Sunday, May 18, 2008

Awaiting the monsoon...

It's that time of the year again in Manipal. The sticky heat is just beginning to get unbearable, but hope is, literally, in the air. A few fluffy specimens of cumulonimbus have been scurrying past in the sky - advance parties for the massive cloud armies of the monsoon to follow..? Yesterday some of them had sprinkled a bit of rain just before dawn too, to remind us that redemption was at hand.

I keep thinking of the monsoon, how it is going to transform this land in two weeks from now. A queer restlessness comes over me... What was it that I hadn't quite completed last monsoon? Yes, the unfinished business of Bali Kunja - the hump-shaped peak on the skyline of the western ghats visible from Manipal, behind which the sun rises on equinox days. Last June, the perpetual wetness and leeches and the handicap of a late start had seen us abandon the trek to this peak midway. Yes, this monsoon, looking forward to the climb....

A climb in the monsoons…

A climb in the incessant rains

In hills and vales far above the plains.

Splashing thru’ innumerable streams

Clouds and fog and misty realms…

Roar of a mighty waterfall

As it plunges down a rocky wall.

Lifting now the cloud reveals

The rocky summit thru’ wispy veils

A soaring cliff of black basalt

Outlined against a dull grey vault

Sailing in a sea of white

And now the clouds hide it from sight…

Trudging among the weeping trees

In pelting rain and whipping breeze

Steeply, the track winds on and on…

Just when our minds of hope are shorn,

There looms ahead the final ridge.

Hundred feet more to the top, we judge.

Gripping the glistening wet basalt,

We launch into the tough assault

With taut muscles and strained sinew,

And for once not bothered of the view,

Climbing steadily in a single row

Till there’s no more left to go….

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