How long back did you do things on a whim? If you point to buying a chewing gum or a magazine that was carefully placed by marketers, near the cash counter to induce a ‘whim’, well thats not counted. You know what I mean, don’t you? Just on a whim, ‘doing’. No, don’t count ‘impulse buying’!
A friend in the village had invited me over. I had to drive through a set of small villages. I was late but getting there as fast as I could.
Apartment complexes gave way to single houses. First dense back to back constructions. Then, a house amidst a set of clutch of mud walled huts. Then, huts and houses amidst green fields. Not very long after, plain green fields. They came at me unannounced, redefining ‘pristine’ and causing me to slow.
In sometime, they went as unannounced as they came. A few barren patches, stood alone, amidst a some construction activity.
I watched the landscape change as the roads got narrower and finally trickled down to a pathway that would barely accommodate one cycle rickshaw. At some places potholes and patches made the road, and a semblance of a road that was there sometime back, would make an appearance now and then. The perfect setting to elicit a set of indignant tweets and blogs if this was the state of roads in a big city!
The road itself cared less.
The narrow road curved and suddenly only to reveal a stream striving hard to flow. Not a soul on the road on either side. A struggling stream that was struggling to flow, yet managed to stir up a quiet breeze. A few coconut trees on the other side lent themselves and swayed just a bit.
The promise to the friend beckoned. But nature painted such a picture of allure that a meditative trance enveloped every pore. In the next five minutes, the last remnant of mobile signal was used to call up the friend. The voice kept breaking which I took for an ominous indication of the immersive pretty picture I was in, didn’t quite like intrusions.
I sat down beside the stream and realised that there is something to sit down beside a stream. And that it was a long time since I had last sat beside a stream and lost count of time. Memories of sitting by more sparkling streams that were in a rush, rushed in. Every stream is its own, I realised. The state of the mind caused the real flow.
Cows, mopeds and villagers passed me by. First dishing out a dismissive look of comical curiosity and then, ones of a mild anxiety.
In the calm of the limited flow, the stillness of the air and the jutting trees in the horizon, the beauty of the moment brought lightness that is beyond description. The load seemed to evaporate, slowly getting untethered from my soul, leaving in its wake a wistfully empty light space.
As the stream continued to struggle and the distant trees did a mild jig in honour, a few things came alive for me. One of them, was this : Do things on a whim. They have a charm that charm can’t fully explain!