Blessed are we, for it still rains...

Attitude


Come rain and the newspapers have a deluge of headlines painting it black. Till the other day you exclaimed, phew, what heat! When’s the blessed rain coming? And when it rains, we curse it. Are we not being ungrateful? All the so called woes purportedly caused by rainfall, are man-made; the clogged drains, the flooded underground parking area, the mini lakes on the road and so on. We stop at nothing to pollute our surroundings.

Do we give a damn when we tip the garbage into the drain or under the neighbour’s window overlooking a vacant site? Do we cross check if the apartment builder has conformed to building norms and municipal bylaws before buying the promised mini haven for a fancy price? Do we pull up the corporator for the sad state of our drains and roads?

One finds motorists doing all kinds of tricks to get past potholes and myriad road blocks in a me-first life and death race. But no time for the other man, least of all the pedestrians who run hither and thither like harried chicken in messy traffic which has neither sense nor sensibility.

After all, rain is mother nature’s benediction to us all. Recall Bendre’s invocation to rain mother to quench the thirst of the universe parched to the core and even there, he thinks of the other man who is equally in peril. Me last is the essence of the theme, in tune with the ethos of our cultural heritage.

What finer example of that thought than the stone image of a serpent spreading its hood over a frog laying eggs, on the banks of the Thunga at Sringeri? Adi Shankara was struck by that example of universal brotherhood and there he established the first of the four mutts, the four signifying the unity and integrity of this ancient land of ours.

Inspiration

Kalidasa used the imagery of the moving cloud to depict the unity in diversity of this land. The rain bearing cloud formation moving across the country down to the south from the Himalayas was the messenger for a lovelorn soul. A single raindrop was used by the great poet to describe the beauty of Parvati doing penance for the hand of Lord Shiva. The passage of the raindrop, chaste as an icicle, falling on the celestial maiden standing in salutation to her lover down her well-chiselled frame is a marvellous piece of poetic exuberance.

When it rains, and after a pause, have you listened to the enlivening chorus of joy cutting through the silence of the night? That is the love calls of the crickets and the lowly frogs, a refreshing refrain from the nursery rhyme, rain, rain, go away or rain patters and leaves quiver.

Can you ever forget the effervescent fragrance of mother Earth when the first drops of rain tickle her singed skin?

Blessed are we for it still rains despite the dwindling water bodies and devastated forest cover. Shudder to think when it suddenly might not.

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