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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Walking in the rains to school was a dear delight

As the school/college-going students who were looking forward to the monsoons eagerly—reopening of schools and colleges and the arrival of monsoon are simultaneous—for, it relieves us from the pain of the long separation from our school/college mates.  Reopening of the schools was indeed a welcome event by itself. On the opening day, we used to go to school with lots of enthusiasm, that too, in the best of our attire. It was more a festive event, for starting a new academic year was indeed la New Year day worth celebrating.

Our college was far away from the town; literally thrown out amidst of rice fields and our walking to and from the college was breathtaking: rows of houses, suddenly vacant spaces, then lush green rice fields, flowing canals, dancing fronds of the coconut palms, oscillating trunks of the tall palmyra trees in the fierce wind, a boat’s white sail in the central waterway peeking through the snaking tree-lines, whirling noice of the flowing water in the canals, hiding somewhere behind the green canopy, a bird giving her voice to a song that lures us to stay transfixed and listen, a sudden honking of a red bus, modern civilization’s rude intrusion into nature’s silent music under the sky crowded with black clouds that are about to wash us clean.

And yet other times tolakari showers catching us by surprise as we came out of the college as the bell rang,  running from one pipal tree to the other,  jumping over one puddle after the other ‘grasshopperly’ in gay abandon— Oh! all that walk was just a thrill, particularly, when the schools/colleges were just opened and we had no burden of home work/ of reading for tests as yet.  And school/college thoughts, particularly, of mosoon days are never ending and ever alive—their remembering even gives a gentle tug at the heart. Yet, let me share a few of such pleasant experiences. 

On one such a day, when rain played a sea-saw game with us,  walking back home along the bund of the sprawling tank, as the drizzling once again  started, sheltering ourselves under the rain-drenched Pipal tree watched the sweet games that raindrops played in the still water—dimples and circles arising under the beating of falling pearls of rain, their lively gleaming enlargements moving in a collision course with the neighboring and finally disintegrating into the ‘whole’, microcosm becoming one with the cosmos—with jaws wide open, in silent awe!

On yet another day, as we were walking swiftly along the canal bund after a light shower, we were caught by the rose apple tree that stood neatly washed by the just ceased shower with
angara curna utkara samnikasaih / phalaih suparyapta rasaih samrddhaih / jambu drumanam pravibhanti sakha / nipiyamana iva satpada oghaih”  (VR -  3-28-30)—
abundant fruits with profuse juice that look like the globated coal powder, with which the branches of the tree shine forth as though swilled by hives of honeybees” tempting us to fling a stone or two at its branches. Indeed one of our gang did hurl a stone at the branches and lo, the black berries have fallen like the black bees beaten down by the rains. And this game continued till we ate the fruits gleefully to our content. 

Then leaving the rose apple tree as we walked further down the bund, suddenly we all shouted in shrill voice at the pleasure of watching the moist laden clouds with pure white edges over the distant groves “samdhya raga utthitaih tamraih amtesu adhika panduraih / snigdhaih abhra pata cchedaih baddha varnam iva ambaram” (VR 3-28-5) that appeared more as soft pieces of cloth bandaged on the gashes of sky as the reddish hue of sunset glows underneath them.  

And there, right below it “highly delighted cranes — megha abhikama parisampatanti samodhita bhati balaka pamktih / vata avadhuta var paundariki lamba iva mala rucira ambarasya (VR 3-28-23) —are flying in rows with a longing to meet the clouds, their beloved, looking like a long lovely garland of white lotus flowers as if wind has up heaved and dangled them in the sky.”   Thrilled by the scene, as we walk further down the bund as though svanaih ghananam prabuddha called up by the thunders of the clouds to awake plavagah  frogs vihaya nidram cira samniruddham / aneka rupa akriti varna nada nava ambu dhara abhihata nadanti (VR 3-28-38) of different forms, shapes and colors, shaking off from their deep slumber, started crocking various sounds  on being whipped by the fresh showers.”   

Our walk slowed down as we craned our necks up lured by the decorative paintings that adorned the sky: “Like shoaling fishes, or like dolphins shy, / Or like to swans, toward heaven’s vault that fly, / Like paired flamingos, male and mate together, / Like mighty pinnacles that tower on high, / In thousand forms the tumbling clouds embrace, / Though torn by winds, they gather, interlace / …” (Mrich, Act V – s5).

As we walked further down along the canal bund, all of a sudden, a Telugu-freak from our group, jumping excitedly, pointing to the mushrooms on the anthills questioned if this is what the poem explained the other day by our Telugu lecturer from ‘Amuktamalyada’ referring to: ghanavristikatana phanu le / puna nalavalmeeka randramulu muyaga ne/ tina godugu lanaga chatra / kanikayam bavan nella kadalam bodamen” (Amuktamalyada, Canto IV, 106)Due to the adequate rains / As many mushrooms had sprouted around anthills, / It appeared as if the snakes in them / Unfold umbrellas to protect themselves from the rain!”

It is those walks under the rains on the canal bund—“The one who gets drenched in the rain / and responds with pulsating heart / comprehends the truth behind beauty / and continues along”— that taught me the secret passions of living and loving. Thanks to those memorable days, a burning sensation of love for everything runs even today deep in the core of inner being.


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