Who am I?

My photo
I am not religious, but I don't mind calling myself spiritual. Religion, I believe, has, over the millennia, been used as a prop to perpetrate a lot of human suffering. Faith is what matters. I don't believe in the definition of God as a creator. According to me, my God resides within me. Some call it conscience, some call it the sub-conscious, some call it the soul. I don't mind calling it God. So by definition I am not an atheist or an agnostic, but by essence, I may as well be. My God does not reside in a temple, church, mosque or gurudwara. It is right here, within me.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Scene at the Garden

I sit at a worn-out wooden bench, senile yet stately – the bench, not me - and absorb – I do, not the bench – the scene unwrapping itself in front of me. My claim does not extend to asserting that there is something exceptional in the scene that lay in front of me. In fact, it shines in its ordinariness. In front of me sprawls the Princes Street Gardens (since almost everything in Edinburgh, Scotland, has a regal significance to it). I’ve just come out of the Scottish National Gallery, alternatively called the Scottish Art Gallery (yes, a lot is in the name, something I realised in the morning when my overdependence on technology – read Google Maps – led me to Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, which was quite offhandishly located in an isolated corner of Edinburgh, and contributed quite a lot to my step count of today). 

The girl rollicking around the park with her parents
In front of me, there is a family of three. The Mom and Dad are doing an On Your Marks, Get Set, Go to their daughter, seemingly 6, while they make a gateway of their hands for the girl to run screaming through and get enraptured. And by the time I have written this, I notice that now she rolls herself down the slope of the grassy meadow that forms the Princes Street Gardens.

Children two my right try to scare away this Oyestercatch
Two children on the bench to my right, again not more than 5, thought they were successfully able to scare away a white and grey Oyestercatch, when another one lands right in front of them, and seems even more hesitant in running away for her life than the previous one. A group of four girls, aged 8 to 12, sit in circle in the lush green grass, and seem to be playing a certain game which requires something to be scribbled by each one in turn, followed by mandatory giggles in which each one’s participation is expected. After a while they get up and climb the steep grassy slope towards my end of the garden, and one manages to get stuck while the others endeavour to pull her up. They pass me by, and the language seems quite incomprehensible to me.

The group of girls, far away from worldly
troubles, in their own cocoon called childhood
A solitary girl of not more than 14 sits beneath a sprawling tree, absorbed in the book she is cradling, smiling and frowning alternatively. The sound of the buses passing over the manhole covers is quite loud, and can be heard from across the Princes Street, the major arterial road adjoining this area. The weather’s quite cold today, and it’s strange how much the environment of this place has altered between yesterday and today. Yesterday, at the terrace in front of the Scottish National Gallery many songs a busker performed beautifully on his guitar, with a bass pedal attached to the Cajon and a musical percussion jingle to the other foot, alternatively tapping his feet to from a sort of a one-man band. Today it’s all silent, with less than a tenth of the people in these gardens, favouring yesterday’s sun over today’s cold and gloomy weather

The girl who sits peacefully underneath the tree,
absorbed in her book
A guy with his bicycle arrives, accompanied by his dog, and they descend the slope, the guy gingerly with his bike, and the dog excitedly, while a stranger who was walking behind them with a DSLR stops to capture their spectacle. In a while, the dog can be seen cavorting with a stick in its mouth, in one of dogs’ usually identifiable antics, where they grasp a stick in their jaws, shake their head from side to side, seemingly to dislodge the stick but maybe to get a better grip at it, and then roll over with the stick still lodged firmly between their jaws. The girl with the book watches the dog and smiles widely. The owner of the dog seems to emerge from a thicket and carries in his hand a large dry branch of a tree, breaks it into smaller pieces – which are actually much larger than the dog’s previous stick – and starts throwing it to the dog, who is exhilarated and runs around having the time of his life, like dogs always do in such moments. At this moment, the bitter frigid wind forces me to pack up and look for an indoor sanctuary. Such ordinariness, yet so much variety of hopes and lives, in this singular moment. 

No comments:

Post a Comment