Rain

| 1.5 MINUTE READ | Rinse, Repeat, Rejuvenate

It had been many weeks now. This aura of heaviness around me. Just as with lightness, it arises from nowhere. Like a dream that has come to possess me.

The mind is distracted. The exercise routine wilts. Being productive requires more effort and is less satisfying. My threshold for conversation lowers.

I let it be. Like a lamp post soaking in the rain.

The monsoons have arrived. I return home one evening, drink a bowl of soup, retire to my room on the second floor and change into my dhoti. My housekeeper Kuram calls me back downstairs. I hesitate. He says it is urgent. On the wall of my mother’s study, rising from the switchboard and upto the ceiling, is a broad trail of seeping moisture and a small army of blisters. There is no visible source. We go to the first floor above. Bone dry. Likewise, on the second floor.

We step into the verandah and climb the steep metal staircase to the terrace. It has been raining hard over the last many days. The air is stripped of dust. It is cool and unusually bright.

And there it was. On a partitioned section of the terrace above my mother’s study – a choked drain and a knee deep pool of water. A pattern of openings in the parapet wall allowed for overflow and prevented further accumulation. Through a long circuit of cracks, crevices and capillarity, it had slowly journeyed down two floors. I feel an instinctive relief at this unravelling.

I hitch up my dhoti and wade into the pool. Kuram de-clogs the drain. A slow spiral forms above it in the water. To hasten the draining, we collect buckets of grey suspension and swing it over the parapet wall. A tongue of liquid leaps forth. Seconds later, a collapsing splash from below. I fall into a rhythm. Heave. Splash. The water level gradually arrives at my ankles. I continue with the mug until I am standing on a thin film of water soaked with black dust. I scrub the floor. I feel physically involved and deeply attentive to the moment.

It begins to drizzle. I pause to feel it on my face and torso.

And then it arrived. This wave of lightness.

48 thoughts on “Rain

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  1. 72% of our “Bodies” are made up of water. Yet it can choke you in the lungs. We can float on it and enjoy -or- drown in it and die. It is a question of whether we can overwhelm the water or get overwhelmed by water. In any case “Water” is the source of life on earth – it is the water of “Life”. It truly represents life itself in its behaviour. If you allow it to flow – it is a joy. If you arrest its flow – it causes devastation…!!!

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    1. Anand ,as usual your writing is so beautifully crafted ..One can feel that we are there watching you. The imagery is so graphic!!
      Amazing, at your down to earth phenomenal attitude..

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  2. Amazing ! A simple episode of water seepage .(..common in almost everyone’s lives )…is magically woven by brilliant prose to leave a few life lessons on the table. …all this in a 90 second read.
    Am reminded of an earlier blog of urs on cooking and its benefits.. carried the same theme in a way !!

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  3. Good simple narrative. Good to see you back in business. Yes Dhoti is the most functional dress for battling different levels of water puddles!!

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  4. It speaks, always…but sometimes we aren’t listening. But in not listening it then gives us an appreciation when we do. When the student is ready, the rain will come. Great post Anand, thank you 😀❤️🙏🏽

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  5. What a beautiful comparison of unclogging and cleansing the outside as well as the inside. These patterns of heaviness and lightness are often unique, never mimicking one another in nature or tenure. I do believe that letting it be and allowing oneself to experience both is imperative. For only the light makes us aware of the darkness and vice versa. But indeed, the smallest incident or trigger can provide the clarity that not even the deepest dwelling could reveal. Life is such, a mystery with so many ways to be pieced together. It’s good to have you and your writing here, Anand. Take care. 🙂

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  6. The inexplicable low. I got your ” message” in the middle of it. Thanks. Go out and do something physical. Keynesian prescription for getting out of ( economic ) recession – dig a pit and fill it. Worth giving it a shot

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  7. Only Love is happening even when it doesn’t look like it.
    Love is all there is.
    How blissful is that. – Lico 🦋

    ・*:.。.ஜღ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ღஜ .。.:*・゜

    Thank you for sharing.🙏
    hope you are having a great weekend.😇

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  8. This is beautiful! It needs an afterword. There is something deep here that is crying to be explored. As we stand at the threshold of AI/ML and more automation, I often wonder about the diminishing and negative returns from human productivity. Does physical and mental labor and being in the moment make us a healthier human? If so, are we inadvertently making ourselves less healthy by focusing on “efficiency”. There is so much talk about mental health- how much does mindful engagement help with that? We were hunters, gatherers, and alert caregivers to keep our offspring alive. That was our mammalian purpose. Is the heaviness and ennui you speak of more widespread? I suspect it is. If so, is this heaviness the big untold secret of the modern human condition. Is the key to lightness the solution to cracking human apathy, distractedness, self-absorption and contemporary mental illness and a lack of purpose, particularly amongst the young? What is human life after all? The joy of physical exhaustion, the mental thrill of toying with the elements, the rush from wrestling with predators and the calm from caring for near and dear ones and purpose from propagation and procreation. Have we over thought our existential purpose and are therefore driving ourselves to a state of purposeless being and eventual extinction? What is the purpose of many modern jobs, disciplined physical exercise to stay alive and being connected to devices and disconnected from our environment? Is this the real heaviness we are all feeling?

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  9. Superb Anand – my fav part is ” the tongue of liquid leaps forth — to set into a rhythm — rhythm makes any work enjoyable 🙂

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  10. What a beautiful message entwined with such exquisite telling. I understand. I’m praying here, specifically, for rain. I’m not drowning by an eternal flood~but drying up in drought. I feel the light though my friend. 💛💪🏻

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  11. Amazing piece Anand…so simple, and yet so poignant. That “aura of heaviness and lightness, rising out of nowhere”….I can totally relate to that. Keep writing, Anand. It’s a rare pleasure to read about these simple routines of daily life.

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  12. Beautiful, as always, one cannot deviate while reading your piece. And it’s so relatable, I’ve recently been finding even writing to be a chore, it’s temporary I hope and maybe some heaving and splashing is needed! 🙂

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  13. Enjoyed your piece of writing. You were surrounded by an aura of heaviness for some days and it vanished after you did something different and productive and finally you felt lighter. What you undertook was totally not in your routine and was a beautiful change for you to lighten your heart and body. Change is the only constant thing which brings more happiness probably. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. What a wonderful, vivid and transformational piece Ananda! I felt the aura of heaviness around you described. I was there with you as you fell into a rhythm of Heave and Splash. And that wave of lightness was unexpected and delightful. Thank you for this uplifting write, and welcome back!

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  15. A wonderful, concise piece which inspired a few thoughts in me:

    The greatest spiritual teacher of all is water; nothing else comes close. I feel the absence of needing to confine itself to something specific in water is what, if one can become like it in all situations, contributes greatly to embodying lightness. When one ceases to fight gravity, which is the essence of water, one does not become heavy but weightless—how curious indeed! This is a “solution” of the Zen koan which asks “Who is it that carries this corpse around?”: finding the “who” to be fundamentally nonexistent is equal to liberation, as the sense of being a separate self fighting against gravity and everything else is the root of much of the spiritual sense of heaviness, I think.

    Thank you Anand for sharing it with me 🙏

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  16. Enjoyed the experience of reading this. When the writing evokes imagery and feelings, reading is no longer just a mundane activity of parsing and interpreting words/sentences but an experience that remains etched in one’s memory for a considerable while. Thanks to the rain and Kurum for triggering this 🙂

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  17. True. Exercise routines don’t match up to real physical work. Just as how a morning walk in the park does not at all match up to actually walking to your destination. While exercise focuses on just one’s own body (how to make it healthy, how to make it fit etc.) actual work has a higher purpose and so brings with it a better sense of satisfaction.

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  18. You are down to earth… You make any difficult situation and circumstances enjoyable and light with your vocabulary and control over English Language. Never misses your writing. Every time I used to learn a new language and perspective to life.

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  19. Hi Ananda,
    I particularly enjoyed this line “I let it be. Like a lamp post soaking in the rain.”
    Quite an ordeal with the leaks and monsoons.
    I could almost taste your soup and beauty of slowing down.
    💖💖💖

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  20. Grateful for impermanence. The only thing I can count on. I place a gentle fingertip on it, acknowledging change in this moment. Even when I sense my own reluctance to the change, it still guides my path.
    Thank you as always for the insight. I am glad to hear your voice. Namaste!

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  21. Hello Anand,

    Oh, to write like you! You knit words into such feelings and pictures. I’m glad that you found the source of the leak, but most of all that you’re feeling the lightness. 🙏

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