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As luck would have it, February has been rather mild so far. No, I am not talking of it being less cold. Remember we do not have a cold season, at all. Unlike other parts of the country, by mid-February, we in Kerala, start ‘feeling the heat’. Summer is an early visitor of the year here. But this year, we are enjoying an almost pleasant spell. The nights are cool enough (only by our standards, mind you!) and though the sun might feel warm when you are exposed to it for a while, under a roof or a tree, it is quite lovely. I may have jinxed it all by talking about it and tomorrow might be the beginning of the warm spell. But tomorrow is another day as they say. I am talking of today and enjoying it to the hilt.

The lantana bush is covered in blooms and the pretty flowers are a sight for sore eyes. That is, (for some) until you realize they are lantana blooms. My neighbor was none the wiser about the bush. She only noticed the pretty flowers and coveted a similar bush in her garden. So she asked me for a cutting. I was doubtful. I have planted the bush especially for the butterflies that flock to the flowers. Why would she want a bush that grows in wasteland and near railway tracks that no one gives a second glance? I knew she was not a butterfly stalker by any stretch of the imagination. But since it was none of my business, I kept my thoughts to myself and agreed to give her a cutting as and when she wished. It later transpired that the gardener when told about planting a cutting of the ‘bloom covered bush from next-door’ was quite disdainful. What? That no good bush?!! Suffice to say, she did not talk about it again.

The kitty next-door has started sunning herself luxuriously out on the wall. Rainy days are behind us, and now is the time for the cats to enjoy their time in the sun or sometimes in the shade too. On some days she stretched out on top of our car. This sort of trespassing is frowned upon by Queen Luci. By the way she quickens her pace when we are out, I know the cat has been around and has only then vanished over the wall. When Luci is safely inside, the cat will be back. Cats are smart, they know dogs have their limitations. For one, they know dogs cannot climb on top of roofs. So they sit high up there and look down on the canines, taunting them, daring them to come catch them. All that the helpless canines can do is to pretend to be too busy scratching that itch. Seriously, dogs use scratching as an excuse to not see or hear what they do not want to see or hear.

The wily wild vine that has been flourishing aided and abetted by the rain, even though its roots had been cut by resourceful humans, now languishes midway. The sun on its own is no friend to the aspiring wanderers of cables. Soon the creeper will be burned to a crisp. But no matter, the next rainy season it will resurrect itself and start its journey all over again. What do they say, something about trying again and again and again, till one succeeds? This wild vine is an example. I wonder whether its life will ever be a success story, if it will indeed meet us on our roof, from where the cable goes right into our house. Will I wake up one day to find a wine peeping down at me and saying, ‘Hello there! Here I am!’

Well, I can go on… but I will not bore you any further today. There is always tomorrow, as also the days after, for that. 😉

© Shail Mohan 2021