Monday, May 28, 2007

Return to Innocence

Went to Prati’s place over the weekend. For those of you who don’t know, Prati is a very dear friend of mine, almost like a sister to me. She and her family are the most “real” people I have met, who give two hoots about the society, live life the way they want to, without the trappings of the niceties that have to be observed with so-called “relatives”. For all those who are scared that if you are radical, you would be friendless, these people are like eye-openers. They have an extraordinarily large circle of like-minded friends, all interesting people, a mere talk with whom leaves one with the feeling of having learnt something! Prati’s family lives in a farm in the outskirts of Bangalore, their home a beautiful combination of the old and the new. The house is aesthetically designed, situated at one end of a huge [nearly 20 acres] farm, built with eco friendly materials and methods, having a lovely “totti” [an open quadrangle] in the centre, stone pillars, red-oxide flooring, tiled roof – at the same time, equipped with all the modern appliances you would expect to find in a sophisticated place in the heart of the city! The house is very well designed, and, this together with the surrounding environment , make it very pleasant to stay, without any fans, even on the hottest summer days! And, in such a beautiful place, live Prati, her sister, her father and four lovely dogs!

From before, whenever I am very confused, I turn to Prati. She helps me see sense. She doesn’t advise much, just asks me the right kind of questions which help clear my mind, and sets me thinking in the right direction, so that eventually, I come up with the answer and set right the mess in my head. The previous week had been pretty tough for me, with few emotional scenes at home regarding my future career plans. My parents were confused and I felt all the more so. So, when Prati invited me over, I just went.

It was catharsis. We talked a lot- Prati and I – and, as usual, it helped. But, what I really carried back with me this time – was the solitude. The vast sky, the lack of any traffic, the jhoola [swing] on the trees – where one could swing till you felt your feet touched the clouds, the fields, the mogra plants teeming with fragrant flowers, the mango trees with fruit hanging so low that you could just reach out and pluck it off, the serenity of the place…. I spent a lot of time by myself.. just absorbing the feel of the place, till my mind felt devoid of any thought. Last evening, we just sat and watched the onset of the monsoon – the black clouds gathering in the horizon, their approach towards us, the distant thunder, the dazzling flashes of lightening – and then the downpour! Watched the plants rejoicing as it rained. Heard the soothing gurgles made by the water as it came into the house, into the stone paved totti . We just sat. We dint talk – there was no pressure to keep a conversation going, the silence was both comfortable and comforting. I was reminded a James Herriot story, where he spoke of these people who lived in this really remote farm. He spoke of observing them just sitting, Not watching the telly, not even conversing, but just sitting. We did just that yesterday. It was something I had forgotten. To be comfortable with myself. To be quiet – without any activity. To just be. The silence around slowly percolates within to create a general feeling of calmness. This wasn’t the kind of happiness you got in any group activity, This was an inner joy, which was longer lasting. I remembered the Enigma song “…look into your heart, my friend, that will be the return to yourself, the return to innocence” . That’s what it was. A return – to nature – to one’s roots – to one’s true self.

2 comments:

Ram said...

Wow! Very beautifully written.

Bastet said...

@ ram
Merci beaucoup, mon cher ami!! The words seem inadequate to express what I felt.. have given it my best shot, though! :)