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Friday, July 14, 2017

…time acts rather as a solvent?

Be it in literature or in music, rain and love ....  like salt and pepper, like whiskey and soda are often found intricately woven together. 

Decked up with such images as rows of dark clouds, thunder, lightning, dancing peacocks,  a lone Chakora bird precariously perching on a branch looking up expectantly for the first drop of rains, Sanskrit poets have cantillated ethereal romance.

These images are so ingrained in our culture …in our everything right from music to dance to painting, sculpture…including our films even … nothing had been spared from their invasion….
Monsoon rains are used by our poets of yore as a symbolic frame for expressing emotions: emotions of Sringara (the science of love), Rasa (poetic moods) musical modes (Raagas) so freely and frequently. Indeed, they “add[ed] colour to my [everyone’s] sunset sky”. How true! Rains flashed colour on our imaginations …imaginations of bards as well as brawns alike … made them look bright….

And this is what indeed happened as we stepped out into the front yard of our office for a brief escape from the monotony of paper and pencil of the day. Starting as a fuhar …fine spray of tiny droplets … suddenly turned into rain…. nudging us to dodge from one dripping tree to another down the lane … and Lo! the giggling and running rekindled memories of youthful-monsoons past…for their colours remained untarnished with time…

Walking from gallery to the Horticulture Dept or from Pathology lab to Chemistry lab under the cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds that are about to burst again … along the overhanging avenue trees in the college campus… pulling a twig of the overhead branch … sudden splash of water droplets… yelling of friends who were caught unaware … gushing away from them …all those playful days are now a mere sweet memory…

There was a  certain uniqueness for rains of those days… from nowhere a bunch of clouds will assemble overhead all of a sudden and burst down and in no time drop dead …like a swirling spasmodic abdominal pain  that suddenly wrenches you down with unbearable pain and vanishes within 10 minutes… and then the sky comes out merrily as though nothing had happened…

Getting drenched in those intermittent splashdowns was so common in those days and indeed it was quite amusing too… for there was always something happening on the roads to marvel at… if only the misty eyes could catch … …  

And press the monsoon button in the mind and their memories inevitably appear… with colours intact …. That sprig of Chamanti  chrysanthemum flower dropped from the braid of that walking beauty  into that fast forming puddle in the middle of the college lane …  …
Evenings of Sravan  month …  flocks of girls in kanchi silks on the road …  fragrance of yellow Chamantis infused with davanam (Artemisia pallens) leaves of  aromatic herb …   walking in droves… giggling and chirping … silent glances in the creeping-in darkness… a beginning of romance… that never went anywhere ….

Now the big question is: how true are these memories to what actually happened? do my roommate and others remember those lazy-walkings under the drenched trees… in the campus avenues …  those pranks ... that dripping water…? As the time passed, does that leaning beauty ever think of the Chamanti that dropped into the puddle from her braid? 
Well! Time doesn’t always act as a fixative, rather acts as a solvent, isn’t it?  

Ha! this reminds me of a half-forgotten thought over which me and my roommate often used to quibble a lot while walking on the railway track in the dusk:  … “it’s not time that is passing but you and me, right?" …. It’s of course, a different matter that whenever I make such statements, my roommate used to immediately put me down: “arye yaar  tumbi na… don’t talk about your borrowed ideas…”

But then ... I was so influenced by that shocking scene from the film, ‘The Cranes Are Flying’, that I saw back home in Venus picture palace: … after the air ride, Veronica, going back to her apartment from the bomb-shelter to look for her parents… climbing that beautiful staircase— on which her boyfriend, Boris used to chase her …. perhaps to catch his happiness—discovers that her parents have simply disappeared.. … and all that remaining there in that rubble … in that deadly silence …. is only a loudly ticking clock on the wall …. perhaps, to say: “Hey! life goes on… … no matter your parents are … …!”

And yeah, surprisingly this time round, that old thought— 'it’s not time that is passing but U and me' — doesn’t sound glib as it did in those days … and must be the same today with even my roommate, perhaps!

Oh!  we have had enough… let me wrap up this walk down the monsoon-lanes by recalling what that fiery Faize in whose poetry romance and politics, sensuous lyricism and passion … all flow together as a finely blended malt… said:  “Chand nikley kisi janib teri zebai ka / rung badle kisi surat shab-e-tanhai ka” (let the moon of your beauty rise from some quarter / and change the mood somehow of this lonely evening) … rainy-day?



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