Archives for the month of: October, 2019

A few months ago, we tended to a frail cat, who walked into our garden unexpectedly. She appeared pregnant, or perhaps had already given birth to a litter of kittens. We remained unsure about the fact of the matter, that stood meowing before us with vulnerable, fiery eyes. She had a pretty demanding attitude. Her meowing had a terribly unpleasant shrill, & an aggressive and annoying tone to it. It was not welcoming to our ears. But she persisted, and we were almost forced into doing our bit for her.

A few weeks later, she disappeared. Very soon, three speckled, tiny timid kittens appeared in our garden, out of nowhere. They stealthily peep out from the thicket of cactus plants encircling our courtyard, whenever Amma puts out food into an old granite stone bowl, especially for the crows. (In the Hindu tradition, it is believed that crows are our ancestral Spirits)

Over the past few weeks, these three adorable kittens are more comfortable around us. Still afraid and cautious, but at times, most trusting and curious about getting to know us better. It is so charming and most delightful to watch them play and care for each other. It is wonderful to observe their wild cat-selves. They are like three miniature tigers growing bolder and stronger with time, blissfully safe in their surrounding wilderness …

 

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Kissed by the winds,

bathed in the cooling rains,

frail, delicate petals,

twirl and swirl …

 

Kanchan | Bauhinia Variegata

Falling silently

to the melody of a quiet night …

 

In the soft morning light,

a meditative gardener sweeps

with strong hands,

and loving eyes …

 

 

 

 

12th October 2019,

Tamilnadu, India

I’ve been reading Shakuntalam | अभिज्ञानशाकुन्तलम् | Abhijñānaśākuntalam, an inspiring Classical Sanskrit play by the 4th century Poet, Playwright Kalidasa. This morning as we cared for the Lilies in our pond, the dance lesson with my student too, was inspired by the wide green leaves of the Lilies. In Shakuntalam, Anusuya & Priyamvada, two endearing friends of the main heroine, use Lotus leaves as hand fans, to help calm the nerves of a lovelorn Shakuntala. They also suggest to her to inscribe a love letter to her Beloved on the lotus leaf with her beautiful nails …

 🎵 Lalitha Lavanga | Album- The Blue Divine | Sikkil Gurucharan & Anil Srinivasan

“Such an exquisite form of unblemished beauty, I have never known, or seen, or experienced in my life before. I am hovering around this beautiful Kunda flower saturated with dew, like a bee at dawn, neither able to enjoy it, nor abandon it. “

“ज्याच्या कान्तींत कसलाहीं उणेपणा नाही अशा या आपण होऊन चालून आलेल्या सौंदर्याचा मी पूर्वी कधी स्वीकार केला होता कीं नव्हता याचा निर्णय करतां येत नसल्यामुळे, उष:काली दंवबिंदूंनी निथळणार्या कुन्दपुष्पाचा भ्रमर आस्वाद घेऊ शकत नाही, त्याप्रमाणे या सौंदर्याचा स्वीकार करण्याचाहि मला धीर होत नाही, आणी त्याचा अव्हेर करण्याचंहि सामर्थ्य माझ्या ठिकाणी नाही.”

~ अभिज्ञानशाकुन्तलम् Abhijñānaśākuntalam, a Sanskrit play by the ancient Indian poet Kālidāsa.

 

 

At noon

by the Lily pond, a

Vermillion Dragonfly,

by its meditative presence,

balance, agility, grace

and focus, spreads a spacious serenity

and a quiet peace into Mother Universe …

The Festival of Navaratri

The October heat in the afternoons is on the rise. The village woman grinds freshly plucked henna leaves from the garden into a smooth paste. I am full of curiosity & wonder, as she takes my hands into hers. She lovingly envelops the tips of my fingers, and my toes with the thick green paste of henna. Its perfect consistency is achieved by adding to it the juice of a few lemons from her garden. She is gifted at weaving conversations. She keeps me patiently engaged with colourful folklores around henna, and it’s magical benefits upon the well-being of a woman. I receive her love. I receive her joy. I receive her blessing.

To allow the henna to reveal its gifts, I am forced to halt all activity. Unable to dance, or to read, or to paint, or to listen to music, I surrender to laying down upon the floor beneath me. She directs me to rest at a spot on the floor where a wonderful breeze blows directly upon me, speeding the drying up of the henna paste. Unable to move, I recollect and hum to myself beautiful padams – dance compositions. It is a joy to sing aloud to the vast spaciousness around me. I have forgotten the pleasure of leisurely laying on the ground, just staring aimlessly at the ceiling. A childlike playful excitement bubbles through my body. I can sense the light orange of the henna darken into a deeper red, with the slow passage of time. The aroma is giddying and delightful. A few hours later, the leaves dry upon my skin. She helps take it all off with a wide & content smile. The darkened orangish-red colour is to her satisfaction. Her joy is contagious. I am overflowing with love and deep gratitude for our sisterhood. I am waiting for dawn to dance in celebration of the joy that henna awakens in me.

Wishing all of you a blessed, joyful and nurturing Navaratri in celebration of the Mother Nature and all Her beautiful forms. 🙏🏽