It was a Happy Morning this Sunday.
The day started with a spectacular sunrise. Rushing to the terrace, camera at the ready, I pointed and shot continuously for nearly ten minutes. I captured the view, but what of the many other things that lent color and flavor to those moments and made the sunrise so spectacular?
I wish I could have captured the chilliness of the stiff breeze. I wish I could have created an experiential awareness for you with my words to show you how the chill, brisk wind slid under the strands of my hair and made my scalp prick with goose-bumps. I wish there was some way I could show you the mad twittering of the birds which rose like a thick mist from a berry tree on the vacant plot next to my house. I wish i could have bottled the aroma of those berries which reached me two floors high.
This berry tree is heavily laden with fruit these days. Come morning and there is a huge collections of birds who come to feast on the goodness. Those who have their nests in their brambly thickness glare askance at the freeloaders. i shouldn’t wonder if many an altercation is born in the early hours. To me of course, it all melds together and appears magical musical.
I wish I could give you a taste of the freshness of the dawn. There was something very special about the dawn today. Perhaps because it isn’t as cold as it has been for the past few weeks. I could smell the vitality in the air. Spring is here, I thought to myself; the sap is rising and Life is already on the dance floor, having donned her dancing shoes.
He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars.
~ Jack London
Having clicked a bunch of photos, I came downstairs to find that the kids were up. We debated about going for a drive (since I can drive now). On an impulse we decided to go to the wholesale produce market next to the ghat (river bank with stone steps going down to the edge of the water).
This vegetable market is special. This is where veggies grown by the banks of Narmada are sold. Grown on the silt the river brings in at monsoon, with minimal chemical use and irrigated with the Narmada’s own waters, these veggies taste like nothing on earth. They sell at a premium at the main vegetable wholesale market of Jabalpur. I am yet to come across a cucumber that was bitter, a bottle gourd that wasn’t super soft in it’s silkiness or a tomato which didn’t have a mouth-watering, tangy aroma.
The market was once exclusively a wholesalers market. You couldn’t buy anything less than a paseri (five ser– slightly less than five kilos). Recently though, they have begun to sell to retail customers too. Ever since I found that, I’ve been itching to go. Today was my chance.
The mandi (local market, usually wholesale) is held in a clean, concrete enclosure the size of a football field. Shiny spinach, fragrant fenugreek leaves, young and tender beans, glowing eggplants, aromatic coriander leaves and the sharply spicy green chillies that would make you spin if you so much as sniffed at them deeply. Cabbages, cauliflowers, capsicums, turnips and carrots… and yes… radishes almost as long as your arm! Such profusion! I wish I had taken my camera- or my phone!
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.
Once done at the mandi, we went down to the ghat. At seven in the morning, the ghat was waking up. Those who make their home by the side of the road had all lighted their little wood fires and started cooking their first meal of the day. From a corner wafted the aroma of crushed garlic and green chillies being fried. It mingled with the whiff of wood smoke and the mossy scent emanating from the river. The multi-layered bouquet made me ravenous- and not just for food!
The river looked intensely blue and serene as always. Colorful decorated boats bobbed about as the water caressed them with soft plops as it swirled past them on its journey to the Arabian Sea. The Gurudwara on the far bank was pristine white. People had already started reaching there, crossing the river by boat. Everything was quiet. The Narmada flowed on with serene detachment.
I have drunken deep of joy,
And I will taste no other wine tonight.
~Percy B. Shelley
How long we sat there, quietly watching the river flow past, I don’t know. She mesmerizes me, this mother of mine. When I sit with her, time has no existence. Moments melt into each other and each of them feels as continuous as eternity. After many such eternities, we returned home- the kids and I.
Such a Happy Sunday Morning!