I am at my ancestral house in kerala …I got there after a 7 hour ride on my bike…through the beautiful ghats of wynad.. the route is beautiful, the rice is about to be planted and one is far from the blitz of soft drink ads. the local markets are full of yellow flowers jasmines, sugarcane and the mussel-like fruit of the palm called the nong …I put my bags down and relax on the “easy chair” on the huge portico.
We have a fabulous dinner after the stunning evening rituals. The colors, the flames, the bells, the songs, the flowers-the senses are filled and the new moon light packed with stars. It’s totally dark. I clink my metal key and ring. Hoping the sound will ward off snakes. i come to the neem tree with its scents and think, ”now I must go right” I step into an abyss have slipped and fallen into a small pit ..Probably dug for some new hybrid..It’s a pretty bad fall but no broken bones except for a few bruises.. i am terrified ..but luckily I find my key and I get back .i knock at the door and is opened by grandma. .what were u doing outside she asks and is immediately horrified to hear what has happened …she comes upto me into my room with a lamp ( a kerala power cut of course!!!),but then I bathe with neem and put antiseptic on my scalding bruises which I cant see. I am lucky to have got off so easily. .all night I keep waking up to see if I am paralyzed. .but at last it is 6.00 am ..my usual waking hour out in the open. a new day has begun ..The cuts on my knee have formed neat scabs, and I am ready to face the day.
Its raining, heavy rain which mixes with the red earth and falls on a tree and a temple pond with a distinctive smashing sound…the house is set in a two acre farm, right in between…all around except for on the right are green fields…. right at the front gate entrance is a pond.. Belonging to the community temple. . and on the back gate as well is a pond privately belonging to our family ….I lie in bed feeling as if I am a bower of green-and the tree outside my room has crept in. i look out and see two old ladies dressed in deep magenta and leaf green hurrying out barefoot in the squelchy mud. A hen looks around as if amazed at the weather, a goat kid bleats scared on hearing a splash in the pond and a ducks quacks and hurries along as though she has to catch the 7.40 local train…i find my watch its 7.30 am. breakfast time ..i get warm water in the natural geyser where firewood burns away with its smoky fragrance …the water is hot but just right for the weather ..Just comfortably warm I should say.. Outside the local folk are taking bath in the temple pond. . The huge Banyan tree which overhangs the pond is crowded with gnarled knots of suspended roots..The womenfolk’ would come later in the day on to the other side of the pond to bathe and wash clothes….
I am standing in the field.. it suddenly starts to pour.. i return home two hundred meters in the pouring rain and the red earth, the temple pond filling with opal colored water, the surroundings in a hazy with white clouds like smoke …so so real that I suddenly know that in this place It is possible to be outstandingly happy .i slosh through puddles soaked in a state of bliss –my body cool at last and hopeful……
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