He woke up four inches below the snow like bed. But the day ahead was going to be as treacherous. He felt excited because travelling to rural India gave a smile to his face. Indian villages to a good extent still practice their civilisational old traditions. The air is different, the land for miles is green. But leaving Delhi behind is a lengthy affair. Their is an infrastructure push. Hundreds and thousands of trees that once gave beauty, breath and shade have now given way to expressway and highways and along with it empty, always being constructed high rise buildings. Slowly we start going past it. And we start seeing cow dung cakes kept for sun drying for kilometres. For centuries cow dung cakes known as “upla” in Hindi are used for cooking, cleaning homes and for homa- the fire worship. It’s smoke is known to purify the environment killing small insects and creatures. Many years ago someone said to Nara about India, when he was roaming in the river valleys of Kedar, that India is made up of two things- Rishi and Krishi. Rishi- the old divine sages who wandered and sat for years at one place for tapa for doing meditation/tapa generating energies for the universe as much as themselves roamed and set an example for people. In older times the kings had sages as advisers and worshipers for the king and kingdom. And Krishi- agriculture. India was and still to a good extent is an agriculture dominated nation. But like it is around the world things are changing. The lives have become faster. With more comfort given. Time gets deducted.
After many years nara was visiting his place of birth. Just a few days ago he saw a photograph of himself naked, crying, getting an oil massage lying on the legs of his grandmother. The same legs which will be amputated twenty seven years later due to gangrene. And be the cause of her slow, painful, almost sudden death. He stopped to pee near a well but away. The well was Deep but dry. The moment he turned he froze and for many minutes stood looking at the sun till he was set. Reaching his ancestral home was only good till he entered inside it. Not because a blind buffalo kept looking in his direction. But the home was gloomy and seemed to have stopped growing. It was bereaved of any kind of color. The laughs were as hollow as the understanding of a butcher of a goat. Moreover it was also the cough that had taken some of his mind off. His ribs had started hurting and his throat was drier. The water was delicious. It was said many years ago Ganga flowed through this village. It was that time when many farmers had also discovered centuries old statues, coins, shiva and Vishnu idols while farming their land.
He ate little bit and Left for the wedding that was forty kilometres futhur twards the direction of the river. Many Sugarcane tractors and trucks stood in a line throughout the road. Farmers had burned their land where sugarcane grew and now will prepare it again for the second crop. State highways were beautifully laden taking him through the interiors of U.P. It was night soon.
Seeing the wedding venue disappointed him. It was not the usual village wedding but seemed to have become a bad model of a city one. In a banquet hall. With the loudest speakers without any understanding of sound. There were loud beats that trembled your whole body. Girls and boys dancing. Some elderly women and drunk men on one DJ stage. People had only started to come. In front of the venue on the other side of the road where just an amount of filtered light from the wedding venue was reaching. Stood an age old pipal tree. Which looked like to have come out from a now deceased structure, some bricks still could be seen attached along the roots that have outgrown any possibility of human involvement anymore. He found a place to sit beneath and enjoyed all the ongoings from far. Without any desire to talk, to meet anyone or even to eat. He sat like a well dressed man with a muffler around his neck quietly observing life.