The stillness of dawn

I wake up abruptly two hours before my alarm goes off. My tossing and turning wakes up my husband. “Let’s go for a walk,” he says. But the remnants of the previous night’s dinner party are still burning up my entrails. Perhaps it is that acidity which woke me up early. I mumble something that sounds like yes, but decide to take a walk on my terrace instead.

Dawn is yet to arrive and it is rather cold at this hour. The stars still shine bright in the clear winter sky, while the brilliance of the Pole Star cannot be ignored. As I stroll on the terrace, I notice the silhouettes of the magnificent trees. The three mobile towers which disrupt nature’s profile appear like effigies of Ravana, flanked by Kumbhakarna and Meghnad in the darkness.

I wait expectantly for the birds to wake up and chirp. The silence of the morning is occasionally broken by the harsh chuckle of a spotted owlet. In the distance I can hear the rumble of trains crossing Warud. A neighbour’s car groans to life in the cold. Perhaps he’s leaving to catch an early morning flight from Nagpur.

But then the flappety-flap of my husband’s footwear distracts me. As does his huffing and puffing. He’s trying to complete his steps for the day. His walk is fast and furious. I don’t want to match his pace. I need my peace. I don’t want to talk or discuss anything. He doesn’t quite understand this.

For some strange reason I am reminded of my mother. Each morning she would wake up and turn on the television full volume. Aastha Channel. Enough to make me cringe or even blow a fuse. Who wants to start a day listening to Asaram Bapu, Nirmal Baba or Ramdev with their coarse uncouth language? She never understood my need for silence either.

Dawn is blissfully silent. It is this slow start to my mornings that I love. It is the much-needed pause to experience ‘thehrav‘ and think. The time to reflect before the rhythm of life begins.

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