Sunday, July 16, 2006


A cool breeze caresses the river surface, creating endless ripples, which gradually widen and disappear as they expand. The flow is so silent and graceful that this majestic expanse looks more like a placid lake than a river which blends with the sea a few miles away. Faint evening sounds from the far off village merge with the rustle of the peepul leaves overhead. One or two lights flicker at a great distance amidst coconut groves as the sun sets and a soothing darkness descends on the landscape.

I stand on the river bank, gathering every detail of this magical world, as the late evening breeze brings with it a mystical fragrance, arousing feelings and memories which cannot be given a human expression. This is a moment from my childhood but it is fresh, as if I'm experiencing it Now.

I cheat someone today and feel happy doing it. I'm waiting for a friend and the place has no place to park my car. So I drive into a nearby religious institution, park my car in the parking space and pretend that I've come here to pray. The guard looks a bit suspicious--maybe my attire and body language betray my intentions, or maybe he thinks I have a bomb in my car. Nonetheless he leaves me alone. Half an hour later, the friend calls me up from outside the gate and I drive out, royally.

Surrounded by books. A good 3 hours on a saturday evening. Silence in the house.

We are getting accustomed to violence and bloodbath. Maybe a kind of numbness has set in. Bomb blasts, suicide attacks, airstrikes, riots.....I don't think I'd be devastated if these ghastly things devour someone close to me. Is this a healthy detachment or a inhuman indifference?

I was born and brought up in a middle class family. We've always valued things in a moderate way--not being callous (as it happens, sometimes, if you are super rich), or being overawed (if you've grown up in deprivation). What it meant was that our house and living environment was neat and tidy, only to the extent required. It was never spic and span and spotless, which I wished for many a time. Maybe it has nothing to do with your economic condition and everything to do with your attitude, but this was how it was with us.

But this would change twice a year. Whenever my brother-in-law came visiting from chennai, our house would automatically become a tad more orderly and tidy. Dad would be up before 6, have an early bath, comb his hair back, wear new clothes, open the windows to allow fresh air, put new sheets on the sofa...similarly Mom....and a sublime crispiness would automatically evolve in the surroundings.

These events came up from memory today when a similar freshness got infused into our otherwise normal household environment. A special guest arrived and we were on our toes, ensuring that everything was perfect and in its proper place. That aliveness, that fragrance of newness is still around although the day has ended.

Freshness around brings freshness within, they say. How I wish for a similar environment every moment!

A distant rumbling, somewhere deep down. A foreboding of things to come--the approach of something huge. Something Enormous!


  1. I believe that numbness was set in when one is exposed to so much violence. How else can one live daily life?

    I wish I could share the “cool breeze that caresses the river.” Here the temperature outside is 94 F and inside my house it is 88 F. Even breathing has become difficult.

    I do agree: “Freshness around brings freshness within.” I wish I had some of the freshness at this moment.

    I hope that the foreboding you feel ends up as something positive.

  2. You should blog more often, Vish!!

    I do check your blog like....everyday!!

    Hope all is well, dude!

  3. Thanks nick. I too hope for a positive outcome of my foreboding.

    Jen...Most of the blogsites were blocked in our country for the past week. Couldn't access blogspot, couldn't read any other blogsites...this site is up now, don't know how long this stays so.

    Yeah, will definetly blog often. Was a bit busy.

    Hope everything's fine and cool over there.

  4. Childhood memories are all joyous to recall whether it is good or not so good but it take one into the world of innocence ! It happens to every one, if i see a mountain, or a muddy road or some girl walking licking a lolly pop or a mango , i see myself in that girl as a child . ... And about being cold towards certain situations in life, seeing blood bath, one roots are completely shaken, one;s trust is betrayed in the divine love ! there is some force which moves us gently or asks us to stand again to LIVE LIFE !!!...... Every one need not to feel connected to what 's happening around in the world. When my granny passed away, i was 12 years old then every one was sad, weeping and i was just so untouched and happy , i still wonder why ? why i did't feel sad, may be i too was cold or insensitive.... difficult to judge self... !!!
    If , i remember correctly, guru ji made one sunday lecture class based on the topic 'Detachment', i have read those notes several times, being detached means, being in love and compassion too and so many wonderful points which i can't recall now !

    1. Yupp...miss him and his lovely gentle compassionate guidance :)