Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Jasmine in July

The rains are here at last. Mercifully, for the earth is parched, water tables have dived far below and mortal beings are in dour need of some aqueous succour. But in these climes of the National Capital Region, it rains only in fits and starts. Sometimes, it pours, but that's nothing compared to the steady rains of the Mumbai area, the abundance of water that pours and pours and then some. In retrospect, I must say that I loved that gratuitous abundance which nature thinks it fit to bless Mumbai with, the carefree song that rose up in everyone's soul, the piping hot and pungent vada pao with dried garlic condiment and an equally hot chickpea gravy, the chaos in disruptions of the suburban railways, the wash of the sea on Marine Drive and the sheer fun of it all

With the change in season, the jasmine bushes have begun to flower and it is truly heavenly, sitting on the grass at night with the mischievous scent of jasmine permeating the air. One day after coming back from work a bit earlier than usual when there was still some light on the sky, I found the jasmine buds ready to bloom 

At that moment between light and night, under the canopy of the infinitely blue sky. The moment of everythingness, of times gone by

Couldn't help but remember Tagore once again. Chokkhe amar trishna, thirst in my eyes ..

Well, I have had a go at translating this song in English, as I understood it in my own way. It's of course a relief that I don't have to explain to anyone anywhere. So that's my take ...

Thirst in my eyes, and
Thirst pervading my heart

Me, bereft of rain, as in
Summertime, burning
In my mind

Thirst in my eyes

A storm rushes in, heated
Winds, flinging me faraway
Tearing my shroud away

Thirst in my eyes

That one, delicate flowering
That had my garden aglow
Parched and blackened now

Thirst in my eyes

Who is it, that 
dammed the fall
in heartless stone 

In the peaks 
of Sorrowhood Mountain

Thirst in my eyes, oh
Thirst running in my heart

And then, at night, the jasmine is in full bloom, unimaginably heady and I never cease to wonder at the mystery and beauty of it

Out of the four jasmine bushes, one is apparently of a different variety, a dedicated climber. Amazing how all these bushes have started flowering with the rains, as if on cue from an unseen hand that plays us all 
A beautiful and a stunning mystery, the waft of jasmine. Perhaps no one has understood her, being content just with loving her as she is. But then, she is meant to be loved, not understood, right?


  1. How I love your beautiful writing! The translation is wonderful - flawless (not that I know the original, but in execution and tone, it is a wonder to read. And of course I can imagine the smell of jasmine, so magical of an evening. I am glad your rains have come. We need rain to come here but there is no sign of it. Many many forest fires all over western Canada. It hurts my heart - losing trees, terrified starving wildlife, loss of habitat. And two broiling months ahead.

  2. Are they really big fires? Forest guards are trained to set fire to dried undergrowth in a controlled way to prevent a raging inferno. Looks like a garland of lights from afar.

    Thank you for your words of encouragement, Sherry

  3. I have to agree with Sherry's sentiment about your beautiful writing—your evocative descriptions of Mumbai made me feel as though I was there during the rains.

    The jasmine photos are very nice, too, as is the haunting musical selection.

    We are having a bit of a monsoon season here as well, with almost daily afternoon thunderstorms. Much of the west is still suffering the effects of drought though.
    Hoping for more rain for the western US and Canada.

    1. Hoping for some ease in your pain in the shoulder Rita and I am truly grateful for your visit and your kindness in taking the trouble in writing back

      The west coast in India, especially in the States of Kerala and Maharashtra have always been blessed with abundant monsoon rains :)

  4. I'm almost getting smell/scent of gesmin. You post v good.