Monsoon on Hooghly

The Hooghly River Tide runs high.

Its currents dance through

The Ghats

Where the common people bathe, wash, clean their clothes;

Where Brahmin priests perform sacred rituals and offerings;

Where dogs, pigs and crows scavenge for food amidst the trash.

 

The River is the Eternal witness.

It observes and observes.

It has seen human depravity at its peak.

Ships carrying people’s own brothers and sisters in chains to be sold as ‘commodities’.

The dumping of battered women’s bodies after monstrous rape crimes.

Bloody political and religious riots with brothers and sisters killing each other.

But the River has also seen the best within the human heart.

Unknown people jumping into the water to save a drowning child.

Ferrymen selflessly working day and night carrying people across the river.

Kind souls praying in Its margins for humanity to Awaken

And realize its current path towards self-destruction.

 

The River has seen it All.

Unaffected by anything,

Its currents dance

Up and down,

Left and Right.

Ever free.

Freely dancing.

Attached to nothing,

Only absorbed in the Eternal Flow of Infinite Joy and Beauty.

 

One night the River Tide was dancing,

Rocking the wooden fishermen cribs to sleep

At the tune of a Bhatiyali* folk song.

The River Tide loved the fishermen;

It brought them fish and sustenance.

The fishermen would reciprocate Its Love;

They cared for the River and worshipped it through songs.

That night,

When the fishermen feel asleep in their undulating cribs,

The River Tide decided to look up into the sky;

And saw a Beautiful Moon dancing amidst the clouds.

Being non-dual in nature, the River had both male and female characteristics

Yet the River fell prey to the Passions.

Gradually It started to lose its female energy and only retained its male characteristics.

It shifted to become the male Tidal energy.

Every night the Tide would stare at the Moon.

The Tide would imagine that the Moon’s reflection in its waters would be

The real Moon resting on his lap.

How He longed for that to happen.

The Moon noticed how the Tide stared at Her every night

With eyes full of desire and passion;

She decided to play with his thief like senses.

The lady Moon dressed herself in the finest white silk

And with a soft voice,

She sensually called the Tide to come closer to Her,

The excited and charmed Tide blindly followed her orders.

As the tide tried to reach closer,

The Moon would slowly take off her white silken dress.

Assaulted by desire,

The Tide bubbled in ecstasy.

He tried harder and harder to reach her yet she was too far away.

The same process repeated itself for several nights.

Until one night while leaking a smile of mockery,

The Moon completely vanished like a mirage.

In reality, the Moon had no interest for the Tide.

Her heart longed for the Sun

Yet destiny had them separated.

Rarely meeting.

Performing their God given duties at different times of the day.

 

The poor Tide seeing the Moon vanish before His eyes,

Finally faced the harsh reality of Desire and Passion.

They will soon and suddenly vanish one day;

Only leaving a trail of hopeless longing and suffering.

Sad, angry and depressed,

The Tide caused chaos everywhere it flowed through:

Sunken boats,

Drowned people,

Flooded banks.

The Tide selfishly flowed its way towards the Sea.

The Heavenly Cloud seeing all this suffering on Earth

Shed tears,

Tiny tear droplets gently embraced the heart broken Tide.

Calming It,

Healing It,

Restoring It.

The Cloud also asked its Thunder child to soar loud in the skies.

It summoned Its Wind friends from all directions.

All together they comforted the Tide saying,

You are not alone,

We see your suffering.

Awaken my friend! Awaken!

Realize Impermanence in your desires and passions!

Remember your long lost non-duality!

And strive for Liberation!

Then you shall lose your fear for the fast approaching Sea!

One day you will Ascend into the Clouds with us and become One with All!

Flow on, my friend! Flow on!

Monsoon has arrived!

 

*Bhatiyali – Traditional folk songs sung by boatmen in the rivers of Bengal while navigating the river. These songs worship Nature and have a mystic component in them.

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