The joys of waking up to the scent of rain that for once displaces the depressing realization of having woken up at all as the first conscious thought. The joys of hurriedly scaling a flight of stairs knowing that it will inevitably lead to unusually pretty sights, scents and visions - luxuries that demand no privilege. The joys of finding these luxuries atop a hill made of concrete churned in a past which has secured melancholy if nothing else.
The joys of being enveloped by an untrammelled cool wind descending from clouds with the rarest and finest shades of grey. Of knowing that this cold, wet, fierce wind doesn't discriminate, doesn't care, doesn't know the differences between any two people who can scale a concrete melancholy hill to meet it. Capable of a cool misty hug which riles up a sentiments stronger than any human can. The joys of embracing pain while swinging to the tune of a rustling eucalyptus tree on a windy day with free pigeons, hawks, mynas, cuckoos, and collared doves for company on a rooftop, unobserved by any other person. the joys of solitude. the joys of solitude. the joys of solitude. the joys of dancing barefoot surrounded by the scent of freshly watered soil on a stormy delhi summer day.
the joys of finding oneself beyond and outside any human project. Of intuitively grasping, knowing them all to be entirely irrelevant in an afternoon this lovely, the joys of finding the temporariness of this irrelevance, irrelevant. The joys of forgetting, forgetting history and whatever lies in it which can't admit itself into a present that is already overwhelmed with a fullness borne from a rapt and greedy desire to assimilate wholly the prettiness of every passing second. the joys of wearing robes of a natural event so magnificent that every past self carrying a painful memory clawing its way into the present to accuse and find justice is met with a compassionate embrace. Every embittered and hurtful part of one's aching memory instead of raging and causing more destruction finally pausing to record the tapping of the first drops of rain on the back of one's neck so that it can carry this feeling back into the past- having finally made peace and gotten its due until the next time one is thrown into the world of men and women where all these injustices will matter once again, each wound inflicted deepen and come to show its consequence once again. But for now, that world doesn't exist; it is insignificant and can only be condescended to up above from this beautiful concrete melancholy hill.
The joys of listening to birds. of following with one's eyes the arc of a long flight taken by a pigeon over one's head against the backdrop of patterned grey woolen blanket of water with a giant chasm of invisible currents of air in between. Of realizing that a myna perched on the terrace wall seems to not be threatened by human presence near it as it inches closer with discrete little hops that tap on the metal banister drawing attention to its slender sharp yellow talons. Of wondering if it prefers to perch on metal, concrete or wooden branches in this neighborhood. Of observing it looking every few seconds in one's direction to check for movement that might impinge upon its freedom to take flight once again and look for a companion to which it is now calling in a sharp and shrill sound that has never sounded cloying. the joys of standing frozen to not scare it away and then seeing it dive out of sight anyway. The joys of realizing that this collision of creatures carried no expectation that could disappoint either. Nobody here on this concrete melancholy hill capable of any language that induces shame, regret, guilt or self-hate. Nobody here capable of anxiety. There is the search for food and for shelter from what these clouds might bring but there is no trauma. No sense of loss is felt as the bird dives away. No deceit practiced among us two. No wounds can possibly be inflicted on this concrete melancholy hill.
The joys of humility induced by visions of a hawk's lazy aerobatic manoeuvres as a reminder of its continued dominion of the world that begins 50 feet above the ground and stretches up till the grey blanket we all stare at from above in metal tubes crammed with strangers and single serving meals. The joys of noticing how its feathers flutter as it glides by to perch on a distant building surveying where it will build its new nest after the previous night's storm brought down the tree where it used to live. The joys of recognizing that it conceives of this loss in a storm as a pragmatic matter to be overcome and moved past instead of through abstractions of failure, indignity and contempt. That it lacks the philosophical delusions of free-will or determinism to accuse itself of not having built a nest at a more secure spot. The joys of recognizing a creature not embedded in a punitive social fabric that institutionally condemns it to suffering for the consequences of its freedom here. The joys of finding oneself, for once, unable to comprehend concepts of ego and esteem on this concrete melancholy hill.
The joys of knowing that moments of escape without guilt are possible - moments when one's chest swells up as if to make room for vast sensations that bring as much pleasure as one has the capacity to receive. of noticing the giddiness felt when such limits are reached but the desire to expand into such sensations haven't, so instead one finds themselves skipping to a different point in space to expand to. the joys of finding oneself hopping, skipping, moving, swinging, dancing without any memory of when it began or knowledge of what mysterious process lies behind this unconscious shedding of stoic social composure. No concept of awkward makes much sense on this concrete melancholy hill.
The joys of sitting cross legged on a dusty rooftop unconcerned about one's clothes fluttering in this wind because spectacles far more enchanting like watching one's childhood eucalyptus tree sway in the wind for an unknown and undetermined number of hours have captivated one's gaze. the joys of realizing that there is no wrong way to admire a tree. the joys of suddenly becoming aware that you are giggling out of delight looking at the way its branches move and its leaves sound. The joys of knowing that there is no other nearby who can through their gaze cast doubt on this moment in the center of all my delights which is this concrete melancholy hill standing below this enthralling storm's spectacle indifferent to the world of human affairs. the joys of giving oneself up to those base sensations induced by fragments of nature in harsh cityscapes.
The joys of being thoroughly drenched in rain. Of it compelling one's eyes to shut by flooding it with water. And with each second colliding with each drop into one's bare chest inducing a chill that swivels further inside. The joys of being submerged in water. The joys of feeling this rain on one's skin, one's nape, forehead, cheek, neck, arms, and eyelids all at once and in no particular order. The joys of opening one's eyes to see gusts of wind make this rain defy gravity. The cold pleasures that bring pure animalistic glee that by some miracle is still possible in an obstinately miserable time. The joys of flirting with madness borne from pleasure.
The joys of becoming conscious of this rain receding and giving way to patches of blue. Of knowing that what follows will be a prettier sky with dispersed clouds each in their own color instead of a vast shade of gray. What follows is a calm in which what remains to be admired is a wet world, tiny waves in puddles on otherwise unremarkable asphalt that has now acquired the ability to reflect and entertain , glistening greens of trees freshly washed, each color in a dusty light brown city made a bit more vibrant and nice to look at. What follows is the calm of looking above and affirming one's love for something in life. And then basking in this content, in this coming gladness of a memorable event.
Joys so axiomatic that not much can be written about them. Joys that can only be shown or felt. the joys of embracing pain, and then defying it in moments of rapturous delight. the joys of throwing oneself into a day as precious and rare as this one. the joys of solitude between the sound of birds.And a few more seen here. On May 22, A cyclone called "Amphan" arrived in West Bengal, India. Over 4 million were evacuated from where they lived on the coast. Storms and rain bring joys and also destruction. One cannot trust literature.
<*- take me back to the dry wasteland of this home