K Drama, Hailstones & Rain | The Weekly Smile – 02 |04/08/2019

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So it was Saturday, and having finished some work pending on my plate, I sat binging on my first South Korean TV series, Hospital Ship. It’s was a nice watch. Made me cry and smile a lot. And it’s so hard to fathom how these Koreans manage to look so young, almost ten years younger than their age (talking of adults of course!).

And as I continued to binge, suddenly around 2 pm in the afternoon, it got all dark. I stepped out to get a feel of the cool breeze which in no time turned into an aggressive storm. While I picked up clothes from the drying line, I saw plastic-bags fluttering and soaring high like hot air balloons. I quickly went back in to put away the clean laundry and shut the windows. And when I came back it was already pouring. The heat evaporated, as the shower dampened the soil and in the momentary humidity rose the scent of the earth. Mesmerised by the petrichor, my mind felt at ease, my eyes closed and I took in deep breaths filling each of my lungs as much as I could. I felt more alive at that moment. Before one could absorb it all in, I heard a rumble of thunder, and  I shuddered for a split-second. With that sound now in distance, I heard tramplings atop the metal roofing nearby. Hailstones the size of blueberries fell to the ground, melting as they touched down. I stretched out my hand cupped to catch some. But the rain was freezing and I fled back to the shade right after I caught a single hail which I slipped into my mouth. It literally sent a chill down my jaw. I was reminded of the simpler times when as a kid I would gather a handful and eat them without a thought. But the present seemed too beautiful to dwell over scenes from the past. Everything looked rejuvenated. I smiled looking at leaves now washed to hues of green from the previous dull tones.

And from where I stood, I saw a bamboo pole – water kept splattering from the niche at the node. I had never seen this before. And that prompted me to pick up the pencil. I couldn’t stop smiling again as I effortlessly drew that sighting later that evening.

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First Thaw

It’s a great day. The book I am currently reading is so full of such beautiful imagery, it inspired me to do art inspired from its excerpts. Here is the first one – just off the opeing lines.

The cherry orchards smell good after the first thaw… the faint melancholy smell of cherry bark mingles with the vapid dampness…with the powerful and ancient odour of the earth just beginning to appear from under the snow and the dead leaves of the previous autumn.

(Stanza:1, Chapter:1, Book:1; Virgin Soil Upturned)
~ Mikhail Sholokov

A photo posted by Stories.In (@stories.in) on Sep 21, 2016 at 3:00am PDT

 

Amla and the Little Girl

It was a quiet afternoon, typical of North-Indian and Pakistani summer at peak, when people lived behind closed doors lest their children run out to play and fall prey to the evil howling winds that come travelling all the way from the deserts of southern Balochistan, Cholistan, and Rajasthan.

And it wasn’t more than mere eight years since economic liberalisation was initiated in 1991. So the Indian middle class at large had not grown accustomed to the air-conditioners, and not everyone had evaporative coolers either. Since those are also called swamp coolers, but the malarial-swamp that the North-Bihar already was, I guess people didn’t want more swamps to breed mosquitoes in! So they settled for fans instead. Needles to mention, these afternoons were laid-back. There were Usha-Lexus fans hovering over most heads, beside the halo of mosquitoes that would grace them in evenings spent outdoors. And these fans relentlessly moved the air in the room, sometimes even creaking as if humming a lullaby, putting people to sleep. And having spent most of the morning, rather first half of the day doing household chores, the women really treasured their siestas; so much so that they would even coax their young children into sleeping, keeping an arm around them, making sure they are in her clutches, else she might need to look after them. Restless with energy, the clever kids would close their eyes in no time, and would quietly sneak away whilst the mother they lay fast asleep.

(Excuse the repeated mention of mosquitoes. One hates them but one just cannot ignore them. Especially when it was around the same time that an uncredited piece of poetry called ‘Machhar Chalisa’ – a forty line ode to the mosquitoes, found a place in the vernacular newspapers, no kidding!)

But this little girl, obediently lay on her back staring at the fan as it moved with a stirring sound, wondering if she had those blades affixed her back would she be able soar in the sky, much like the choppers she would see often. And then the poster of some exotic place, on the wall across caught her fancy. Gazing at the waterfall in some forest, she fantasised going down that path every day to fetch water from her little cottage near the woods; typical of the fairy tales she had heard, since she hadn’t yet begun reading more than probably three letter words. Continue reading