Encompassed


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The heat is bogging everyone down and the view outside my window is a land filled with buildings and alleyways, bordered by huge hills that hide the horizon. These hills are magical. You may believe this or you may not.

Some mornings when the sun’s still in bed and the clouds have taken over – it would seem as though this town never had giant hills holding it in their arms. You’d look afar from the highest terrace and still not find a trace of those hills that I speak of. And then, when they decide to make a special appearance amidst the pink-evening sky, you’ll see them stand tall, gaily inviting your eyes to their presence.

I’ve not had the opportunity to enjoy these hills too much in the past three-something years but whatever little I have got to see has been nothing less than enchanting. I still remember the first time I went up there with a few good friends. It was a clear-night sky and the town was a silent lake lit with lamps that forgot how to float. From highway lamps to the glittering dots that were houses – they resembled a thousand lamps sitting atop an endless pool of water. And it was silent – except when the breeze made the trees sway. We were standing atop a boulder as huge as a truck.

I looked up and there, in the lap of Unknown consciousness, I found my bliss – a starry night unlike any other I’d witnessed before. Prettier than the ones NASA uploaded, more vibrant than the painting of its namesake. I still remember the feeling I had : to dust the sky because there were just too many of them to focus on any. It resembled a dusty table that needed cleaning. That night, I felt I had seen true beauty that was far from pretentious, bigger than us all and humbly looking down upon us from light years away. 

Whenever I see stars and feel their light upon me, I remember, that this light that now touched my eyes comes from ages ago – when what emitted this glow co-existed with a different age.

The memories and times that I look at the stars with, will be silently passed onto someone else, ages later. Unknowingly or not, these stars tell stories from afar. And we can only hope to understand their silence. How beautiful the mystery of the unknown is that it makes you look deeper into oneself and derive an honesty that is special – one of a kind.

Then there is the other night when I encountered these stars again – on a different hill – famous for spotting peacocks and cheetahs. We stopped the car in a secluded spot and turned off the ignition. While the crickets and breeze took over, I slid my neck out of the window and turned to face the sky squarely. The night-sky loomed over me – bearing itself upon me – filling my eyes with its darkness. I had to focus hard to find the celestial lamps tonight. I despise romanticizing my experiences but mere stars do not make up for what  they make us feel like. There is a feeling of freedom you get when you realize how inconsequential you are when you stand among the cosmos.

Yes, we play a part. Its all a circle. I agree.

But sometimes we take life too seriously. We start behaving as thought the entirety of our being depends upon the project due the next weekend or that the one day our partner couldn’t give us time will determine our entire future. Our ego belittles everything and makes us give way too much importance to us and our circumstances than we deserve. That is what stress is – and that is why we stop breathing.

But when you leave all that behind, roll down your window and gaze up above- look at how humble those bigger buddies up there are, your eyes are filled with tears – not because you feel small- but because the Universe is the reflection of what you hold inside you. Infinite possibility. Then why don’t we allow nature to enter us and teach us? Why are we so away from what is really our maker?

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Time to reconsider spending more time – tasting raindrops, climbing hills and gazing up the stars. If that’s too dreamy for you, why don’t you just pause beneath that tree you walk by everyday? Just stay, look up at its canopy shading you from the relentless sun and pass on your gratitude to it? We tell these things to our kids. Why don’t we follow suit?

If Tumkur has taught me anything then his will be it. Peace lies closer to nature. To ourselves. 

 

 

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