Among the things I appreciate about the world, right after Blue-Blackcurrant jam come waterfalls on the side of the roads during monsoon on the way to a hill station. I like them A LOT more than that I like big waterfalls, let’s call them ‘the real ones’ that fall perennially. Forgive this discrimination as it exists for all right reasons. ‘The real ones’ attract all the things I do not appreciate about the world: couples on honeymoon, selfie-sticks, Bollywood photo poses.
I was reminded of this recently when I went to see a real waterfall in Mahabaleshwar. Why I went, I want to defend myself but that is a story for another day. When I trekked down to the falls, I was attacked, straight in the face with pouts, selfie-sticks, splashing water at camera, jumping in the water at 1. 2. 3… but my favorite is always the guy who stands with his mouth wide open, at lease for 20 minutes, shuffling, shifting angles to find the right one from where he looks like he is drinking the waterfall in the photo his friend is patiently clicking.
I am taking this sentence out and appreciating these people, for if it were not for them, these quintessential/ top priority mandatory activities would have to be taken over by the boring lots of you and me.
Before I digress more, close your eyes and feel this waterfall like it is intended to be felt. Close your eyes, listen to the gushing splashing sound of the water. Close your eyes and feel the office desk under your elbow turn slowly semi-solid.. till it sublimates into, feel on our skin, the tender sunlight of winter carrying droplets of water. Feel the soft carpet under your feet, turn into red, washed to smoothness by the water, stones. On your soles, feel their shine. Think your chair into transformation, turn it into a tree trunk on which you sit and dip your toes in the ice cold water that tickles as it flows.
You must now, in your head, decide to turn your back at the waterfall induced, duck-faced pouts, 1.2.3 jumps and waterfall drinkers. Walk with me along the water stream till you land at the, also with me, meadow, untouched, acquired by humans. Yet. Sit on the big rock with moss on it, with wild grass around. Look at the sunlight broken by the leaves of the tree above. The dragonflies in the air in the sunlight broken by the leaves. Black web-shapes on the Green dragonfly. The red one too far for the webs to show.
In the distance a waterfall, so big, it looks like it falls from the skies. Angry wind pushing, carrying water with it, water that breaks into colors in company of sunlight. Colors, spreading-flying. Like they do not need a thing to be attached to, to exist. Colors, being their own entity.
Around you, birds with long black tails skip stones. And jump. Big spiders scramble into their candy floss homes. Big spiders who are scared of big Prachi.
Big Prachi painting the insides of her head with the picture of these moments, fighting, with both fists, the anxiety caused by moments of calm happiness. These moments, like a postcard, in her head, unattached to past or future, to insecurities of unattainability, of impermanence of calm, like a picture of a painting. These moments, like the colors, on their own, exist.