Dawn & Dusk

Dawn and dusk are the times when day and night loose their individuality and melt into one another. If a person has been in sleep and just rises up at dusk or dawn, it will be difficult for him to tell whether it is dawn or whether it is dusk. From the womb of dawn, day is born and from the womb of dusk night is born. This happens with an uncanny rotations. Other things like climate can change and show anomalous behavior but not the day and night.

Day and night are events which are chasing one another but never meet. They are complementary, only one is there and other is away. Only at dawn and dusk they become one and have dual character like an hermaphrodite. Like the God Shiva in the form of “ardhnarieshwara”: half man and half woman. Like one of the speculations that  it was the great artist Da Vinci himself who is portrayed as Mona Lisa. After reading about of artist posing as a woman, I tried to find similarities between his usual picture sans beard and Mona Lisa. So many explanations are found about the enigmatic smile, but it is possible that Leonardo did not had anything in his mind while making this painting.

In India, dawn and dusk are very special times of the day and night cycle. You will hear chantings of religious hymns from Mosques, temples and Gurudwaras. These days with the availability of loudspeakers, everyone is trying to outdo others by blaring at the loudest. The natural peace is gone these days. Otherwise, you can hear the incessant chattering of sparrows in the boughs. There are mynahs prancing in the grass. Crows are the most voluble and crass. But they are the meanest and totally emotionless. They don’t spare anything which is weak or sick. In this they are the best bets for the Darwin’s theory of the survival of the best. Though the great man said it for the members of the same species. Weaker are eliminated during the progress of the time.

As we know that birds are closest living cousins of dinosaurs belonging to the same family. If you had the chance of seeing the crows walking slowly on the slanted edges of the roofs of the building, their silhouettes resemble the dinosaurs. The birds were more intelligent of the two. They evolved the front legs into feathers and became avian and escaped the marauders lurking to gobble them on the land. They also reduced their weight and size drastically to reduce their energy demands and maintenance of their bodies. It is due to these mutations in the positive direction that they are still there with us, while the gigantic cousins dinosaurs have gone long ago.

The dusk is when everyone is returning to the comfort of the home. In villages, this is the when the shepherds herd their cattle towards their homes. There is churning of the soil on the path and dust flies and scatters and hangs everywhere above the trodden path.  The bells tied in the cattle tinkle and announce their journey to home.  During early stages when there is still some light, the dust particles can be seen dancing in the air as the air is filtering and scattered from the particles. Due to the the dust kicked in the air by the cows, this time is also called “Goduli” which is concatenation of the words “Gau” meaning cow and “Duli” meaning the dust in Hindi. There are bells ringing in the temples and blowing of conches.  The hills look like pencil drawings and very soon loose their identity altogether so completely that a stranger person cannot tell that there are hills yonder. Dusk is also the time when plants stop making sugar and oxygen which sustains the animals including humans who are not capable of manufacturing their food. In the night time, the sun’s energy required to trigger the photosynthesis, is unavailable. In the night, plants consume some part of the sugars which they have synthesized during the day time to make their own body grow and stronger. Like us they exhale carbon dioxide in the night.

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