Friday, June 24, 2005

what is it about..

Was just reading one of Jabberwock's stories on rediff on what blogging really is, and one of the things he said struck home. Once you are a blogger then anything and everything and sometimes nothing can inspire you to want to run back to the office or home to write. Look at me, it's 11.30 at night, I'm dying to sleep and I actually switched on the computer with all good intentions of writing a story but instead, and I had this sneaky feeling in my head that I would, I'm blogging. It's actually something that's been in my head all day, and then a friend sent me a text about the same thing, and I thought 'this is it, I have to write it'.
As you all know, the Mumbai rains are here, and I'm done with my grumbling, or so I hope. I know it's going to get worse and commuting will be a pain, and trains will get jammed and roads will be a mess, and I've seen more rain in Mumbai in three days than I see the entire year in Delhi, but paying heed to the advice of an RJ -- yeah, can you imagine that -- I decide to look at the cheerful side of things. So as I'm in the cab from Churchgate to Nariman Point, I approach Marine Drive, which manages to actually look pretty whatever the time of day or night and whatever the season, and I see the waves actually come right up to the road. The palm trees are swaying, it isn't raining, just a light drizzle and the urchins have never looked happier. They stand at Marine Drive and get splashed and they have that expression of amazement as if they didn't know the waves were coming. As we drive on, I see scores of people literally stand up on the parapet to experience the same feeling, the water on their faces. It really is a beautiful feeling. For a minute I forget I'm in India's concrete jungle, and think I'm in Cherrapunjee, where the waterfalls are so breathtaking, you can feel your pulse race and stop at the same time. It reminds me of the most gigantic and popular waterfall -- there are tons of them and after a point I stopped counting -- which apparently cascades like the body of a woman, and in front of which I was standing but which I could not see. Can you imagine standing bang in front of a gigantic waterfall hearing the gushing water but not being able to see it? No I was not temporarily blinded, or you could say I was, by such a strong mist that was impenetrable.
But no, I'm in Mumbai. And the first thought that comes to me is: what is it about nature that is so uplifting to our spirits?
What is it about the small things, just a breeze, a light shower, a strong ray on a cold, wintry morning, that influences the way we smile, think, see and react. Many moons ago, nature was deified and magical powers attributed to all of nature's manifestations. Mythology abounds with references to nature and its powers, both powerful and dangerous. Shakespeare talks at length about thunderous showers and cloudy skies and storms when all is not going well in the world, when patricide is being contemplated and executed. Enid Blyton has given children worlds of imagination and poetry and stories and fairy tales constructed around the magic of the forest, the faraway tree, movies are still made about what goes on in the jungle, the forests, the animals, the worlds we are allowed to see and the hidden worlds within.
When we break the fast at karva chauth it's the moon we see, when the women in Mumbai tie the string around a banyan tree to pray for their husband's long life, it's a tree they choose.
What is it about nature, about a small bud that's about to flower, each petal a different shade of the same hue, what is it about the verdant green of a leaf that makes so many people want to talk to it, what is it about a new leaf sprouting that makes you want to jump with joy. What is it about the effort of a small centipede or caterpillar, dragging all its feet to move to the next inch of mud in your flower pot.
Is it the largeness, the vastness, the power, the fact that it' so out of your control yet it controls your life? Is it that nature has the power to elevate your mood with just a small gesture, like a bud, and the tenacity to ruin your life, your home, your shelter, even take your life. Is this what makes it so awesome, so inspiring that odes and ditties are written galore and paens sung to its majestic beauty. is it a unifier, and equalizer, that the rich and the poor the caste and the casteless all burn under the same sun and cool down under the same rain.
I don't have the answers, but for once, I'm enjoying the questions.


Blogger writer-in-egg-style said...

I imagine, I imagine

24 June, 2005  
Anonymous Toe Knee said...

It rained in Delhi too today. It was wonderful.

27 June, 2005  

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