Jungle Nights – Reminiscing Wilderness

A misty morning chill gently awakens the senses. As time marches on, the fog perishes to the arrows of the sun, which assumes ferocity as the day progresses. Dark clouds take over as evening approaches; this time it is the sun’s turn to accept defeat, which calls it a day ahead of schedule. The scent of wet earth wafts through the air, as the scorched ground gratefully welcomes the rain. The crimson twilight transitions into the blackness of the night, with the moon nowhere in sight.

The combined assault of the rain and blustery winds perturbs the otherwise peace-loving trees. Where they towered motionless in the stillness of the morning air, they now morph into enraged giants sparring with the forces of nature. In the darkness, the trees seem to draw closer and appear larger. As the night advances and fatigue sets in, the torrential downpour recedes into a steady drizzle and the trees slip into a drenched slumber.

The groovy flicker of a candle penetrates the darkness, imparting a melancholic eeriness to things. Lifeless objects come to life through their shadows, which dance upon the walls in merriment. In the spartan cottage from where I write, electricity and time are expendable luxuries.

For I am in jungle territory.

A family of frogs come to life. Their sonorously rhythmic croaking breaks the tranquil night. Beginning sporadically, other members of the croaking brotherhood soon join in, drowning the chirping of the night cricket. A few of these little beauties, youngsters from their appearance, saunter next to me, contemplating a leap. I watch riveted for the eventuality. The prospect of a body less than an inch tall taking on a hurdle several times its height is captivating.

The leap is successful and the frogs are relieved.

The ride has transported them from the alien confines of my dwelling to the familiar vastness of the jungle.

I hear sounds amid the din of rainfall. A bat announces its arrival. My eyes catch a glimpse of the striking silhouette of its outstretched wings. The sighting is brief, for the bat dissolves into the darkness as quickly as it arrives, leaving no trace of its existence.

The candle drowns in its own waxy muddle. Time ticks by.

Screeches originate from a branch less than ten feet from me. My torch follows the sound and discovers the piercing eyes of an owl, staring at me inquiringly. The light stays focused. So do the eyes. I move the torch momentarily to prevent discomfiting the night watchman. When the torch swings back to its earlier position, it discovers emptiness.

The owl has disappeared.

A voice in my head reflexively recites an old verse.

We see what you see not,

Your visions murky, eyes rot.

When you turn, we shall be gone,

Whispering our hidden song.

Then you see what may not be,

Shadows move where light should be.

In the darkness, all but blind,

A restive silence befriends the mind.



Originally penned on Oct 20, 2011, from the depths of a jungle in the middle of nowhere. Reminiscing wilderness.


13 thoughts on “Jungle Nights – Reminiscing Wilderness

  1. I know the experience well, and you’ve captured it beautifully here! As the years progress, I find myself increasingly aware (in both sight and sound) of the myriad layers of life around me day and night. From roots to leaves, birds and bees, ants and fleas. How little we know of how much we’re ‘shaped,’ by such as these…and all that’s yet to be seen, or heard, or felt.

    I freed a fly struggling to escape from a spider’s web the other day. Then wondered why I so ‘righteously’ deprived the spider, for the sake of the fly. And just then, an acorn fell from an oak tree nearby…

    1. Slow time down is a welcome activity. We realise the vast number of things that we miss noticing. We look but do not see, we think but do not perceive; as much as we should.

      The dilemma that you face is something I’ve grappled with in the past. Watching a helpless doe being devoured by a tiger/pack of hyenas, used to be a difficult activity for me earlier. Gradually though, you realise the cycle of nature and the natural scheme of evolution. I never interfere now, and running the risk of appearing as an inconsiderate soul, I confess that I do not even bat an eyelid now.

      This, however, is solely confined to the animal world. I’m pretty sure if I saw a man killing another, my thoughts might be very different.

      I never cease to marvel at the odd sense of righteousness/conscience that we humans have.

    1. Thank you, Sharmishtha! I suppose there is good and bad creepy, this fell in the former category.

      (Apologies for giving you the creeps though!)

  2. what an adventure you’re having in the midst of nowhere… but if the darkness out there brings out such beautiful writing then stay a little more:)

    Peace & Light

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