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Monsoon Moods

Watching magnanimous drops pouring generously, after eluding this part of the city, during the month of  Shravan (July-August) under the national calendar.

We have entered the next month of Bhadon or Bhadrapad (August-Septenber).

On the coming 22nd of August we celebrate sree Krishna Janmasthami or the birthday of Lord Krishna. Legend has it that the night he was born in the prison of his maternal uncle, Kans, who had usurped the kingdom from his father in a bloody coup, wHe was required to be moved to safety. Kans used to kill the child born to his sister, because he was told that  the eight child born to his sister will kill him. He got so frightened that he forgot to find out which child was the eight one: the first of the 8 or the eight of the 8? In that state of confusion, he killed all the children as soon as born. It was only Krishna who could be moved to the safety of  Nandgaon in Brij (a part of U.P.State of India now).

The first fortnight of the month of Bhadon happens to be dark. The 8th day of  Bhadon  witnessed heavy rains when Lord Krishna materialized in the prison. As all his siblings were put to death by his maternal uncle, it was decided to move him to safety. He was put in a basket to be taken to the other side of the river Jamuna (also spelt Yamuna). But the river was in spate. His father tried to cross the river, but the water continued to rise. Undeterred,  his father continued wading and the river continued to rise. Not a weather condition so much as another of His Leelas or acts of revelations of His Grace. The river was trying to touch His feet , the feet of the Lord in His child  form. The Lord knew and granted the river the opportunity it was praying for. He lowered the thumb of His  right foot for the river to touch it. Blessed by the Lord, the river water receded, grating safe wading to the father. And the Lord was safely taken to His foster mother, by whose name He is known:Yashoda or Jasoda. Yashodanandan is another name of Krishna. He is remembered as Yashoda’s son. Many people don’t remember the name of his biological mother, Devaki !

As the clouds assembeled and moved and assembled again, it occurred to me that they were moving without feet or wheels (which are  only extension of the feet, as one beautifully written advertisement line reads). It also struck me that they have travelled thousands of miles from the Arabian sea. What a long journey and no aviation fuel burnt? No damage to the environment?  The mystery was cleared by the occasional lightening. So it was moving on the strength of its own power pack or bundle of energy! That energy was also regulating the movement of all clouds, determining where they should assemble, where pour rains, where disperse. The clouds turn into rains when the energy pack is exhausted. Such huge quantity of water forming the clouds regains its original form of liquid. What perfect science! What flawless software! What Natural Order!  Things would have been very dangerous. Imagine a cloud of 200 miles! Turning into sudden rain. It would be calamity, disaster, havoc ! But He is no scientist of imperfections. His systems are regulated most scientifically.

Monsoons in India are season of poetic  outpourings, profusions and pangs. They are specially related to romantic poetry. Aesthetically it is the Shrangar Ras, one of the nine Rasas in Indian aesthetics. Shrangar Rasa has two parts or aspects, called Sanyog and Viyog. One serenades meeting the beloved and the other moans separation for any reason like the distance from the work places responsible for  their separation. It is also a season for the adolescent girls to meet   their other sahelis or girl friends and sharing the experiences of the ones gone for sometime due to marriage. The other friends sing very touching songs thinking of the day when marriage will separate them from their childhood friends. Poetry of the highest quality celebrating the innocence of the girl child, whose life is so structured that she has genuinely very little time for herself, excepting when she is growing in her parental home.  She will soon move, as the whole world moves around the woman that she is soon going to become. She is the axis on which moves  the family. At least in the typical cultural mooring of the Brij.

This other worldly experience is witnessed under tall Kadamba trees, while the young ones enjoy enormously  huge swings. No romeos are allowed to hang around, but the love lorn watch from safe distances, lost in the surreal world of adolescent emotions. I miss being away from that part of my Brij culture, living in a metropolis!

My poetic sensibilities bring me back to the clouds and the power that moves them and regulates their movement and activity. Suddenly I recall the great epic poet Tulsidas’s line: Binu pag chale sune binu kaanaa. It means He walks without feet and hears without ear! Is it not because of this that our prayers are granted?

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