True Suspended Animation

This is the third post of the Defining Images ’08 series. One more post to go !

There were intimate moments in 2008. Moments where the mind just escaped from the world and went somewhere, i couldn’t follow. It was misty, mostly pleasant. Sometimes queasy. Usually, delivering a high like none other.
In ’08 these moments came in and whizzed by. The ‘trance like’ feel lasted for about five minutes before, i was shaken into reality by someone around. Here are some instances where i had the camera handy, to click a snap, immediately after the trance.

Image : I

Seated a few paces away ( physically and mentally) from a puja being conducted, i recall glancing into the fire, and to those oodles of oil / ghee that was poured in. To stoke the fire. In the background were mantras, all said in a specific chant. Chants that seemed familiar yet different. On that day.I kept watching hands of those priests, pour oil into the fire, and their mouths chanting mantras. The fire, the smoke and the chanting seemed to have a strange impact on me. Even as i sat there, i was aware of the eyes close, yet the leaping flames stay in the vision and then.. suspended trance.Was it because of the fire, the smoke, the mantras, the atmosphere or the over eating the previous night, i wouldn’t know. All i know, is that for some time, i was plugged in elsewhere. Whilst being aware of all what was happening around me.

It took a child’s forceful shake of my hand to shake me out of this suspended animation !!

Image : II

This picture was clicked from my balcony on Id. And Oct 2nd. And here is an earlier post.

On that particular day, i saw numerous young men walk the road below. In some time, there was a call of prayer from a mosque nearby. At that exact moment, in the apartment complex a Hindu family was ringing in a prayer with bells et al.

It was a moment of intense feeling of oneness of the God that we worship. An indescribable feeling. As the maulvi was calling out the faithful, the Hindu family below seemed to pray in cue ringing a bell. And Muslim men seemed to march to the bell.

But for those moments when the maulvi called and the bells rang, the goosebumps appeared on the skin like a thousand flowers blooming to an alarm clock ‘s chime !

And by the way, it was Oct 2nd. Gandhi’s birthday !

Image : III

At the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, this lady was feeding birds. There i was, sitting on the other side of the temple tank watching her feed birds. The nameless fluttering birds rallied around her. And she opened pack after pack of bird feed. Perhaps for a good 15 minutes.

As i sat there, birds continued to rally around her. Her diving hands reaching the depths of the packs she had, only to toss the feed with great care and finesse.

At that precise moment the diversity, depth and the omnipresence of kindness in every human being over awed me. The sheer possibility for each of us to impact every living being around us, simply lifted me to a different zone.

Image : IV
Clicked at Taj Malabar, Cochin
I will never be able to forget this swing. For just outside the wall, was the backwater ! And if you swing hard, for a few fleeting seconds, you are really over water. And as you swing back, you are back on land.

As i swung, the moisture laden breeze stoked the face. The sun was setting. And And at that moment, the fleeting nature of our problems, joys, anxieties and glories came alive. It seemed to me, that the swing there was giving me lessons…..

That to stay present and sensitive to people around, was how one could stay rooted. That it was OK to fail, but more important to try with imagination. That it was OK to differ, but important to differ with grace ! And no matter what the world thought, it was OK to be a simple ordinary bloke who did his bit in a quiet unobtrusive corner.

And for a good time, i was one. With myself. With that water. That floor. That sky. And of course, that swing too.

True suspended animation !

4 thoughts on “True Suspended Animation

  1. Maybe a hint, that experiences on both sides of the mind spectrum, finally end up stabilizing you to a comfortable middle, customized for you, having nothing to do with defined religions, borders, or extremes. … have a great new year..

  2. manju says:

    Meaningful pictures, Kavi. I liked the one of the swing the most. Suspended animation- nice choice of words!

    Have a Happy New Year!

  3. Priya says:

    Have a great New Year ahead.

  4. Kavi says:

    Priya : Thank you ! Wishing you the same and more !

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