I thought he/she/it is something that is either inside us or maybe in the sky, what we often call heaven, jannat, swarag or the likes. But actually he isn’t.
Remember he can neither be created nor be destroyed? Every scripture talks about it.
Remember that time on a chilly morning when you had to get out of bed because you already overslept. You were almost shivering and hating every bit of it. While rubbing your eyes and adjusting to the reality, you find yourself drawn to the window. It’s cloudy, but somehow behind those clouds a soft ray of sun falls on your face? What did you feel then?
Remember the time that you were heavily burdened under your work. Your eyes pain, your headaches, the day feels dreadful and suddenly your dog comes closer and looks at you. What did you feel?
Remember the time it rained heavily and you were walking on the grass, barefoot. It seemed sticky at first, but then the pointy edges trickled your feet. What did you feel then?
Remember when you got out of a party? Everybody was drunk with ecstasy but you still felt sad inside? You got out and into the balcony, and heard a bird singing. Soon you see her, her round black eyes looking at you while she flutters her long yellow tail while singing. What did you feel?
Remember when you were sitting near a pond, thinking about your life goals. There, on a log of wood appears a stone like figure but it seemed to move. People around you start noticing a neck beneath the stone. The turtle is standing still and everybody starts trying to get the turtle’s attention. But you don’t budge but silently watch it from your place. And somehow the turtle turns his neck and straight towards you. How do you feel?
You feel ‘him’, you feel the ‘energy’, you feel the ‘universe’ and you know everything is that divine energy. And everything else is just a distraction, just noise, meaningless worries and meaningless words. It is your mind that is actually causing all this ruckus. The universe runs through the veins of your heart. It connects you with every living being that surrounds you. It is then, that you finally know that the search for him/her/it is over.
I was born a city girl. Having that typical access to renowned brands, famous restaurants, premium quality stuff, everything at the click of a button or a call. A city that has so much hustle that it is difficult to hear anything but the noise of endless horns or people fighting over nothing. Crowds swarming the streets and the endless wait for getting anything you want because there are several in line for the same.
Whenever these streets clogged my mind, I would sit back and watch a movie where the girl enters a jungle or somewhere in the middle of nowhere and could hear her own heart pump. Or else, a novel, a similar setting for a similar escape.
A new town
One day I got a chance to travel to a small town called Vidisha in MP. I had never heard of it but from a friend who was lucky enough to have it as his maternal hometown.
We reached there by train, what I saw in front of me was a world where things had a slow pace. The streets were narrow but not empty. And there was a silence that made the birds speak out the loudest. A chirp here and a flapping of wings there. I saw sparrows that had long left my city, jumping across the street for some bits of food. I saw jackals on the way too. Nature seemed to like this place.
The houses were old. The colors were dull. Nothing fancy, nothing proud. But what you actually call authentic. People still mingled around. Neighbors basked in the sun together and called out if they needed help. They were still living in the past I thought, but in reality their social lives were still preserved from the degradation we suffered, as city people.
The next day a friend took us on a town-tour. Who would have thought a town this small could hold such treasures?
The hidden treasures
Sometimes little things make big differences. Likewise, travelling on the bike, smelling the air mixed with the scent of flowers, was a choice that fate brought on us.
The drive itself was liberating. As the town unfolded, a whole new area with virgin expanses of green came our way. Trees making canopy on the roads, as if to provide shade to the riders in the heat. The air was soft and fresh. The people had a curious but a simple quality to their faces. Not the kind of pride and disgust you come across in the cities.
We visited Udaigiri caves and resort. It was like travelling back in time when people used to live in harmony with the nature. Nested besides the forest it contained several Hindu and Jain relics dating 5th century AD. Magnificent, as if untouched. You could explore it, on your own accord without the hustling of tour guides or people incessantly clicking pictures. You could see how those that came before you lived and worshipped. Even peacocks and peahens found it suitable to reside in.
Our next stop was Bijamandal. A whole new whole world of the gods opens up and you sense something sacred in the site. A temple and then a mosque, the site still holds the memories of the past, afresh. Walking a bit further we found a small water harvesting pit that one can mistake as a magical place much like Game of Throne’s House of Black and white.
The whole area is unexplored and still so pure from people who trade history. It numbs you because the vast expanse of the site is such that it makes you look so little and so unimportant, thereby humbling you.
On a 15minutes drive from Vidisha was another unexplored gem called Sanchi stupa. Yes, the picture that you find on a 200 Indian Rupee bill that is a symbol of Buddhism. The vast expanse made by King Ashoka in 3rd century BCE still holds huge idols of buddha but with the kind of calmness that he always preached. We even trekked a bit down to see if we find some unknown relics residing in the overgrowth surrounding the area.
An enthusiast of history or shall we say, a proud lover of his humble town, our guide was a friend with whom we were staying. He had a passion for things only heart can see. He made the journey alive. We travelled several other places, discovered hidden temples and known farms all through his eyes. His passion was pure and his love for his town, quite clear.
Sometimes, when I sit back still, try to hear those sparrows or the rustling of the leaves, I am reminded of the town and its passionate eyes and I almost forget if I was a city girl ever!And my eyes feel the bitter-sweet longing.
Scientists throughout the world have been busy searching for the answers regarding the origin and spread of this highly lethal pandemic that has shaken the roots of the world.
We always have been a diligent population, proud of our abilities to progress and research. Little did we stop and look around as to what have we done to the world.
Corona might or might not have been originated and spread through animals like bats.
But what is sure is that it is nature’s way to cleanse the earth.
After repeated crying, begging and shouting, mother earth had to resort to a violent act to let humans know who wears a hat in the nature vs man equation
Human ecological footprint has been on rise, as species are going into extinction. But we haven’t learned. We are still busy creating more fossil fuel, cutting more trees, changing the course of rivers, investing in industrial meat production and what not!
It’s like the tale of the pigeon and the cat. It is said that whenever a pigeon confronts a cat, he shuts his eyes because of the fear and imagines the cat has vanished.
We are surely amongst the dumb pigeons.
But the cat is pouncing with all its claws.
If corona wasn’t enough, India has been struck by a cyclone Tauktae that again proves the sea is cleansing itself.
Corona held the air from our lungs and cleansed the earth by massive deaths, now the cyclone is cleansing the sea. Again, the hubris of human is being destroyed along with lives and infrastructure.
Isn’t it time we take climate change, global warming and overpopulation seriously? Or are we gullible enough to believe we will live through it?
Have we not seen how pleistocene and holocene suffered mass extinctions specially of large mammals?
We won’ budge, because have ‘conquered’ the earth and are fit to ‘use’ it, whatever way we like. Isn’t that so?
Before answering that we must remember, that we may die the next day but the planet still moves on. The mountains, the forests, the rivers. Remember Lord Tennyson’s lines-
Men may come and men may go
But I go on forever.
This Anthropocene epoch might lead to the destruction of anthropos itself.
According to Hindu religion, the human life is made up of panch mahabutas or 5 elements: prithvi (Earth), agni (Fire), jal (water), akash (Sky) and vayu (Air). The earth has been using all these to destroy the human life itself. We did bear the brunt of excess water and rain from the sky (flooding throughout the world), fire (Amazon/Australia wild fires), earth (droughts throughout the world) and now the air (coronavirus) itself.
So, we shouldn’t be so proud of ourselves because Darwin’s natural selection is always at play and our intelligence won’t help us but our subservience’s to nature might!
Or else, we might stay put like the pigeon and let the cat take its course.