Monday, August 01, 2005

The city dwellers

When I tell you that a Banyan tree is about my idea of wilderness, & a crow is about how much I care about ornithology, you can make out exactly how much of an city person I am. And Venkat, I do not think has made it too much beyond the borders of Chennai, to start with and Bangalore lately, for anything more than a weekend. For him, if a place does not sell Scotch you can safely call it uncivilized, or wild. SA, of course, does not care much one way or the other as long as he is getting his sixteen hours supine & the remaining watching NDTV. SC, well, let's not go there...

Contrast this to Manoj, a one time wannabe vet & now a passionate technology professional, whose home in distant Sagar, then, was destination weekend for this bunch of gentlemen and a lady, reluctantly slipping away from their twenties.

And thankful though we all are to him and his folks for being such endearing hosts, for those cups of fantastic filter coffee, for the simple delicacies of their kitchen and for the warmth and heartiness of their hospitality, I look back with yearning at the rain soaking incessantly the ubiquitous green earth, the lake with a carefree litter of lotus leaves, the roads bending around the water gushing in the perennially inundated canals, the raindrops lingering on the arecanuts, & the mountain in the distance and finally at the summit, past a long, at times treacherous, drenching walk, the wind too strong for umbrellas, the elation too much to contain, the clouds cleared for one brief moment revealing in a dreamlike manner behind the curtains of still heavy rains, the tiny inconsequential bits of life we define ourselves by, so that the only, almost inevitable, thing to do was to stretch your arms and say, "Let there be light!"

The city pulsates, but it is incapable of making magic.