Listen to the rain
It’s not just about listening to the rain. The pitter-patter of the rain is only a metaphor for all that we are missing in our modern way of life.
It came to me one day as I was reflecting on the wonderful years of childhood that have gone past and all the amazing things that I was missing out in my comfortable modern existence.
It's true the village where I spent my early years did not have electricity. Modern transport was a rarity. We never heard about piped drinking water supply. But then there was so much magic in the air.
Like pretty flowers soaking in the rain.
Dark landscapes lit up for a fraction of a second by blinding lightning.
Oh there was so much!
In India, the arrival of the southwest monsoon is keenly awaited by one and all, as the black moisture laden clouds carried by the monsoon bring rains for the peninsula. Life revolves around it and therefore everybody watches keenly as meteorologists and astrologers come up with forecasts and predictions on the likelihood of a "normal monsoon". This goes on for about two months before the monsoon finally announces its arrival sometime in the last week of May. The monsoon is then heralded as a harbinger of a bountiful harvest and some much needed relief from the scorching summer.
But for those who live in cities it is also a reminder of so much that they are missing out on.
First monsoon shower
It’s true that life in a modern urban-industrial setup offers tremendous advantages in terms of healthcare, education, employment and exposure to cutting edge technology. The large towns and metropolises are aspirational models of all that is best from the very forefront of human progress, and a gradual urbanization, concomitant with growth and development, is promoting a shift from the hinterlands in many parts of the world. In popular perception national development has become synonymous with urbanization.
One casualty in all this “progress” is our relationship with nature. Our sanitized, well-informed, hurried life provides little or no scope, time, or opportunity to watch nature and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells that can take us back to our roots and captivate and nourish our souls.
Vacations offer scope to get back in touch, but how many of us leave our world behind when we go on such holidays? Most of us abhor the idea of being without our mobile phones, internet access, television and the other gizmos that make up modern life. So we go either to a place that is not so remote or isolated, or a place that is distant, but has all the accoutrements to recreate our world.
Getting back in touch with nature
If you are willing to experiment and explore, it would be a good idea to take a break and go away from the beaten track to remote places minus your usual paraphernalia. You will of course miss your mobile phone and daily dose of television and print news. You may find it extremely boring or irritating or maybe even unbearable to begin with. But as time passes and you allow yourself to drop the fads and fancies and be open to experience the world around, it can become quite a memorable experience.
It’s all a question of being flexible and open to experience so that our proclivities and prejudices don’t obstruct experimentation and we allow a new world to reveal itself before our eyes.
The nature of the experience would vary from person to person but in general you will:
- Get a fabulous opportunity to reconnect with nature
- Experience the fabulous sights and smells that make up the natural world which is fast eroding because of the onward march of “civilization” and “development”
- Get to see strange animals, birds or insects, some of which are gradually becoming extinct or in any case not seen in our daily urban life spent largely in offices
- Experience the peace and tranquility that is so scarce in our busy lives.
- Get to see yourself more realistically for what you truly are, and where you want to go, distinct from the role-based image and responsibilities that you tend to otherwise identify with.
- Re-evaluate and take stock of your life in terms of what you have done and what you really want to do. We may be doing it even otherwise but when you sit far away from civilization, the perspective becomes different and the outcome of such contemplation will also be naturally different.
There can be plenty of other benefits and the idea is not to list them down completely but only to emphasize that there is a whole range of unique experiences waiting for us. If only we allow ourselves to watch the patterns formed by drifting clouds on an evening sky or the starry flashes of glow-worms on a dark night.
Or listen to the pitter-patter of falling raindrops when the first monsoon showers set in……