These Paths… (3)

That phase of my life was characterized by imagery. My recollection of those years is in a language of imagery….like a movie where I could see human life against the backdrop of the most beautiful imagery.

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Despite the unfamiliarity of the stills of life that unfolded before me, despite the unfamiliarity of the characters who were a part of my day to day life, I felt a strange familiarity.

A strange telepathic connection with this land and its people.

The familiarity that comes when the roots tug at the mind, bringing the awareness of a past that is far more ancient than one’s mortal body. A past that embraces the pasts of generations of ancestors who have passed on the essence of their lives to their successors. An essence that is sometimes powerful enough to speak across time and place. For the first time, I felt in my being the awakening of an awareness of my roots. Roots that had unconsciously attached themselves to this land and its culture when I was a child.

Roots that thrived on a land where nature set the rhythm.

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       “Writing is conscience, scruple, and the farming of our ancestors”

I closed my eyes and listened to the voice of my roots. They spoke to me, and took me on a journey across visions and sounds, fragrances and flavors, all of which constitute the essence of my roots…

Lush green fields that appear to drape the earth in a robe of silk…
A full moon that sprinkles its golden sheen on this green robe…
Folk dances that sprinkle color and vibrance to this green backdrop, bringing it to life…

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Fields that turn out gold in celebration of spring…
The paddy in the fields, dancing to the music of the wind that blows across the fields on hot summer evenings…
Fields that take new forms with the change of seasons- canvases that are removed, only to be replaced by new ones….From the tropical cacophony of green to rustic shades of gold- each strikingly panoramic…

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The dusky autumn sky blushing in the rays of the setting sun…
White clouds in the sky, like sheep astray on pastures…

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Chaotic showers of rain that shower extravagant drops of happiness on an earth parched by the tropical sun…
Trees drenched in these showers, swaying in joy, washed off their summer dust, holding out their lush green coats in proud display…
Raindrops that drip from the leaves on the trees and from the slopes of the tiled roofs of traditional old houses, as if counting the hours of a solitary night…

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Lamps and flowers that welcome the play of seasons and celebrate the changing dispositions of the sun and the planets…

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Swans and storks gliding stealthily across the river in the silvery moonlight…
The oars of a solitary boat gently and gracefully breaking the stillness of the river…
An enchanting, awakened world concealed beneath the blanket of a dark night…

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A sleeping world that wakes up to the slow tempo of dawn…
The percussion beats that echo from the temple, in synchrony with the tempo of dawn…
The traditional woman, defined by an attire of serene white, fringed by gold- the picture of a radiant lamp that welcomes the rising sun in a spirit of tranquil optimism, her attire a reflection of the tranquil spirit of her soul…

Smoke emanating from the chimney, the odor of firewood blending with the tropical odors of the earth…
The air heavy with the scent of jackfruits and mangoes that are beginning to ripen on the trees…
Farmers tilling in the fields, fishermen casting nets into the river, priests performing rituals in the temples…
The color and fury in the folk dance forms, contrasting with the depth and richness of classical dance forms…

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To me, this land represents a picture of oneness. Melody and rhythm integrated into a picture of oneness.

The cuckoo sings…
The coconut palms sway…
The brook gurgles…
The parakeet flies…
My heart soars…
For in every phenomenon,
I perceive the same melody…the same rhythm…
Today, the music in my heart resonates with the music from the soul of the universe…

It is a world where the rhythm is set by nature. It has a tradition that teaches man to integrate into this oneness, and thus sustain a kingdom that is indeed reigned by God. It is truly God’s own country.

This is the voice of my roots…

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2 thoughts on “These Paths… (3)

  1. Beautiful, Vidya..all three parts. Not only the narrative but the images too. Together they create a little magic, transporting the reader to the world as you see it. I love how, as we go from part 1 to part 3, the word ‘freedom’ takes a whole new meaning.

    1. Uday, I am beginning to understand the importance of pictures in a narrative. Thankfully, I had clicked a lot of pictures in that period. It delights me to incorporate them into my posts now 🙂
      And yes, I discovered a new meaning to freedom after I moved to Kerala, Uday. Freedom in a relatively free world, fails to awaken one to its true significance and meaning. Here, I was awed by how people would create their own worlds of freedom in their own minds, thanks to the external oppression. True creativity stems out of such oppression. At times, it is detrimental too!

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