Sunday, July 17, 2011

Simpler Times

July. August. Up north, where I emotionally belong to, these are the monsoon months. The month of Shraavana. In Hindi, saawan ka mahinaa.

This is the time of the year when the Ganga is usually swollen and its waters muddy. This is the time when the Ganga, which otherwise flows serenely and nourishes the millions settled on its plains, can assume a devastating form.

The evidence of the two different moods of the Ganga lies in the yoga-cum-puja room of my Chennai home. Two white translucent cans are sitting there, both containing water from the Ganga. One of them has water that I had collected during a boat ride in Banaras in November 2007, when I had gone there to collect material for Chai, Chai. The water in it is still crystal clear.

The other contains water I had collected, also during a boat ride in Banaras, in August 2009, when I was there to cremate my mother. A thick layer of sediment can be seen at the bottom of this can. How can I ever forget 29 August 2009: I stood there under an overcast sky, in the furnace-like heat generated by the over a dozen burning pyres, watching the Ganga -- swollen but sluggish.

Monsoon seems to have hit the Ganga Mail too. The more swollen the mind with thoughts, the muddier the thought process, and you can't see what exactly is there at the bottom of the mind that needs to be expressed.

The less the number of thoughts, the simpler and more effective the thought process. People living in the hills are simple people, and they lead a simple life. That's where the Ganga gurgles down with great force, and the water so cold and clear that you can often see what's at the bottom. It flows like a good piece of writing.

It's time to pay a visit to the hills; to return to simpler times.

9 comments:

shruthi said...

I could hook u up with the hills BG...monsoon or otherwise

Lakshmi said...

any time is a good time to go to the hills..and yes, the pahadi people are far more simpler, straight from the heart kinda people..have met so many amazing people..sigh ! i need to getaway too from this murky clogged city and mind

Anonymous said...

Pay a visit. Hopefully it will clear your thought process. Your writing seems to be clueless these days. Get rejeuvenated Bish.

Janani Sampath said...

Time to be on the other side, now, for a break

Bimal said...

Monsoon Blues?
Take a break.

Anonymous said...

Interesting the way you drew parallels between a murky Ganga and a murky mind. Well,nothing more inspiring and refreshing than the hills. Have a lovely trip!

A friend recommended that I read your book Chai Chai. My first purchase after landing in Mumbai.Thoroughly enjoyed it and enjoying your blog too!
Now you are on my favorite "writer" list. So please, publish more :)

Jyoti

Anonymous said...

Only you could have written this. This is exactly why you are special. Hug!

Anonymous said...

Saawan ka mahina, mere dono aankhen "sore"
jiyara re jhoome aise, jab BG likthey "more".
Write write write.

Anonymous said...

My fav piece!