I awoke, as usual, to the first call of the first bird, before the arrival of the light.
In a genial mood, I sounded a cheerful greeting to my attendants, so that they might join me.
They did not.
It was only when summoned at great volume that one of them finally and sluggishly made way to my chamber.
It became once again clear to me, in the interminable silence between the bird’s first and second salutation, that even the smallest gesture of civility is invariably interpreted as laxness and gives way to licence.