She was sure there was something afoot. There was something interesting on the other side of the door that Mom was keeping from her. Such perception, I tell you!

The kittens stopped what they were doing to stare at us. Impatient by now, Luci stood up on her hind legs to look through the netting on the upper half of the door. She couldn’t believe her eyes. Two kittens sitting as coolly as you please in HER turf! She stared, spellbound at the audacity, so did the kittens, right back at her, totally mesmerized. And suddenly as if on cue, they ran and vanished over the wall.

But the evening held no kittens for Luci. Bored she sprawled on the floor of the terrace, waiting for Mom to finish her walk.

©Shail Mohan 2018