Dear Readers, you may notice the dates of the Blog do not match the Flash Post dates which are in real time. The blog was written in 2009 and saw the light of day 6 months back when my younger daughter discovered it and decided to bring it to you here.
The Flautist | Flash Post 352

The Flautist | Flash Post 352

Button, I heard the flautist playing a beautiful melody on his flute this morning after many months and my ears perked up hearing the lilting sound I love so much. It has such a calming effect, I immediately felt like curling up in bed and going back to sleep.

Why didn’t you?

It was around 9 and I simply felt a compulsion to get up and get started.

It was a beautiful Sunday morning and you could have lounged around for a bit more even if you didn’t want to go back to sleep.

Alas, the guilt we middle class feel stops us from having fun! I was speaking with my younger sibling this morning and told her just this. As Kolkata is experiencing Norwesters every evening since the past 5-6 days and, as per the weather bureau, will do so for another 4-5 evenings, I told her to catch a cab to school as long as these storms last so she doesn’t catch a chill after getting wet in the rain when she started to explain that that is not a feasible idea as she and her husband, both school teachers, one already retired and one on the verge of retiring, cannot indulge in such luxuries as they must think about the rainy day and catching a cab to and fro can dig a deep hole in their pockets.

There’s no harm in planning for the future!

No? At the cost of having a little fun we are all entitled to? None of us know what the future holds!

That’s also true, given the times we are living in where weather conditions are deteriorating every day, the air we breathe is poisonous, food we consume is sprayed with deadly pesticides while what retailers claim as organic and healthy, may not be so, stress that is killing our children whose futures are uncertain, trees hundreds of years old that are being axed to make way for buildings and more shopping malls, where our fauna and flora are fast disappearing and the future looks bleak and hopeless!

But we must still trudge on in search of that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Yes, hope is eternal. That’s what keeps us going forward.

What are these Norwesters like? Are they accompanied by rain?

Often. Most times, they are also accompanied by hailstones. They usually take place suddenly with skies getting overcast with black clouds after which it rains and ceases as unpredictably as it started giving way to clear skies.

What are hailstones?

They are bits of ice that drop down like rain from the skies during a hailstorm. They can also be big-sized.

That could cause harm?

People die during hailstorms. They can also cause serious damage to crops. The Times of India has reported in today’s edition how over a thousand exotic birds got killed in the Khamarpani and Kanhar villages of the Pench Tiger Reserve yesterday because of the Norwester that struck.

That’s truly heartbreaking. Is all of this happening because of climate change and global warming?

What else? Norwesters usually take place in the months of April and May! Not now when Kolkata is experiencing winter for the second time with temperatures dropping to 17/18 degrees Celsius.

Have you witnessed Norwesters?

Yes. Many times. During my Kolkata days. It was fun stretching out my hands to catch those ice pellets and putting them in my mouth. And, the insensitive kid that I was— like all other kids of that age—never realised that, while I was shielded from the onslaught cocooned in the warm comfort of home, there could be others out there trying to shield themselves from the same onslaught and, maybe, getting killed in the process.

Such is life, I guess.

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