The lotus pond



The lotus pond in the ayurvedic treatment centre is full this time as compared to the last, when it was just a gaping cement-lined hole, sterile and empty. Now the water comes right up to the little cement embankment. The leaves, large and small, lie on the surface starred with globules of water which glitter like large moonstones or opals when the sun’s rays catch them.
The surface is not still for long. Ripples break it every now and then. Little fish swim in it. A passing bird drops something. Sometimes copper coloured dragonflies skim its surface, alighting like ballerinas, delicately, on a leafy pad. Sometimes a dry stalk or leaf, brown and sere, snaps from the mango tree on its edge and falls into the water.

One day, I saw a water bird, a pond heron, walk across it, ungainly yet with a coltish grace, stepping lightly from leaf to leaf, at the same time looking into its depths for its breakfast. Bees buzz around, metallic gold and green, flitting from flower to flower, sipping fastidiously, doing their ordained jobs, brushing their  wings with the golden pollen.

I watch it at different stages of the day. In the early mornings when the mist is still rising from the ground, in the afternoon, when the Kerala sun is hot and oppressive they droop with languor much like fine ladies out too long in the sun, and at night they look waxy, ghostly in the moonlight or when flashes of lightning illumine them in streaks.

The lotus flowers are at different stages of evolution. There are the tightly furled buds, waiting for the right time to slowly unfurl, stretch towards the life giving sun to open. There are two half open ones, one white and waxy, just barely showing the golden yellow centre and one a blush pink, the colour of the soon to be dawn.  
And then there are the full-blown ones, with their bright yellow filaments and spored centres, rising up from the muck and the slime and debris of dried stems and soggy leaves, symbolic of the invincible courage of man, rising above the vicissitudes and the tribulations of life- the true embodiment of the Greek term physis- the aspiration upwards and onwards, towards joy and fulfilment, going beyond oneself. Synonymous with Phusus the Greek goddess of Nature, a force of rejuvenation and healing.

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