Off to the mountains

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24 degrees C..!

Fresh cool breeze still carrying the smell of the wet earth awash from last night’s shower…

Waking up to the songs of the cuckoo and three fat squirrels squabbling in the bedroom balcony over what looked liked an abandoned pigeon egg in one of my flower pots is a rarity in Delhi, particularly at this time of the year.

It was only yesterday afternoon that I was making morose entries into my journal about the lack of blueness in our city skies and the din of air-conditioners, honking cars and noisy whirring of those perinneal construction machines.

A hangover of sorts, I suppose, from ‘meeting’ the mountains last week…

The sky is still a pale grey – for a stray bout of rain, the layer of dust and smog we’ve created above our cities is impossible to wash away..
But it has done wonders for morose moods!

What a little rain can do, a thousand air-conditioners cannot!

The ‘If Only’s of daily life

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The city is dry, parched, thirsty for rain.  The colours of March are long gone.

The red, pink and the occasional purple geraniums and the orange nasturtiums have given way to greyish green leaves that fall ever too soon to the ground only to be raised by the hot winds from the west in a dusty swirl.

The Met department had predicted rains on Thursday evening. The clouds dutifuly gathered on the horizon darkening the evening skies and encouraging many a hopeful city dweller. But like the promises that are made but never kept, they floated away almost as quickly as they had come.

And we woke up Friday morning to yet another dry, dusty, hot day looming ahead of us.

This doesn’t seem to have deterred the forever hopeful met department from cheerfully making more enthusiastic predictions of rain for the weekend!

 

I often wonder how many of us are actually thankful for the constant supply of cool fresh water that (still!!) flow out of our taps all throughout the 24 hours of the day. And the electricity that keeps our air-conditioning running.

There are hundreds and thousands out there for whom these are  luxuries they can only dare imagine.

Like that group of impish little children at the inetersection a little distance away from my hospital. On regular days, they’d diligently pester each driver to buy whatever trinklet they were taking turns to sell in the few minutes till the light turned green or they got shooed away. Since the past two weeks, however, they’ve taken to asking for cold water.

It makes me incredibly sad….

 

It is amazing how cruel as a race we humans have become!

The other day I had a passionate verbal altercation with Mr.X ( For the lack of a better term, I call him my colony-mate)

X is of the opinion that the water bowls that the likes of me leave on the footpath outside our colony gates attract stray dogs, which are a menace to the humans. According to X, helping animals is ‘ fine and fashionable’ but humans are a far superior race and when it comes to the interests of humans, animal needs are to be sacrificed.

Hence the water bowls must go!

 

To say that the likes of him awakens my primitive destructivel instincts would be an understatement!

Leaving aside water bowls and stray dogs, it escapes me how a person can go through life living with a notion of such audacious superiority!

Of course it is entirely a wastage of one’s energies to reason with such a man about the number of thirsty living creatures ( in addition to the dogs that he hates) that would drink out of a small bowl of water – the small squirrels, birds, a line of bees that always line the rim and sip water unmindful of the crow that drinks from the same bowl, perched on the other side of the rim.

But I being me, did not let the opportunity pass by and mercilessly imparted a good amount of education on the necessity of being kind to ‘all living creatures great and small’, much to the chagrin of X.

The result?

He now pretends to be busy with his phone, the button on his cuff or the imaginary speck of dust on his shirt  whenever I ( or anyone remotely resembling me, I’m sure) cross his path..!

Instead he has taken to admonishing the security guards for filling the water bowls!

I wonder if it is the kindness that these simple uneducated men carry in their hearts, or my threat that I’ll call animal-abuse groups if anyone dares hurt these dogs that make them ignore Mr.X.

Anyway, for now, the arrangement is working!

The bowls have remained where they are. In spite of Mr.X!

 

 

 

Note to Self – 1

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Confessions:

I haven’t written anything yet and it’s almost 10 pm.!

There are currently three books in my Amazon cart!

My 500 ml water bottle is half full still!

I forgot to get lunch YET again!

Read just two pages today of the third book I started this month!

But YES! I haven’t been on FB all day.

Another Life

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‘There’s no tomorrow. There’s no ‘another life’. I want everything now. In this life’, his words snapped her out of her reverie. But she still did not speak.

They were sitting cooped up in his car, watching the world buzz past them in that same familiar frenzied hurry.
It had started to drizzle….

The pitter patter of raindrops on the car and the sound of the evening traffic made her head play her favorite rain song, like from a distant radio.

She started counting the tiny droplets of rain that were making patterns on the windshield. In between that fraction of moment when they fell and dissolved away, she willed them to fall in the patterns she wished to see them make.

But they did not.

Each little wilful drop fell exactly where it wanted to. Each one stayed whole for exactly as long as it felt like or splattered away like the paint flicked away carelessly from a painter’s brush.

 

‘I donot believe in a second life. Do you hear me?’, he spoke with the innocent adorable conviction and impatience of a seven year old used to getting yeses for his demands instantly.

It made her smile, like always.

She continued to stare at the windshield. The rain was getting stronger now, the raindrops bigger. She reached over and began tracing the drops on the glass as they continued making their patterns on the outside..

‘ You need to get out there, you know? ‘, she finally said.

‘What?’, he said impatiently, like he was pulled out of a deep meditative trance..!

‘ Those drops’, she turned away from the windshield and looked at his earnest face.

‘If you want to change the patterns those drops are making, you need to get out there into THAT world and get wet. You can’t be doing that sitting inside here’.

‘That’s like another life, isn’t it ?’

…………………….

Magic!

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“Your bonsai is growing new leaves!”
K’s text made me smile.

Sometimes, even a tiny little fresh leaf on a table plant in a nondescript pot can so warm the heart, it is almost magical!

But then, profound magic exists in these simple things in life…
The trick, which isn’t easy, is to never get lost in the unending melee and lose sight of them..!

All things beautiful…

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“In short, all good things are wild and free.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

It rained.
Just a drizzle, but enough to settle the dust and the dry dead leaves that the March wind raises up in a flurry…
Sunday morning dawned nice and clear, a cool breeze ushering in the smell of the wet earth through the open window..

In the midst of the concrete jungle we live and work in it is the simple little things in life that keep us sane.

One of them is this..the smell of the earth after a splash of rain has pierced its parched surface…

The flowers are looking prettier, more colourful, and the leaves greener now that the dust layer has been washed off of them.

We all, however, seem to have slept through a dust storm of sorts preceding the rains last night, usual at this time of the year here in Delhi.

The tell tale signs were everywhere – pigeon feathers, dry leaves and twigs flown in by the wind all over my balcony now soggy from the drizzle, muddy shoe prints on the corridors leading to the lifts and pawprints on the parapet alongside the stairs.
The resident ginger-cat enjoying a nightly prowl!

My thoughts flew to the enchanting tree of red flowers in that nursery I had discovered the other day!

A pretty little place alongside the busy highway! I had never noticed it earlier till P mentioned it the other day. It’s at the corner of an intersection I always zoom past ! (the red lights have been out of order for a while now and the police apparently makes a rare appearance, for I haven’t encountered any yet!! )

This tree – there were hardly any leaves on any of its branches. Instead it had burst forth into a brilliant shade of red with innumerable closely knit large flowers !!

It was taller than all others around it. And as if this was its cue to protect all smaller trees around, it had spread it’s branches above them all like an enchanting red umbrella embracing them in it’s shade.

They were everywhere, these flowers…
All over the grass, on the pots below, on the flower beds and even on the branches of other trees….they seemed to let go their hold and fall down to their death ever so easily.

As I had walked about the nursery that evening trying to make up my mind about which plants I wanted to bring home, I found myself repeatedly getting distracted by these lovely red flowers.

They made me sad..so lovely, yet so short lived.
Maybe like all things beautiful, they chose to be ephemeral..

‘Are they still holding on?’, I wondered as I took in the remainder of last night’s storm, ‘ Or did they yield ever so easily to it’s devastation?’

Without Rain

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WET, WITHOUT RAIN…..….

P.S.
Do you know what a wink is? In a story, book or a poem, I mean.
A wink is a private message or joke inside a story that the writer shares with that person who’ll get it immediately!

I learnt this from a movie about a writer, the other day.
This, and many more intoxicating takes on writing…

One of my serious new year resolutions this year was to invest more time to learn writing.
And write more.
Better.
Courageously.

The year is into the middle of the first quarter and I still feel as motivated as I was that winter morning when I had written down ‘Read more about writing, and write more’ at the top of my list of “Stuff I’m gonna do this new year”.

Which, apparently statistically, means I’m far likelier to stick with this resolution well into the months ahead!

It, however, remains to be seen how bravely I manage to put my inspiration into words.

Talking of inspiration…there have been many.
Moments, words, gestures, a look, a touch, an unmindful comment, a letter…

Oftentimes the simplest of them all can prove to be the strongest, I believe….

(Un) Fragile glass Stories

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No. I don’t drink alcohol.
But whenever I’m at a party, I invariably look around for colorful cases and bottles that its variants are packaged in.

Result:  Recycled Vodka bottles reborn as elegant vases on my dining table.
Vases that now tell stories….

Fragile stories
In blue …of water, fishes, glass rooms, rainy summers

In green….of potted plants, new leaves, a shirt

In brown…of coffee. Black.Without sugar. Forbidden
In white…of blessed, untouched innocence

In pink…of a caressing delicate tenderness

In red…of unquenchable want

In black…of suffocating depths

In sunny orange.…of the immeasurable joy of friendship emerging out of the ashes.

In mellow yellow...of soul stirring revelations and transformations!

And then…

In THAT blue and green which now speaks of the never-ending, unshakable trust…
Of soul engulfing joy of belonging without owning…

Of the embalming peace of being and letting be….

Finally now, the glass stories were no longer fragile.
But “of glass” they pledged to let them remain…True and unpretentious.
And in blues and greens too…Soothing, Lulling, New.
Blessed.

(Don’t they say , “Touch wood” here??)