Sunday, July 11, 2010


It's been quite nice living here in the science lab of an isolated village school. The air is fresh; the Hyderabadi smells of smog and pollution and human wastes are nowhere within noseshot. Unlike in the city, there are too few vehicles here to turn the air into the eye-stinging equivalent of a chlorinated swimming pool. A bus passes by 3 times a day in each direction, along with a few motorbikes and autos. Herds of goats and pairs of oxen pass by with about the same frequency as the non-organic moving things (though bicycles, mainly ridden by the students, are present in numbers).

The birds, too, are present in numbers. During the daytime, you can't go ten seconds without hearing some bird or other. In the mornings, the chorus is constantly present but varied in composition. The light, high chirping of tiny sparrow-like birds is sometimes overridden by the insistent, broken-record chirrup chirrup chirrup of a closer avian. Crows communicate their caww-cawws without regard for the gola (cacophony) they're making. The coooo-ooooh of the koyela (cuckoo) often pierces the morning air. And every now and then, if you listen carefully, you can hear the kreee-eeee of the peacock.

Birds aren't the only things that make sounds though. The ballilu (geckos, plural) here are quite vocal as well. Hiding behind the fluorescent lights or the tiles of the bathroom wall, they go chik-chik-chik-chik-chik about twice an hour. The flying insects buzz and hum their daily ditties each time they pass your ear. The big, friendly giant of the bug world, the thummeda (a 1.5 inch bumblebee) can flap its wings so quickly it can juyyyiii as loud as any bird call. The beetles that gather near the lights at nighttime make little tock noises every time they fly and crash into the walls or the ground (which ends up with them lying on their hard-shelled backs two times out of three; hence the sound).

And then, at about 8:30, the harmony of wildlife becomes a counterpoint to the melody of the (slightly) tamer life - the students.

1 comment:

  1. Love the last sentence :)
    You can find melody and harmony in everything! Ah, the beauty of music.