NOT FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
In the peripheries of this random, rackety city of concrete and glass, there lies a dusty and restful ancient world.
At first it feels alien to me, this wilderness.
I soon realise that it’s me who is the alien here, an inquisitive intruder – camera, cargoes, backpack.
I’m the incongruity.
Aravali in Sanskrit means a ‘line of peaks’. Even about 25 years ago – a pinhead in the Homo sapiens timeline – peaks wouldn’t have brought high-rise buildings to mind. Or that massive plateau in the horizon that’s our very own dump.
This suburban forest is the green Gurgaanwa safe from urban aspirations.
There’s a muster of peacocks in their breeding plumage. One of them puts up a display. On an obscure cliff, a peahen is incubating.
There’s the grey falcolin (teetar) great white egret (bagula), a banyan (bargad) laden with berry (bar) and squirrels and magpies.
Further in, I get lucky with a frame of a hover fly preening mid-air.
We spot a bevy of butterflies and damselflies: king crow, striped tiger, plains cupid, banded swallowtail, marsh glider, and the one whose name I want to adopt in place of my plebeian one.
The wandering glider.