Dear friends: I consider nature as my ally. It inspires me, stirs me, uplifts me, mesmerizes me, pokes me up for action and allows me a wee bit of philosophizing. Nature has godly attributes. It touches my very being and teaches me to transcend the trivial and inane. It helps to freeze skepticism, cynicism and the fettering thoughts of the unfairness of life. It shakes me free and commits me to life as it is.
At present Kumarhatti (H.P.) is the setting for some of my musings and narratives. So please bear with me.
Here since mid-July, the rain Gods have been showering their benedictions abundantly. It drizzles, it rains and it pours. The spell of generous downpour has kindled plant life and tiny blades of grass have turned thick and green at express speed as if by some conjuring trick. The majestic pine trees look glorified with pine needles exhibiting well rounded confidence. Hill folks are happy and hopeful of better farm produce. The dried up natural springs, water channels and rivulets have sprung to life and seem to beckon the passers by, “Oh! Splash water and play with us and cool yourself inside out.”
The magic wrought by nature is stupendous. The refreshing walk after the rains throws a veritable visual feast of green and glistening shoots of plants and dewy foliage, winking naughtily at us as if saying, “Aren’t you convinced now that this is Dev Bhoomi where devies and devtas reside amongst simple, pious and uncorrupted people”. They express their gratitude through special prayers and midnight bhajan congregations. Many houses are afloat with tiny temple like structures on their roofs with red and yellow flags fluttering overhead.
The rains have gifted a washed and gay look to the tenements of locals. The mood all around is upbeat and nothing can upstage the healthy, soothing and tickling cool of the weather, which has heralded the rejuvenation of man and nature in equal measure.
Today while lounging on the sofa and looking through the window, I could sense the hill slopes fully animated after quenching their thirst and having a tête-à-tête with the rain drops falling musically on the earth. While eavesdropping I could make out what the rain drops were murmuring to the slopes, “Don’t you worry, we would always be there for your well being.”
The rhythmic fall of raindrops often lulls me into an intoxicating feeling of inactivity filled with sweet day dreaming. The sight of milk white sheets of clouds over the clear blue sky, after the rain stops and when sun tries to peek through them showcases a picturesque canvas of nature’s deft strokes. This game of ‘Hide and Seek’ between the sun and clouds is played many a time during the day. In the backdrop of approaching dusk the shapely tops of pines; swing gaily from side to side in the breeze. Isn’t this spectacle of nature intriguing and charming at the same time?
In hills rains have a distinct persona. They come and go at their own sweet will. No warning is proclaimed in the form of rumbling and gurgling of thunder and flashes of lightning. It arrives like a guest who is always welcome and is extended another invite before he departs. Another notable feature is that unlike in plains it rains in straight lines like wet noodles dropping through a mammoth sieve from above.
Rains are the lifeline of agriculturists in hills. Over the next few days I saw neatly prepared small beds on the slopes being planted with rows and rows of tomato and bell pepper saplings and also seeds being sown for other cash crops.
It is early August and different varieties of flowers have started blooming unannounced in a kaleidoscope of colours in our complex. Thanks to the elixir of abundant rainfall!! The journey from bud to blossom is sudden and short like a young girl’s developing curves and bright skin tone quite abruptly on attaining puberty.
Now and then, within minutes the whole area gets engulfed in mist, rising from the flanks of the mountains and haze covers the tops. And at other times the outside is clouded selectively and only parts of the scene are discernible. And then in no time mist is blown away showing everything so clearly once again. And one says, “Isn’t it a picture perfect backdrop for a Ruskin Bond story?”
In the midst of such splendour and indescribable beauty my head bows in gratitude for the munificence which nature bestows on us and my mind echoes John Keats’ line, “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.”
Images: Mountains, sky line and horizon at Kumarhatti clicked with my cell phone.
Waiting for your responses.