The hammock swings side to side: left-right, left-right, left-right …
The cicadas murmured in their typical, mechanical fashion – trrrr … trrr … trrrr … – which I find oddly comforting, almost like a lullaby.
My friend gives the hammock a gentle push and it comes back to its rhythmic swing.
Left-right, left-right, left-right …
Side to side, side to side, side to side…
Somewhere in the background, raucous Bollywood songs are entertaining the night skies. There’s a marriage in the village down below, I am told. Hence, the cause for jubilation. “Somethings don’t change, whether you’re in the city or the mountains,” I mumble to myself ruefully.
‘Abhi to party shuru hui hai’, sings Badshah in the distance with his custom enthusiasm and fervour. I keep him from wriggling into my ears and focus on the chorus being kept up by the cicadas.
Trrrrr …. Trrrrrr …. Trrrrrr ….. – They’re consistent, these guys. I’ll give you that.
My hammock comes to a reluctant standstill, and I wriggle my butt this way and that to get it swinging again. But I fail. Worse, my ‘pushy’ friend is missing in action.
I open my eyes and through the foliage of the trees above I spot a few stars, twinkling away merrily. And then begins a game of hide-and-seek.
They disappear behind the leaves and it’s my job to discover them. It involves a lot of twisting and turning around in the hammock. At one point, I almost tumble off, but, the game amuses me, nonetheless.
At one point, I will the leaves to part and reveal the sky, so I could ambush my starry friends. The tree refuses to oblige. Tomorrow, we’re going to have a little talk about who’s da boss, but today, I am a bit too tired.
It’s been an hour since I’ve been occupied in my harmless antics. And I realise that it’s also been an hour since my fingers itched
To glide over a screen,
To check notifications
To dismiss messages
To lock the screen
To unlock the screen
To reply to emails
To check Facebook
To check Instagram
To swipe right
To swipe left
To double tap
To like, poke, ping, snap, or scroll
To check notifications … again.
It unnerves me a bit, like I am betraying my phone in some way. I make a movement to get up, but then I sit back and relax.
I am getting the hang of it. Slowly, yet surely, I am pulling away. Maybe, I will be able to switch off and unwind here after all.
The cicadas applaud my restraint in the only way they know how:
Trrrrr …. Trrrrrr …. Trrrrrr …..