A Morning In The Nilgiris

Here I am right at the edge of Mudumalai forest in the Gudalur Cosmopolitan Club infused with new energy and hope, recharged by the utterly pristine cool air, tweets of real birds, and abundant greenery. My hand is moving so smoothly and easily on paper, like it had never become sluggish and weak.

My phone sits limp beside the notebook, depleted. I do not have a spoon to feed it. I left the charger with my friend. But I have been fed well — not just by the fresh air and quiet, but by the the sun itself, that came to me as the jostling yolk of two poached eggs.

“You are not a body,” they say.

That may be so, but let me tell you, a hand which moves freely while writing, feels good. It feels good to not struggle, and to be at ease, and still be able to do something with my time.

“You need do nothing,” they say, and it is reassuring to hear, but it feels good to be able to do something.

Thank you, God, for this moment. Yes, the memory of screaming voices is there, the thought is there that I have to learn to hear the screaming voices like the tweet of birds, but thank you God, for this moment. This suspended long moment of silence.

Thank you.

Tennis court at Gudalur Cosmopolitan Club with the forest and the higher hills behind.
Tennis court at Gudalur Cosmopolitan Club with the forest and the higher hills behind.

Dear Forest, I know it is not peaceful, hunky dory and easy in your bosom. Each animal, insect, and human living in your lap has as many struggles as those living in the heart of the city. Even then, thank you for receiving me.

Dear Trees, and each leaf that emerges, lives, and falls down dry — is it a struggle for you too? You seem at ease. What about your friends in the city? Are you in touch with them? Do you all ever exchange letters — via the same mighty sky where we have planted satellites? Do your friends and relatives feel trapped in the city? There is a lot that humans get in the city. We get food, shelter, companionship — and internet connection — much more easily than we would in the forest (except that the wifi here at the Gudalur Cosmopolitan Club is good). That is why we live in the city, even while we complain. But dear trees, what about your few daring friends and relatives, the City Trees? Does city life give them anything?

Aaah… bloom where you are planted, huh?

Give. Giving and receiving are one huh?

You trees are the real yogis. You trees are my guru.

I love it that you have no scriptures. I love it that you teach nothing about what is wise, what is not — and yet, I feel as though I am learning from you.

In your presence, I simply am.

The road right outside Gudalur Cosmopolitan Club, the Ooty-Mysore highway leading me back to where I have been planted.
The road right outside Gudalur Cosmopolitan Club, the Ooty-Mysore highway leading me back to where I have been planted.

Top picture: A river dividing a plantation in Gudalur from the elephant camp at the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve

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