Suddenly thinking of you, it feels like having stepped into a soft glowing patch of sunshine on a rainy overcast day. The raindrops shine with tiny rainbows and the world feels like a little bit of heaven…
She liked the way her whole world changed just by changing her position. While sitting she could see her life before her. The undone work, her myriad duties, things that weighed her down, and the drudge of everyday life.
But the moment she lay down, and looked through the gap in her thatched roof that opened out to the sky, her life changed dramatically. She saw the trees swaying in the breeze, their leaves open and unarmed and lit by the sun. She saw the birds flying, silhouetted against the cotton candy clouds, specks of wings on the powder blue skies. She felt the breeze of freedom, the surge of possibility, the faintly clear strains of a song that urged her towards her own self, growing louder from within. Till she felt uplifted by it, felt she could touch the azure sky as it floated towards her, coming closer and closer to her outstretched hand, and she floated and drowned in its expanse, wondering yet again if it was an ocean or the sky.
To simply see things as they are – without our personal stories, subjective theories, without rationalising, analysing, without fretful worry or without any interpretation suiting our self, without any motive or bias…just seeing things unfold, like the colours that spread out through the petals of a bud as it grows into a rose, like the breeze that rushes through an open window, the wave that caresses the shore just to flow back and merge seamlessly with the sea…being with them and allowing them to be, without any resistance, reluctance or regret, is the most difficult task of all. But that is precisely and simply where life is.
Precarious, yet poised. Fragile, yet full of quiet strength. Balanced, yet spontaneous. Vulnerable yet certain. At a still point, yet full of space. And by losing ourselves in the moment as it happens, we find ourselves. Over and over again.
From streaks of powdered blue to smudges of ash grey, from burnished yellows to flaming oranges, from molten melting red to a fiery crimson, the master painter in the sky dabs His paint across the canvass of a windy Mumbai evening.
An evening at Juhu beach.
The sand castles built with laughter, the joy carried across the breeze, the kulfi vendor’s sharp call, and the chanawala’s basket kept warm by the singular coal, the footballs tossed around from boys to dogs, and the waves lapping upto the shore carrying the rhythm of years and the little dreams of childhood where warm memories and love meant an outing at the beach with colourful spades and shovels and trying to fill the sea in a tiny plastic bucket and listening to it murmur in a seashell.
Yes, all that is reassuringly the same. Only now, more planes seem to be flying across the skies than birds…
There is no easier – and more beautiful way of being in the moment than to stop and stare at a flower.
An unabashed happiness radiates from them. Feel the silken smoothness of their petals; see how carefully they balance the dewdrop that they have welcomed into their fold.
Watch how easily they accept the breeze’s caress, lovingly allowing themselves to be swayed by it. Observe how the petals open out to the sun’s first rays, opening themselves to life itself. When you allow yourself to be immersed in their beauty, you will find an unbidden joy coursing through your being.
Nature throws its bouquets from all over the place – mountainside, sea cliffs, valleys and meadows. I’ve enjoyed gathering as many of them as I could in my frames.
And then there was the holi of my childhood which people of a certain vintage will remember.
We played with a simple white pichkari. Bath buckets were surrendered for the morning to be filled with 3 or 4 colours (depending on the number of buckets we had) of red, purple, green and yellow, and everytime we filled it, the pichkari assumed a different hue.
We were given our oldest clothes which were tucked into the corner of a godrej almirah for precisely this purpose and occasion. All the children in the building gathered early in the morning and the squeals of laughter, hoots of joy and the squelch of the water sprayed from the pichkaris were the only music that were needed.
The air was rendered with this abandoned frolic and unbridled innocence. After a couple of hours the buckets which had been replenished several times were empty and taken back to their rightful place in the bathroom and our last pleas for just 5 minutes more were brushed aside with the firm yet soft hands of our mothers pushing us to the aforesaid bathroom, to wash away our cold happy selves with warm water. We watched the colour leave our hands and drain away- the red, the green, the yellow and the purple. Till the next year.
We sat scrubbed with the laughter still inside of us to a freshly cooked meal of warm fluffy puranpolis drizzled with home made ghee… no blaring bollywood songs, no water from hosepipes, no colour that refused to go away. Just a simple celebration of colour, joy and friendship.