It was raining here yesterday, the usual Northen California rain - calculated and cold. There is no such thing as enjoying the rains here. We walk out of our little boxes at work and hurry to another box, the car, and then to the last box, our apartment, hating the rains along the way. Rain and cold are now a fixed pair in my mind so much so that I have lost the association with the monsoons.
Not too long back ( or is it?) I would have been on a two wheeler with Mukta, heading for Sinhagad, right in the hardest of the monsoon rains. We would have gone up there in the fog and mist and peered down to see, if anything, of the valley below. It would not have mattered that we could see nothing. The fog would offer infinite possibilities. The sheer uniformity of it would set us free take any direction we liked. It would make way as we moved on, creating a cozy, private enclosure, hiding all that was unpleasant. Some walk in the clouds it would have been!
The fog, though, is treacherous thing, they say. It beckons you to test yourselves beyond the limits of sanity. So much so that I have heard tale of a young man who, mesmerized by the fog, jumped straight into it only to die in the valley below. Once you are in the fog, this does not seem that insane. Anything seems possible there. You are so incredibly close to yourselves that the boundaries between the mind and matter, the inside and out are blurred to the extent that you don't know what is truth and what is imagination. Life seems to have no beginning or end, just a middle, stretched to infinity on both sides, so much like the fog.
I happened to be in Konkan one monsoon and experienced what monsoon is really about. Every monsoon, the earth and the sky play a mating dance there. The sky takes her passionately, mercilessly and she rises to every challenge, soaking in the nourishment he has to offer, demanding for more and more. Who wins, who looses - does not matter. What matters is the pure, raw, primal passion - love as it should be.
In the hiatus, the earth bursts with life. Thousands of species of plants begin their journey at this time with an infinite promise of life. It is green everywhere, but the greenery is not ephemeral. It does not consist of grass that grows in the monsoons and dies with it. The plants are as passionate for life as their mother. They reach into the depths of her for nutrition and soon learn to thrive on their own. Nothing is left untouched by this magic; no patch of soil, no corner of a home, no stack of hay. It is like the earth is making a statement against all that is sullied and impure, displaying, in full force, its capacity to create life.
I am not nostalgic by nature and almost never think about the past. But something touched a chord yesterday, maybe it was the sight of a sapling or whiff of a fragrance of wet soil. What started this reverie, I don't know. But the journey to the past was beautiful....