Moving

The weeks have been a blur between cities, zoom meetings, classes and lots of time behind the wheel. In the bustle of life and it’s little dramas, I got to witness the blossoming and fading of a semal on the highway over the course of a couple of weeks. An absolutely beautiful tree by a small bridge, I’ve stopped near it almost every trip to watch the sheer profusion on life thriving in its branches.

Between the hurly burly of responsibility, there were also snatches of absolute abandon, like a few hours of ambling in the woods, lazy swims far out in the blue, scenic drives and mesmerizing old temples. Of all the pleasures, swimming in the sea is probably the most indulgent. It’s strange this call of the blue where I don’t realise when my body is swept up into the waves and then there’s nothing but silence. At some point, there is satiety and the limbs move towards shore, slowly finding steady ground.

The travelling yoga mat!

Truly Incredible India

But the magnetic pull of moving remains and it continues on land, both on and off the mat. Long stretches across beautiful beaches, dizzying hills, thick forests, stunning temples and idyllic villages. In the countryside, there is no sense of a pandemic having ravaged the world and there is an even rhythm to life and living. It is precious, this comfort of continuity, of a simple unhurried way. These days seem like a gift, all the more special for its transience. Soon, there will be a need to brace for impact but for now, there are miles to go…

Day 3

The day was tedious but productive. Susegad is the best way to describe how work happens in Goa. I’ve been coming to this place for nearly 25 years and while much has changed, a lot still remains the same. Siesta time is still sacrosanct.
Maman had a good day today and there were moments of comic relief thanks to Chitti but that is more like a set of stories, web series style.

The highlight was a quick sunset dip in the sea with the firstborn for company. The ocean is mesmerizing in all its shades.
The road beckons again and tomorrow night I’ll sleep in another city.

The many moods of Water

I saw a short film yesterday, The Swimmer  and it set into play so many flashes. The poetry of Derek Mahon (he’s a discovery), the beautiful capturing of the moods of open waters and Redmond’s moment 20 miles off shore.  Just like the slashes of Mahon’s poetry, my memories of running, swimming and the sea coalesced into a private film. The lines read by the poet in the movie reminded me of a few lines I wrote to myself a couple of months back, mesmerized by the sea. 

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The water was just right, like the temperature of breast milk or maybe the fluid in the womb. Warm, alive as though it had a heartbeat. Walking through that was such a sensory immersion, the smell of salty air, the sand shifting below my feet, the touch of moisture in the air and the incredible expanse of sky and water. What if one walked into the sea to die? What would that moment feel like- the one of no return as water burns into lungs?

And one from 2017

In the meanwhile, I found pleasure in swimming while also discovering deep silences under water. The breath has started to become a friend as I let go and surrender to the flow. It is a different experience to be suspended in a medium which can either support or swallow you. As an element, it’s an interesting one to explore through its different aspects. Benign, malevolent, neutral. Three different states- ice, water and steam, all with different gunas. Water in the womb, water in our bodies and on our planet. Universally used by all that lives…  Quite like the secrets of water under open skies. They invite you to dive deep and dissolve. After all, isn’t life really a preparation for dissolution? A bit like all asana being preparation for savasana…

And another one

Winter is melting into summer, rapidly. The water in my matka is just the right degree of cool to quench my thirst. The pool waters provide buoyancy and resistance as I swim. My thoughts flow one into another until they bear no link to the original thought. I feel water everywhere…

Free flowing and stagnant.

Life sustaining and suffocating.

Terrifying deluge and gurgling brook. 

Thundering waterfall and the silence of a mother’s womb. 

Meandering rivers and gigantic waves. 

Baptism waters and bearer of ashes.

Finally, I was reminded of the movie, The Shape of Water and it’s mute beauty. But that one is a separate post.

In the meanwhile, I wait for a pandemic to spend itself so I may find my way to the ocean and submit to its incredible silence.