Saturday, June 5, 2010

It's not often that I feel like the way I did when I typed out the words I'm posting below.It was a strange,a brave feeling,a feeling like I could try and touch the sticky cobwebby part of my mind,the part that has been feeling this curious longing for quite some time.That part is hard to talk about,caught up as we are in considerations of what we sound like.But just sometimes,in a few scattered moments of feeling really,really happy,and in some ways,powerful,you realise that it really doesn't matter if you're making sense or not,whether you're sounding soppy or not-because what matters,in the end,is at least trying to put it into words,because there's not a chance in hell that you'll be able to get close to what it sounds like in your mind anyway.In your mind,it's full of beauty and pain and music,in the way an old Geeta Dutt number is.So anyway.This longing-it wasn't exactly anything I can describe,just the vague,un-pin-down-able sort of scratching at the back of my mind for I don't know what.And while I was writing this down(daring to write anything after a considerable length of time)I felt something inside me fill up,in a good way,if you know what I mean,and the hankering ebb away somewhat.I had never,as far as I can remember,felt that way before,and falling-to-pieces as the writing is,I want to have some sort of record of it somewhere,I think,testimony to the fact that I felt this complete at some point of time.

Right now, I’m sitting outside,with the planks making up the bench outside our cottage digging noticeably into my back—and before me, it’s raining. I can see the drops glistening on the blades of the grass that the bulb dangling from the thatched roof castes into relief, and beyond the circle of yellow, there’s a line of trees, rustling with the faintest breeze, and the silence on this remote place makes prominent all the unfamiliar, and very welcome, sounds of the leaves brushing, the drops hitting the different surfaces-the ground, the trees, the dripping-down; the clouds rumbling—and the entire scene in front of me flashing forth in split-seconds of startled illumination in the lightning…I can hardly remember feeling this…this exhilarated in the recent past.

You know when you expect to like everything about a certain place, and once you’re there, everything’s so damn disappointing, you want to head right back home? Yesterday was SO not one of them :)

I'm at this place called Shobuj Bon near Shantiniketan.It is this pleasant taste of slight unfamiliarity here that's so refreshing—be it the door that has to be bodily hoisted and put in front of the bathroom to give you the slight privacy, the feel of your bare feet gripping the grooves and ridges on the bamboo planks on the open macha that serves as our dining-room, and even dining on leaf-plates instead of plastic or metal ones.

But the best thing.The storms here. Uff. One has to see them to believe them. We were out in the open yesterday when one of them happened-sitting on the ghat of one of the ponds scattered all over the grounds. We’d been hearing megh-gur-gur for quite a while, and then, within a space of some 15 minutes, the wind had whipped everything around me into a frenzy, all I could see was a jumble of crazy swaying of different shapes, the patterns being wrought on the surface of the water, and I could see the wind,actually see it- hustling the spray this way or that, and out in the open, with the dusk turning into golden from the deepening blue, everything had the tang of pleasantly intimidating strangeness. The light was golden, as I said, that in itself making the scene look straight out of a CGI-enhanced film, not the yellow and neither the orangish-red that sometimes passes for that hue. It was weird, to say the least, of watching the storm live out its course, drenched to the bone and shivering,parents not even daring to let me run to my room and dry off because I'd almost stepped on a snake a few moments before. But far from being put out by the cold, I felt feverish with excitement. I longed to run out, through the leaves that threatened to whip me on my face, through the squelchy mud and the puddles red with the colour of the earth, and keep running, till exhausted, and then sit down and stay there and watch the sky split open with purple jagged lightning and hear the water drip from leaf, onto leaf, onto the ground, till it stopped raining and the world stepped out of the shade and made itself at home again.

Now,it has stopped raining . I smelt the rains today, saw it make its way towards me with long, low rumbling—and it came at last, overwhelming my senses. There’s hardly anything that can be said about the smell of wet earth that hasn’t already been said, but it wasn’t only that. It was the way the skin of a dog caught out in the rain smells, it was the way the one light shining through the trees with a greenish glow was blotted out by the slanted shards, it was the way the grass felt against my toes when I, on an impulse, ran to the nearest macha and back. It was a lot more, actually, but the forest is coming alive once more. The crickets have started chirping again. And right now, as the trees send forth their familiar odour, slightly-pungent, with a whiff of moisture, almost tangible—I feel strangely full.I don't feel like jumping around or dancing or singing or even speaking,but in a way that is probably not going to make sense to anyone,I feel like I can talk.Not that I feel particularly like talking,but I feel good enough to.Really talk,about all these barely-there things flitting through my brain,things that are a part of me,that I can really be honest about-and the ones I feel like hugging to myself most of the time.Maybe,very soon, I'll be ashamed of this sudden spurt of eloquence,but you know what?I don't want to be.At the risk of letting you find out who I really am,I want to be capable of this all my life,and never lose my sense of wonder at the only things that give me this heady feeling.Is this what it feels like to be drunk?


  1. Rain.Smell of wet earth.Shantineketan.And silence.All the good things in life don't come together like this very often.

    No Kalboishakhi in the city though. It's unbearable!

  2. No, this isn't exactly what it feels like to be drunk. Though that's insanely exhilarating in its own way, it's never This.
    And I know what This is. It's what I feel when I wake up on some mornings and the sky looks like it's never looked before. Or when I'm lying in bed reading, my cat is curled up against me and I can feel it soft, furry little tummy rise and fall with the breathing. And sometimes there isn't even a distinct reason- nothing in the weather or the people around, but just inside me, new nerve endings sprout and tingle and the world changes into a special place.

  3. i see the tuxedo-ed penguins are gone.

    and it's a nice photo, you retard.

    and change the font colour.
    and ya, it's not like that when you're drunk.

  4. me likes... :)

    ....reminded me of an outing of mine...n the photo is beautiful...n so is your e-shtyle of writing... :)

    bah bah... :P

  5. dude. the header. THE HEADER.
    The first para- it's too long to quote but Yes. Exactly! You've succeeded as well as you could in capturing some of the essence of it.
    Post more often na!

  6. Sometimes knowing what a place stands for can change its personna to its visitor, and it is no longer the earth of 'elsewhere'.

    I could not fit Shantiniketan this time around, hopefully the next time.

    Enjoyed the abstract in your narrative, like a ball of wool that is rolled down the hallway and it rolls away until it ends up as the other end of a thread in the far distance.

  7. Hi.
    You may not know me but I live in a pristine little village near Udaipur. And sometimes it is nice there too. I have heard of Shantiniketan and the sheer riot of beauty that is. I like feeding your fish. But they are quite stupid and keep bumping into each other.

  8. faaaack.the helicopter game dude.i have your top seven scores, i think. it's the Shez men.