what in us
the teaching thorn
the hardened rock
the wonted morn
the swaying of a tender leaf
in his heart
and he dreaming
The term ‘research’ being in itself so momentous, a research journal supposedly should be filled with scholarly ramblings or field observations. My journal, however, also contains a section on memories. While memories are necessarily selective and private, we are not unknown to their pleasures when shared…
So here’s a glimpse of a memory from my research journal:
It was a mid-June morning.
Our team was resolute about taking interview of a recluse (a highly revered Buddhist Mahathera) who was living in one of the remotest villages of Assam.
In case you don’t have an idea about how remote a village in Assam can be, then let me entertain you. There are acres and acres of farmlands or else tea gardens; usually isolated farmsteads or sometimes with small clustered settlements midst them and no matter where you are, you have to face the common and salient feature: the narrow potholed road, where seldom public transport plied.
One is likely to be left high and dry on the road for many hours; for the lack of a conveyance. Oh! Sorry, not dry! Those unforeseen downpours are certainly not going to
People say times have changed.
I still see toads lying flat on the roads in the monsoons. Their joyous leaps put to an end maybe by some breakneck conveyance, before they could reach their sanctuaries safely.
Rains still come down to these sanctuaries like ever: demented! Thousands of invisible light-footed spiders gambol on the buoyant waters of the earth, when clouds kiss the warmth of a frozen sun and melt.
The Sun stays put; as if some Mayan magic cast a spell and froze it. Has it not been millions of years; millions of years of a frozen Sun?
Yet summers still turn to autumns. Burning skies change shades.
In August one half of the sphere still celebrates, like ever; in mine farmers still rise early to work. Hauling ploughs in one arm and prodding indolent bulls with the other, they tramp through the loose grounds barefoot.
I still see stars in the silvery waters of the fields, between the delicate green saplings, at midday, when the frozen Sun smiles directly upon the farmers’ sweat.
Burning woods in the winter air still stir unlived memories of an ancient home in my vagabond bones. Like the splintering wood under fire, I hear my bones crackle under the weight of the unchanging time, where like the Sun I have been frozen too.
I dig my grave before the springs arrive. In a limbo I hear people say: times have changed.