12 January, 2007

Rainy And Cold

Just at the end of November and beginning of December, the heaviest rains I have ever experienced in Mukalla - fell. For about two weeks, day and night - there were rain showers and drizzles. With intervals of short lulls. The rain made the streets of Mukalla, muddy and wet. And ugly. Very ugly indeed. By the time, the rain had stopped - almost two weeks later - the drainage and sewage systems had become ineffective and the streets were flooded with water and were full of mud. As garbage wasn't being collected due to the continuous rain (and inefficiency), the rot and stench was all over. And when Mukalla once again, had sunshine back - the flies took over. Wherever I went, was full of flies. And dead cats and rats.

I love rain. Really love rain. Mukalla is beautiful. I love it. But not when rainy. I did rather not have such heavy rain in Mukalla. Thankfully, the streets are now back to as they were before; garbage collection is as before; inefficient, but well - better. The flies are gone but for a few. And the dead cats and rats have been cleaned. And now: the cold has set in. Incidentally - this too, is the coolest time I have ever experienced here. Most people too, say that they have never had such a cold winter in Mukalla as now. And most, including me - just love this change; a cooler Mukalla. But then: I am scared to think of what summer will have for us. Most likely it will be steaming hot; hotter than ever before. Isn't that what is being predicted globally this year? A warmer, hotter year than ever before?

Just before the rains and cold, I witnessed an amazing thing. The colony of sparrows moving. The colony that has won my highest admiration and liking. I knew that every year, just before winter - the sparrows migrated to the valleys and caves for warmth. But, before, I had never witnessed them during the process. This time I had the luck of watching that. One mid morning, they all flew away from their nests and all, each and every one of them - 'assembled' on one of the fences around. All seemed to be chirping. As if in some kind of discussion. And after ten minutes or so of this, they all took off. First flying around and around in circles, then up they went and then disappeared. Not a single one was left behind. All their chicks had grown up and gone with them. In a few months, when the heat sets in, the sparrows will be back; back to their nests and colony. I would very much love to see and observe that too: their return and settling back to their nests.

As I watched the 'assembly' and 'discussion', utterly fascinated and awed - I couldn't help but wonder: how could such tiny and seemingly helpless creatures be so organised, efficient and united? And yet we, Man, are so ineffective, disorganised and disunited? In this, is one of God's wonders. We, Mankind, believe that we are the smartest and most able; and God has entrusted much more on us than any other creature here on Earth. And yet, and yet - we have failed. Can't we learn and imitate what is good and positive from other creatures around us? Even from such as sparrows?