A storm is brewing,
in the skies of tomorrow.
When it is ready steaming,
with the fragrance of the wet earth.
Then in a cup of silver clouds,
shall monsoons be served…
I am travelling through snaking roads along the Sahyadri mountains. This part of the express-way between the two metropoles of Mumbai and Pune open up to spectacular hills witnessing as if, our miniature lives were a tiny speck before their timelessness.
I can see small specks of trees atop the rock and sand-laden hills. In a matter of weeks, every living atom on these will spring to life. Single lane roads snake up and down the hills. Some of these lead to smaller villages, probably with their limited electricity and water and plethora of other problems but yet, peace and quiet. I think of Ruskin Bond-ish life, of myself in a small village by these hills, writing away and dreaming away.
Passing through seemingly endless tunnels, one hill paves way to the next and so, this chain of green giants, make our way from this city of Pune to the next city of Mumbai. The atmosphere is tense. The next hill I set my eyes upon after the tunnel opens up to the sky, is hugged tight by dense grey clouds. Their mist setting in, brings a cool breeze cradling the little leaves, as if waking them up, bringing them to life. Little mynas fly about the trees, busy, as if sensing the big event yet to occur.
The fields are ready though, prepared, waiting for the splatter of raindrops and the gush of water, ready to sprout. I see eager farmers, looking up at the sky briefly. Perhaps there is some anticipation, perhaps he knows it will rain anyway. Aren’t farmers the best weather predictors? We pass on, hoping the rice and sugarcane crops grow well. Clouds get lower and denser and yet the cool air escapes me, sheltered in the bus-hazards of the air conditioning that continues to pump the stale air on top of my head. I imagine my hair flying away to be caused by the monsoon-breeze- poor consolation indeed. But the bus plies on.
On the next hill pass, the road suddenly shines with the perspiration of the heavens. No salt in there, pure heaven. Then as the bus continues to roll ahead, being the fast coach it is, transporting customers faster than Fed-Ex packages, we are showered by a sudden splash of pure bliss. The rains have hit Lonavala, the spot on the map where the two cities of Mumbai and Pune forever refuse to meet. This is a part of the string of towns in the Sahyadris, that have long been exploited of it’s lush green by greedy builders dreaming of the next big hotel chain. yet, by the spring cleaned roadside, this town looks nothing less than paradise. Greener, quieter than any city, devoid of dirt now. Even though Lonavla stands now not in it’s once pristine condition, nearby villages still seem to be standstill in a time gone past. Life there, I imagine, still goes by the hour, slow in pace and content in smiles not coins. Happy in a technological oblivion.
The world just came back from laundry and it is now dressed in it’s best pale green. The thick shower is now reduced to a slow trickle. With such a brief guest appearance, only the rains can being in so much joy to anyone’s life. A bright track plays in my ears. In it, the bubbly young village girl is jumping with joy and humming to the beat of the raindrops. The bus window is now stained with the drops of heavenly, cloud sourced water.
Moving through the busiest part of Lonavla, the eye only sees chains of hotels. Just around the corner, you quickly escape the traffic and chance on some breath-taking views of the cliff by the other side of the valley. Distant, yet so near. The free-way now skirts the edge of this hill as we glide by another steep slope. From this vantage point of the view, the eye can see only hill,s in varying shades of grey opening upto a lush valley. Give it another two corners and we are on our way downhill. The bests views here only last about a minute each, so be sure not to doze off. On the way downhill, we come across another twin valley with the views of tightly packed houses down in the village.
I pause my thoughts here, to enjoy the hill-side, view of farther hills fading away and open skies welcoming us. We are now on our way down , all the best of the views behind us. But, we do have the views of pretty farms and villages in the valley down the hill to take in, in it’s quite humdrum of life. beyond that, is the city life with it’s thrills and with home, ready to welcome us with full-blazing horns.
Isn’t life just that?
Beautiful views from the hill-tops and then the quiet, pretty villages and cities beyond them to make your veins brim with adrenaline.
Life is just that- nothing is ugly and inconsequential. Every event serves a purpose, we just have to see it and seize it. So, hop onto a bus and step out of yourself, enjoy the view!