February 28, 2014

The Pebble in My Hand. ~ Srividya Srinivasan


Photo: Amancay Maahs

The river seems to flow the way it has always done.

It looks pretty much the same as it always did. I sit on its bank and look at it and slowly, ever so slowly it casts its spell on me. My rhythm slows down and I become one with the river and its pace.

I put my feet in, one at a time and squeal in surprise. Was it always this cold? As I stand there in absolute stillness, allowing the slow currents to tease me, to touch me and to envelop my feet; in a few minutes, I am cold no more.

I delight in the rush of old forgotten joys of the familiar, that were pushed into oblivion with time, crowded with experiences of oceans and seas that were faster, bigger and more dangerous than a silly old river.

I walk facing the small currents, indulgent and complacent in pandering to an old river’s whims. Did it always run this way before? It seems to have changed its course. Did it narrow down to just a trickle at just this point? Was it the end of the river?

Curious, I walk on to discover that just around the corner, a little after I almost gave up on it, it picks up strength and gathers itself about. I progress to find it running to its full majesty and silent strength. I journey on.

My feet touch the pebbles and I pick one up; smooth, glistening and glowing. Perfect and rounded. How countless many, worn down by the river, before the pebbles gave up fighting to reach this state?

How much the river still fights with those yonder rocks, relentlessly pushing before it wears the rocks down? Was the current always this strong?

The branches of the trees beside the bank lean over and seem to whisper to the busy river as she runs past, asking her to pause and converse for a while.

The butterflies and bees are abuzz with the news of my presence, excitedly running about, and the blue skies look on, the clouds lazily floating about indulging themselves by looking on at the scene.

The river is not the same. I see it has changed. I can feel the change. There are things I see now that I did not see before. It just seems the same. When I go with the flow, slow down my pace or speed up to match its course, the river suddenly is not the same any more.

And I? I am not the same anymore.

I caress the small stone stolen from the river, smoothened over countless wars with the river, cold initially and now warm in my hands.


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