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What Pune’s Weather Taught Me

September 15, 2017

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pc: Joel Koechlin

 

Until today I had been lucky to avoid getting drenched in Pune’s sudden downpours.  Today I went out for lunch with another and on our walk home the pleasant drizzle steadily and surely grew into a monstrous torrent.  Too much for my little umbrella to handle.  My capris were all wet as I pulled the umbrella low over my head and waded through the veritable rivers that the streets had become.  As I walked I noticed the cobbler who was calmly trying to prevent his entire business being washed away in the rain.  I noticed the fruit and vegetable wallahs covering their carts with waterproof sheets.  I noticed the coconut bhaiyya had shut shop.  I crossed the road and got on the sidewalk of the Agriculture college.

When I have the 7 am class I walk across someone sleeping on this sidewalk.  This person is always wrapped head to toe in a blanket.  I’ve never seen him stirring in his sleep.  The early morning traffic doesn’t seem to bother him.  When it rains he props an umbrella up and hopefully it keeps (at least) his torso dry.  Once when I was walking to class (in the middle of the day) a yellow snake slithered out from the bushes and, perhaps realizing that it had lost it’s way, slithered back into the bushes.  Slimy serpents don’t seem to bother this person.  I’ve seen him there after a night of nonstop torrential rain, after a hot and humid night, after the Ganpati celebrations, on a Monday morning, on a Saturday morning…

To renounce everything and find peace in a remote cave in the Himalayas is easy.  To stay ethical and honourable in the absence of temptation is no big deal.  If we want to quieten the chitta, we must accept the noise that is creating the vrittis.  If we want some rest, we must get it despite the traffic, fear of snakes, the rain or the heat.  If we need to find peace, we must do so in the midst of chaos.  Wrapped in a threadbare blanket under a tattered umbrella.  Because that’s where we need it the most.

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1 Comment

  • Reply ashima rishi September 15, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    Waiting for ur book to come out……if this blog is any indication of ur writing prowess.Great writing.

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