Friday, July 07, 2006

When the Clouds Beckon........

Clouds have always been a fascination for me since childhood. Especially in the monsoon laden months in Kerala, the clouds come in all shapes and colours, much to my amusement.

When I was a kid I used to think they were made of cotton wool, whole loads of them. And to strengthen my conviction, once when I injured myself, our maid told a reluctant and bleeding me that she herself had plucked the cotton stub dipped in dettol ( which she was holding) from the clouds outside. And since our “terrace” was a forbidden area for kids …I really thought that one could touch the clouds from the terrace and even collect cotton wool …as much as one wants….

When I used to accompany dad to drop mom for work, I used to be happy seeing her Hospital building which “seemed” tall enough to touch the clouds….My small brain was immediate to reason out the logic of why this building had to be tall when its neighbors were so squat…. “Tall so that the doctors can collect enough cotton wool to treat their patients!!!”

Fortunately or unfortunately I never got a chance to present my “derived logic” in front of any august gathering of grown-ups…who would have had a great laugh at my expense and then would have had an added advantage of making me understand “how far the clouds are…”

One night…long back…probably I was in my third standard when I dreamt of my brother and I playing on the “terrace” and a cloud came swooping down…I touched the cloud and it pulled me away…away from home…away from my family …away from the city I knew so well….I was startled and woke up. Then for a brief stint I hated clouds… “Child-catchers” I used to think.

As time moved ahead…I also learnt like a million other kids of my age, the science of cloud formation and the art of differentiating between a “Cumulus” and a “Cumulo-nimbus” cloud…

When I was in 8th standard we had an old, interesting Malayalam Sir who used to recite poems and passages from epics to us. I still remember the excerpt from Kalidasa’s legendary “Megh-Dootam” where the king who is a captive sends his messages to his beloved through the clouds…..I was enamored by this concept…how romantic would that be…a cloud outside your window whispering into your ears the message sent by your beloved who is in a faraway land.

In the past few years in Delhi, I almost forgot the existence of “clouds” in the sky…probably I was too caught up in the mundane realities to look up and notice. One proverb which I really held close to my heart all these years was that “every cloud indeed has a silver lining……” a truth which I often forget only to be reminded by Sorabh, time and again. A very optimistic thought when the time is tough.

Recently, I was lucky enough to get a chance to travel down the sub continent to Goa , just when the monsoons decided to storm northwards….and I couldn’t resist but click those wonderful amorphous forms and rich hues that would give any painter a run for his money. Those beautiful unknown landscapes through which the train moved were reduced to mere foregrounds to these brilliant tapestries of nature.

Be it “Bundles of Cotton wool” or “ Demonic Child-Catchers” or “Romantic Messengers”…the clouds and their silver linings have always had a special place in my heart.


sonal said...

i love those fat white clouds.. like theyre going to war they look.
when i was small i used to love a story book called ragitty and the cloud. about a sweet funny cloud who could transform himself into any shape... he was a painter and could paint himself to imitate anything/ highly cute. very nice illustrations. and i learned about meghdooot only after i came here.. very lovely idea only it is.
i loved alll your imaginations romantic boy.
i wish it would rain now.

anup said...

lovely post. I want to go right now!!!

Sorabh Raina said...

"every dark cloud has a silver lining"

Srijith Unni said...

Beautiful pictures.. and a great insight into a child`s mind, in the description of the clouds.
Clouds.. they are indeed beautiful, in front of the blue clear sky.. Watching them is a great experience.

V N said...

Sandeep.. these are some of the best cloud piccies, I hv ever seen. Not just the clouds, I fell in love with the lone birdie as well.

Great Photo blog, and way to go!

Sandeep Menon said...

Thanks Sonal,
See it finally rained today...but there were no clouds worth clicking...but a welcome relief from the heat indeed.

Hey Anup,
I know, who wud like to stay back in delhi when one has such a beautiful place like goa as ones native.

Indeed Sorabh, there u remind me once again ur eternal mantra of Optimism.I couldn't hav done justice to my cloud post without ur famous one liner.

Thanks srijith, many a times my childhood toughts which i still remember make me wonder and sometimes laugh too.And yes waching clouds is a wonderful experience especially at the beaches.

Velu, thanks for dropping by.

Shubham said...

Hey Sandeep..U have captured the most magnificent cumulus and cumulo nimbus..those with cauli flower domes and an anvil head respectively..these two are the most beautiful of all cloud types..

Sandeep Menon said...

hey geographer.....thanks for brushing up my knowledge...yes, they indeed r the most beautiful of the cloud types.

chitra said...

and I read it on a cloudy day , but today i want it to to remain cloudy for days to come. dont want to see the silver lining of sunshine!

Srijith Unni said...

Hi Sandeep.!

I just tagged you.. :-) Hope you have a nice time doing it. Do have a look at my blog for the details, my dear friend.

With Best Regards,
Srijith Unni

Kakshi said...

Beautiful one..
I got carried away and was lost in it .. :)
R those pics taken by you?...
Man u must be a professional! :)


Jose said...

Mennnnon.. impressive blog.

Speaks volumes of you. The font reminds me of an argument we once had in 3rd year (..was it?) you refused to budge-- I hated it then!!!

It fits you well, after all these years- you've always stood your ground while many around you drifted.

Anonymous said...

nice pics sandeep

saurabh said...

oye :)

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