6 November 2006

Arunachala Vignette

[A vignette of a normal day at Arunachala by an American Devotee]

I wish you could see what is so difficult to describe in terms of the sounds, smells and colors in this place. The air has a vibrancy and is soft and muted at the same time. And the quality of the light is indescribable. Everything shines with the reflection of this honeyed colored sunlight, as if the plants and trees and rooftops were emanating crystal clear light.

It still astonishes me, the gratuitous beauty of Mother India, amidst the poverty, dirt, cow shit and shacks, the raucous voices of huge liquid black shinny crows, the peacocks perched in the trees, the gangs of monkeys who are like naughty thugs. There is such a profusion of life and it is all in your face! I love that. I just love dodging packs of narrow hipped, black, vacant eyed goats, cows and pigs and oxen carts.

It probably sounds odd, but it's kind of cool that people bathe and brush their teeth in public, in their yards, that so much of everyday life is in the open, women sweeping the spirits away before dawn, that sound of thatch against the dust awakens me each morning. I love all their little rituals, cow dung and twig fires under these black cauldrons, the smell of spices and frying dosas. This aspect of India that is so rich in humanity and the common actions of life. The vegetable sellers push their carts down each street and call out their products in loud, singsong voices, and it is something so deliciously comforting in that. What a paradox it is, the highest and the lowest, the extremes.


Divyakka said...

All of us who have lived in India, can echo completely the same sentiments!

Arunachala Living said...

The Vignette is actually written by an American devotee who stays at Arunachala - she writes very beautifully - truly invokes the magic of India.