Perspectives from the Himalaya

A Fleeting Pink

“The sky is pink!” Little A exclaims upon his first glimpse of daylight from the bedroom window.
“Mama, can you bring the sky to me?” he enquired, befuddled as he was.

He rubs his eyes and fumbled for his slippers, treading to the outside world framed from the balcony. Sunbeams penetrated the thick pavlovian clouds casting a shimmering hue of rainbow glitter across the valley. A single pink hue outlawed itself making its mark on a nimbus cloud, radiating a blossoming rosy ray. Little A stood still for a moment, gathering his thoughts.

The monsoon mist had lifted and drifted, slowly revealing the silhouette of the towering Annapurna range once again. And once again, being face to face, Mama I is reminded of the humility, vulnerability and mortality of being a passing creature, through a very brief moment, on this incredible blue green planet that floats around the orbit of the sun in this infinite universe, just like a speck of dust. These daily moments are often reflected during her short peregrinate to collect the morning milk from Madam Buffalo. The stretch of walk, measured in time is a matter of minutes but from an existential plane, sometimes it feels eternal. The initial glance of a viewer is in its surface beauty but with prolonged time of loving awareness and observation, the nuances of its sublimity is infinite.

Tracing along the jagged layers and ridges from east to west, the eye paints a story. There are broad strokes of lower lush hills dwarfed by dark green forests and pockets of villages. Masses after masses, they are towered by contrasting black granite mountainous faces baring its stoic-ness and manhood. And beyond these nude towers there lies the ice-queens on the peaks caught in his embrace, her whiteness and softness whispering in his wind-beaten tattooed face. Like a dark warrior, he holds his beloved in his protective cusp from the merciless storms and wind, and there, in the playfulness of the sun’s song and dance, of dusk and dawn, of shadow and silhouette, of wax and wane of the moon, a rasa leela – the dance of the divine love is performed. Their intimacy veiled by the passing clouds, their intertwining so profoundly united that they refuse to depart even in the heat of summer.

In attentive states, day after day, something stirs the insides, just watching the beauty unfold in never ending ways for the play is never the same. Like a soaring eagle riding with the wind to the highest peak and diving down to the deepest gorge, like the skydiver plunging into the face of earth from a plane, like a surfer riding the energetic waves of the ocean, the adrenaline brings forth an ecstatic aliveness in every living cell. Identically, and with a longer lasting effect, being in placid stillness when the senses are put to rest, when the mental chatter is put to sleep, when the body is void of tension, and when nothingness seeps into the entire being – an unbearable lightness permeates. It is in these instances, a window opens up a perspective to offer a glimpse of an inseparable connectedness with all life. That thread of life held by our breath is the connection we hold with all that lives. With every mountain that sustains an ecosystem of life – every root of a tree, every blade of grass, every particle of soil, every drop of water, every tail of a tadpole, every wing of a dragonfly. That connection by osmosis that seeps into every atom, vibrating in synchronicity to the pulsation, drumming and heartbeat of the universal hum. Suddenly, it makes sense of what it means to be a mother to the world.

To be in that space, that connection fills up the creaks and cracks of grumpiness, of weariness, of alienation and of the day’s repetition. Everything in that moment is soaked up by immense beauty and has the capacity to dilute all worldly worries. Ironically, to be in that space also spells trouble for then, many happenings in today’s world speaks even louder of no sense. It makes no sense why we are divided by war and hatred, by racism and discrimination, by ideology and religion, by greed and power, by morals and values. To be in that space also questions Mama I’s unexplainable fears for the slithering creature that languidly crosses the untarred road of the village or the playful langurs that thieves from the vegetable plots or the rare tiger that hunts for a stray prey. Or the damp walls that have turned a shade of green from the torrential monsoon rains as we struggle to get the roof up. These fears, as brief as the beautiful moments last, stain that promising perspective of connection.

Life truly remains an unfolding, unfathomable and contradicting mystery to ponder and walk. Maybe this is the beauty of life – to unravel its mysteries in our external rugged terrains and noisy internal landscapes. To gaze into the unknown and to seek answers of our accidental becomings. If existence of Earth is accidental in the cosmic perspective, from a non-life to the becoming of billions of stardust swirling for aeon to form our beloved ‘pale blue dot’ i.e. our beloved planet in the words of Carl Sagan, the existence of homo sapiens in this universe of universes is but incredible. But how is it then that a green shade of an earth wall that houses carpets of moss can create so much chaos in the mind of the tiniest of a brain cell that occupies one being, and projects it like a horror story as large as the universe?

Mama I suspects that there is too much to ask and too much to seek, too much to wonder and laugh about. For these seems to be no beginning and no ending. We are just passing through. Like the clouds.

As Little A brings Mama I back to the earthly grounds of Astam, he pronounced, “The sky is blue Mama,” in a little affirmative voice as he beckons away from the balcony. But there is hope that we will seek a glimpse of the pink again.

And again, in that fleeting moment.

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