Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ah! The pleasure of groundnuts!

I was walking down the sidewalk of the road, on my way back after a tiring day at work, carrying my office bag on my shoulders. The weather was positively amazing and I could feel the gentle, cool breeze caressing me.

As I continued sauntering along, the air began to get humid, the dark nimbus clouds invaded the clear sky and I could just about see the faint glow of the sun behind them. Perhaps it was going to rain.

As I made my way through a lot of people, who were hurrying with, I thought, intentions of escaping the rain lest they should get wet, I noticed the evening traffic whizz past me on the road. Then, I could sense in the air the unmistakable aroma of fried groundnuts. This seemed to rejuvenate my spirits for I truly loved groundnuts. I kept wondering if I was just imagining things until I came across the stall from which that gentle fragrance emanated. And I was right. The vendor was selling groundnuts, indeed.

I asked him for a packet of nuts, with a pinch of salt in it, and paid him two rupees. I watched as the vendor deftly made a cone out of one of the newspaper bits he had and filled it with groundnuts. Boy, Did I feel refreshed!

I continued strolling back towards home, packet in hand, eating groundnuts one by one. There was a light drizzle and the air was filled with the faint fragrance of moist mud. Two rupees well spent, I was a happy man.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The magic dragon

The weather was amazing outside. The wind jerked the chime above my balcony door to life, sang its arrival, and pestered us to go upstairs. My mum and I finally decided to go up. I walked a few times around my terrace; the usual exercise after dinner. The wind was blowing past me, through me, for I didn't even notice it when I walked. Later when I thought about it, I figured it was because I had a purpose.

Then it struck me. The wind did too. I lay down, eyes to the sky, ears to the wind. A huge carpet hung over my head. It was thick at parts, thinning at some, and almost torn at the rest. As I looked at it, it kept changing. It was trying to fill its holes. But everytime one got filled, another grew somewhere. Some conservation must have been happening.

It wasn't even where the holes were that was interesting. It was how the holes kept moving.The contours of the boundary of the holes sucked my imagination in. I mustn't say imagination. Because all the curves always seemed to form a dragon in my head. Dragons flying, spitting out fire, lashing out their tongues and paws. Dragons always.

I couldn't quite understand why I always percieved the shapes to be dragons. Maybe because I've seen none? But that can't be the reason. I haven't seen a host of things that I've heard about. Maybe it was just that it was so easy to make anything look like a dragon. Any protrusion could be fire, any curves its body. Every dragon bent itself around the clouds that i was seeing.

But I had to put my theory to test. Can I deliberately try to see other things? I tried. I thought of a palm leaf. And looked. And looked. Till I found some long thin clouds. Christmas tree, I thought. A good enough substitute for a palm leaf!

I then thought of a chakra. Couldn't find one. I think it's because I had consciously recognised the fact that all I could see were dragons. Because from then on, all I could see were only dragons.

I wondered what would happen if I got a message. It would've broken the moment. But the thought that I might get one had already broken it. I defocussed.

I defocussed so much that the clouds just formed one big mass. The big picture. I could sense that they were moving past my head, direction being from my bottom to my top. That I deduced from the fact that when I looked at the mass with reference to the stars, that's how it seemed.

A slight shift of focus. On the star. And the star was moving. It unnerved me. Completely. To think that i could focus on one, and it moves with respect to its background. Perception based reality. Scary. I see one so that is true. I see the other so that must be true. If I see both? Then i must believe that there's something wrong with the way i'm seeing. Because there can be but one thing that's true. Atleast that's the assumption.

I noticed something. Everytime I was following one train of thought, there were parallel threads created, strung and left to hang. I had just noticed that while I was doing my dragon testing, I had also concluded that the first few men would have lived in a much more fascinating and fearsome world. Not that the clouds were any different. But what would they have thought about it. Little droplets of water waiting to rain? The idea of gods controlling nature's forces must have struck them. It seemed quite natural to me. And the thread was hanging there when it went through the needle. Not that I had actually done parallel processing. It was an already created thread, it was just hanging around wondering if the needle wanted to use it.

I vowed to myself that I would do this often. While I told myself that I wouldn't. That I wouldn't find time. All these contradictory voices in one's head. Dangerous business, dealing with them. But if one does not consider all of them, can one ever hope to land up at an objective viewpoint? But how does one analyse these voices? Through another voice?

The ancient men were still hanging around in my head. Maybe science has spoilt the world fo us. Maybe science is trying to explain everything and rationalize the magic. Maybe the beauty of the world must be felt. Not explained. Not thought about. But scientists will quite disagree with that. They'll say that by trying to explain events, you enhance its beauty. Because you understand it. Sometimes I feel one way. Sometimes I feel the other. Or maybe I don't feel this way or that. Just think about it. To decide which one to feel.

I was on the terrace for half an hour tonight. I didn't see much, if you came down to it. Nice wind on the terrace. Bit cloudy. A few birds were flying. In formation. Few planes were around. That's about it. If you came down to it.