10    


THE KINGFISHER sits still on the prow of an empty boat, while in the shallow margin of the stream a buffalo lies tranquilly blissful, its eyes half closed to savour the luxury of cool mud.

        Undismayed by the barking of the village cur, the cow browses on the bank, followed by a hopping group of saliks hunting moths.

        I sit in the tamarind grove, where the cries of dumb life congregate-the cattle's lowing, the sparrows' chatter, the shrill scream of a kite overhead, the crickets' chirp, and the splash of a fish in the water.

        I peep into the primeval nursery of life, where the mother Earth thrills at the first living clutch near her breast.