This time I have decided to scribble up a poem to hail the everlasting adventure..,our life itself!! O.., Beautiful life the Athena of all adventures and ventures these verses are my tribute to you..!!
Life is a dream,
And men are jolly vagabonds… says
the merry merry men… and once it happened
that I too saw a dream, a sweet little dream
and dived into the the sea of life…
later I knew that life is nothing
but colours in a conjurer’s jar..
a dream; a never ending show..and
an immortal song..!!
The sun and his 47 degree temperature was so unbearable that I was forced to take off my thinking cap and retire back to the lazy slumber which colored my past days..! My spirit was crushed in this melting gold from sun..,even the chilled bottles of lemon crushes were not able to relieve it. Cursing the newly found enemy of the sky, I made myself a cold lemonade..,and went to the balcony of my hostel to find solace..,seeing my zombified image even the little banyan tree,which grew through a crack of the wall laughed at me with a note of mockery, but the stern look on the face the aloe vera plant,who sympathized with my withered state, saved me from the mockery of the little banyan tree..!I was sad,homesick,lonely,tired and above all was thirsty for rain..!
I sipped the cold lemonade..,the sweet and sour angels in it danced on my tongue..,lighting many cold crackers in my brain, I felt the adventure which was lurking in the air..,but how is it even possible to embark on an adventure at this time of the night..,with my withered state of mind and body..!! Suddenly my eyes got hooked on something kept at the corner. I leaned over and picked it up..,it was an old book..,all tired like me with pages as yellow as the beach sand…because of its old age..,I played my finger on it.,it reminded me of my current state..,all withered and neglected kept at an unwanted corner..!
Dismissing all gloomy thoughts..,I carefully blew the dust settled on the book..,it rose into the air with the elegance of star dust. The tittle of the book read like this..”Rapaccini’s daughter”!! I started the book on a gloomy note..,so did the story..!! It told the story of a homesick man called Giovanni..,who goes to a new town..,takes up an apartment in a far away land. Suddenly I heard some rumbling noise under my feet, I looked down but the sight I saw was very bizarre. At first I never believed my eyes..,the cemented floor on which I rested was no longer there..,instead there was this marble floor which resembled some old renaissance castle. I had the fit of my life when I heard an old woman’s voice telling “Ciao Signor”..
Wow..!! Where on earth am I? I was sitting on the same iron chair but in some weird old mansion..,with a 79 year old woman and a young man dressed so bizarrely as if he is going to act in some Shakespearean play. I thought I was dreaming, I tried to pinch myself and wake myself up. But none of my techniques of waking myself up worked.,and I was still stranded in a weird mansion with a weird man..,who is leaning over from his balcony to observe the mysterious garden down his mansion..,the woman whispered that it belong to Rapaccini.I tried to call the woman and ask my way back. But both the youth and the woman behaved as if I am invisible..!! O my God..!! Am I REALLY INVISIBLE..? Or have I gone mad? Okay now there is no going back..! I sat there in despair.. Can I ever go back? Can I see my family again..? I felt like crying..
But now I have got nothing that to observe this woman and the youth..,The woman who seemed like the caretaker bid farewell to the man..whose gaze was fixed on the garden below. I saw a mixed range of emotions on the man’s face. At first it was sadness,then it was curiosity..,and then it was passion..!! What the hell is going on in that Garden.. I stood up from my chair and went next to the man,and looked down to the garden.
O..it was so beautiful..just like the Elysian fields of the paradise..but here was something evil about it. Suddenly from behind the herbs came an old man. OH..,this must be the old Rapaccini,about whom the care-taker was speaking. The old man was inspecting the plants with a dreaded expression on his face, as if he is in a garden filled with poisonous snakes.I hated the look of this old man, so did Giovanni. I grew tired of this garden gazing and was feeling sleepy, when my eyes saw something magnificent.. a purple flowered shrub in the middle of the garden which glowed like a dew drop under the crystal blue waters of the ornate fountain which watered it..I just wanted to run to the garden and feel the velvet flowers with my fingers..,it was like some magic..,I saw Govanni’s face also glowing but the flower was not the reason for this,but was due to a girl who was attending the plant.
She was really a celestial being, just like the flower..I even closed my eyes for reciting a small prayer when I saw her misunderstanding her to be a goddess. But then came to know it was just Rapaccini’s daughter..As she looked to our direction I blacked out..,her gaze was so strong for a mere mortal like me,.
I gained my consciousness after many days..,I presume..!! No one was in sight, What is happening? I went to the balcony and saw Giovanni with the celestial girl. I was happy for them. As I was alone in the room I decided to examine the room. I found a small book ornately decorated in rich leather. My curiosity made me read it..,later I found out that it was Giovanni’s diary. And from it I came to know that the mysterious girl’s name is Beatrice and he likes her more than anything in this world..Woupiee, if I am lucky enough I could attend an Italian marriage of renaissance time..!! Cool..!!
But the information which I found on the next page was very disturbing..Beatrice was not a normal girl,she was a poisonous being..,more poisonous than a cobra..that even her meager breath could kill a human being..!!She became so due to some experiments of her father.! That cold blooded man lacks the basics of human sentiments..! Now I was getting worried for Giovanni..!! Is he doing the right thing? Is this the old man’s some experiments..?Anyhow I don’t want to see Giovanni die..!
Then I learned that Giovanni’s acquaintance and Rapaccini’s competitor Professor Bolglioni has given him an anecdote which can neutralize any poison..!! My mind was all singing of joys..,I was happy because I was seeing a silver lining in the story..!!
The next day Giovanni was getting ready to meet Beatrice..,but with horror I found out that the flower he was carrying withered in his hands..,!! O MAN..!! Giovanni is also a poisonous being now..!! O no.., I can’t take it anymore,because the next thing I will be finding out that I have turned into a poisonous being..!! I wanna go.., now but I was relieved thinking about the anecdote ..that day disregarding my own I went with Giovanni to the garden to find the celestial Beatrice..! She was all happy to see him,but he behaved very weirdly..he started spitting out poisonous words,accusing Beatrice to be a traitor..but how can he do this? how can he do something like this to someone so sweet like BEATRICE..!!
But then as in a dream he gave her the anecdote..she drank it and bid farewell to this world..,I just wanted to vanish at that time..,I HAVE STARTED TAKING A LIKING TOWARDS ALL OF THEM..AND at that moment..I felt as if the earth was tumbling under my feet..I stumbled and accidentally touched the poisonous flower growing under the fountain..
My fingers touched the cold poison,while my eyes froze at the sight of the chilling death of Beatrice..I wanted to shout, to cry out loudly..!!But something magical took place at that time..!! Beatrice,Rapaccini,Giovanni,the ruined castle and the garden, the poisonous plant everything vanished into a purple hue which found found its way into my heart and with a shudder I WOKE UP IN my balcony..,I was sweating profusely..,I was scared. I wanted to be near my mother..in her hands..!! I checked the title of the book …it was written in lilac “RAPACCINI’S DAUGHTER” by Nathaniel Hawthorne…!!I was absorbed into the mysticism of the story..but I dreaded the book and put it back where I found it..but I felt very different with some revived force..it was raining..!! I found as if I found back my lost self..but I was dreaded when I saw a purple hue which was flowing through my veins now..and in that raining night the raindrops washed away my old self while my new self basked in purple..not knowing whether its for the good or bad..! WHILE THE ALOE VERA PLANT smiled like a hundred year old sage,who knew all the mysteries of this universe..,leaving me all confused after this mystic journey….!!
Home..its always a special feeling..,its not just a place but an emotion which we carry with us..,everywhere..!! We may find our town old fashioned with many foolish folks poking their nose into our daily affairs.., but still we will miss this place for each and every second of our life..once we go away from it..!! I too have got some cool stuff to remember about my place…my family,friends and the very old foolish people who used to annoy me..!! I would love to tell you that I miss you all dearly..,my folks..!! and I love you..!
God has blessed my land with some special grace…which is very evident from its emerald shaded meadows,dotting coconut trees,sapphiric lagoons and the blue beaches..Kerala…is a beauty,as you enter this magical land you feel all rejuvenated..everything appears new..everything has the newly founded charm of a heavenly angel..!
The tiring life in a metro has indeed drained my soul and mind..I was living my life just like a robot without any aesthetic sense. There is a special infection which curbs into your system.,.whose tagline is “utility comes before beauty”..!The only thing that concerns you in a metro life is just time,money,profit and loss.As Keats will like to remind you “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever”. So when you stops seeing beauty in things, the joy of your life bids farewell to you..!! Summer vacations are always to me as a drizzle is to a desert…I feels so relieved..this is the only time I can take a break from this dingy city life..
I reached my hometown at night..so more or less nothing was visible in the darkness except the lighted up shops on the sidewalks..! A cool wind whistled past me as I leaned on my mother’s shoulder after the tiring three day journey in the train..and the magical wind played a sweet lullaby in my ears which made me a slave of the great slumber.The first thing I did in the next morning was to embrace my sweet land..I took a long walk in my courtyard, I took off my shoes and walked through the damp sand. I felt as if the little grains of sand kissed my feet as I went past. The tall eucalyptus tree gently bowed its head before me and showered me with its gracious blessings in the form of dry leaves..The wind was still busy, brushing my hairs, the leaves played a slow Mozart’s note for me on their invisible piano..,Slowly it started to rain…with the curiosity of a hornbill who was detained from rain for a million years..,I gazed into the silvery sky with my mouth wide open. I felt the taste of a tiny drop of sweet diamond..yes, the very first raindrop…It was the most delicious drink in the world which not even the best concoction maker can make..!! I went past the old outhouse with broken wooden boards who winked at me like an old lady in her 80s with shaky hands and a mouth without any teeth..I went inside the outhouse ,my old books were shackled around the corner..!I ran through a few pages and the old books smell gave me new sensations of joy..as I was about to return I heard a low clinging of bell…Viola,there in its old pride and glory..was my cycle..!!Its tyres were flat and the chain was a bit rusted, rest..everything was fit and fine..!! I wanted to take her out and fly on her..but outside it was raining too heavily..!
I locked the shed and went back to my home..my mother made hot crispy vadas. I muched it up with a cup of hot steaming cup of aroma filled coffee..This place is truly a heaven…Rain stopped and the sky became crystal clear..my friends had stopped by.. to inquire about the happenings of my city life..We went on a cycling trip to the nearby lagoon..the blue waters told us stories of friendship and memories..the water hyacinths smiled at us like young damsels in lavender gowns..I envied them in my minds..look,how beautiful they are..? “Then what about us..?”asked the little yellow button sunflowers…who were enjoying a sauna treatment in the early morning sun. I never expected this question..! still I replied quite abruptly..”You are nature’s own little princesses with beautiful little butterflies to attend on you..!” They swayed their heads happily at my reply..!! I had nice long conversations with my friends..,while returning we cycled back to a lonely hill. The
hilltop had a nice coconut vendor who used to sell nice,sweet, fresh coconut..!! We raced to the hills, and had a nice green coconut..The fizz of the coconut water instantly charged our tired bodies. We ate the white pulp of coconut and recited in mind..even heavenly ambrosia will not be as tasty as this..!!
With freshly regained energy we went the nearby town to our cafe cum friends hub..Himalaya..,!! Yes,indeed it was Himalaya for us..I and my friends had spend a hundreds of evening sipping lemonade in this stall and found our mental solace..!! It was always refreshing..,more friends joined us there. On a plate of cutlet we discussed our little joys and happiness..! We cheered for each others achievements..!! It was almost evening…and which is the best place to be at sunset..? Yes, thats right..! We went to the beach..Listening to the revolutionary songs of the strong waves..We soaked in our eyes,.the golden sun who was running to hide behind the mystic horizon..!! With the parting sun ..I bide good bye to my friends and walked unsteadily through the silky sand to reach back to my home…,where the half read story book awaited me..,all patiently to fill up my mind with new tales….and in all this joy I forgot that far..more miles away,a city is waiting for me with a dreary burden of my duties..!!
Many a times and oft when I have gone to the Alliance Francais, I always wondered at the marvel of that majestic building which used to peep through the lush foliage which adorned the sidewalks of Delhi. I always wanted to visit this place but due to the busy schedules, the irregular classes of JNU and the normal rational time management..I was always forced to suppress my curiosity. I was just getting immersed in the the normal crowd who sang in chorus with W.H. Davies…that “we have no time to stand and stare”.But life is not to be lived like a 100m race…it is something whose every moment is to be enjoyed..!! Many times we purposefully forgets this for satisfying the designs of devil like money and greed..!!
Godly things like beauty,peace and serenity always gets unnoticed in this modern sci-fi world of matrix. This building has something in it which always lured me to it,just like an unseen magnet pulls iron. But the normality of life always kept me occupied. That day was an ordinary one except that I and my friend had one of our normal fights (which is quite common for us ). So just to cheer ourselves up a little bit..we had an ice cream. There is something special about ice creams..it can always solve any big disputes..!! plus it gives you marvelous
ideas..! The ice cream effect took us to the Great Safdarjung Tomb.
On the very first step into monument I felt some chilled shiver ,it vibrated through me and I felt as if someone has done magic on me..,we continued our walk. The grand structure which was hidden behind the thick leaves of pomegranate trees is now smiling right at my face. I heard a voice inside my head which told me.. “so you are here at last..”!! The wind brushed through my hair and the birds chirped in my ears as if someone has told them to welcome me with all grandeur of a princess..!
I felt the richly carved walls and the red sandstone which sung about unseen passions and the marble floor which embraced me with its kind and cold surface. The majestic cenotaph in white marble shone with a magical radiance in the evening sunlight..!! With shivering fingers I touched the cold cenotaph. and I saw an old man with a kind face near the Cenotaph, whose face lit up a sweet peaceful smile..He was old and weary, clad in a white robe.I exchanged a smile and closed my eyes…an entire royal procession passed in front of my eyes..!!My friend’s soft voice awakened me from the trance. I re-entered the real world…the busy and noisy world..! But the tomb and its garden still hid us from this noise just like a baby is protected in a mother’s womb. We clicked many photos,praised the ancient architecture… complained about the governments irresponsibility in protecting the ancients monuments…and as the time was racing on our watch..we were forced to join the race…The hour glass pulled us out from the serene garden and took us out to the sonorous street of Delhi.
And as I was coming out the arabic inscriptions on the main entrance caught my eyes…“When the hero of plain bravery departs from the transitory, may he become a resident of god’s paradise”…
Yes when I and Richa took the courage to suspend the banalities of our life and to leave behind our busy scheduled transitory world..we were indeed welcomed into this paradise…! MASHA’ ALLAH..!!
This Summer,the wanderer in me was smiling victoriously…!! Because at the end she has win the battle with the homesick me…,It lured me with promises of new found joy of traveling..and made me stay in Delhi. So armed in the shining armor of courage..I cancelled my confirmed ticket to Kerala..and decided to stay in this majestic capital even in this scroaching heat..!! The roads of Delhi shone with a magical lusture..,I felt a change in myself, my vision changed, the way I looked at the things changed…everything has changed in a new way..Little things which I used to ignore as the banality of life,smiled at me with marvel. Everything was giving joy to my eyes..Even in the chitchats of leaves and whispers of wind, my heart pounced with joy..!! I knew perfectly well what was happening to me…,I have been infected.! Yes, I have been infected by the wanderer’s lust..!! Now there is no turning back..all I can do is to live with this infection..,until and unless my wanderer gets perfectly satisfied… and gets weary of my travels..!!
I was feeling all new. The lazy couch potato in me has hidden somewhere..I don’t know where to find her..,the claustrophobic me..who used to run away from crowds…wanted to get immersed in the crowd..things were changing..Yes, they should change because even the saying says that “CHANGE WE MUST ” .The wanderer’s spirit has done alchemy on me..!! SO ARE YOU READY TO TRAVEL WITH ME…??