to share a
light – bathed
in blue – with
tongue and you.
Crepuscular (“relating to twilight”) is the loveliest word that I learnt in 2014. I first heard it while sitting at the edge of the cliff, about 6,600 feet above sea level.
So last November, three of us were on a hiccup of a trek in Vattakanal – one of my favourite places in the world – to see the sunrise. The trek ended when the cliff did. It was a spot where hundreds of Red-Rumped Swallows flocked together every morning. They went through their exquisite dance routines, like ballerinas with wings.
They flew below the cliff where a family of hills, often clad in misty gowns, converged. As the sun rose, the swallows flew across giant burn-marks in the sky. The horizon rolled sideways, beautifully, over a bed of yellow, red and orange paint. The clouds appeared, in shapes and colours, as only they otherwise would have in a painter’s dream.
This time around, there was an astronomy enthusiast and a photographer with me. They were discussing the nature of light in relation to a camera’s aperture settings. That’s when one of them told me about crepuscular rays.
I asked him to repeat the word ‘crepuscular” twice or thrice, and then again to spell it out. It sort of blew my mind. It wasn’t because the word itself sounded like something a Street Fighter character might say before shooting destructive energy balls via double palm thrusts. That was a phenomenal bonus. The word just sounded right. If I could have wandered carelessly towards the edge and magic-carpeted myself across these ethereal landscapes, it would have been perfect.