Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Note Book of Ordinary Things 3: Flower Pots on the Window Sill

 A few flower pots in the window sill or on the space that hangs between immeasurable depths and heavens. Opening one’s eyes in the morning to such a simple sight in the world is quite a soothing one. But unfortunately most of us do not that, not because that we do not want to do that but because for many balconies have become the places where the discarded furniture and other household items are stored. In the busiest of lives that we lead we do not find time to sit in the balconies and take a look at the world around. Even if we try, we have this terrible feeling of others looking into our privacies as much as we do into theirs. Our windows in the cities have become grills from where unacknowledged undergarments dry incessantly. In pairs and alone they appear flaunting the world about the mood and choice of the days that have just gone by. The gaping passersby do not get enough time to register therefore the windows of the  apartments become a jumble of well spread rags of different colours as if they were the victorious flags of our dreary lives.

In such situations opening our eyes to a few flower pots with plants and flowers with fresh colours, well tended, loved, cared and talked is a great feeling. But most of the English speaking and English reading people in the world have now forgotten the idea of seeing the world through the plants and flowers. You should be super rich or super laid back to have such a luxury. A majority wakes up with an irritation for their faithful alarm clocks’ relentless reminders. The days look so distant when a dear or near one wakes you up with a glass of tea, a smile and a kiss. Even in films such scenes are carefully deleted. I do not say that the woman should serve the man with a cup of tea, smile, a hug or a kiss. It could be the other way round too. People sleep inside air tight rooms with their air-conditioners on so that the first thing that you wake up is to the noise of the air conditioner. Then to the irritation and then to the hurry to get somewhere. Who cares to look at the flowers or plants or flower pots?

You may argue that to have a look at a plant or a flower you need to have the luxury of a relaxed life. But who has denied you of that relaxation? Having a job, a couple of children or having a huge responsibility of running an institution etc cannot be a hindrance to look at a plant or flower at the window sill. Relaxation is within you; not outside. You have a pair of eyes and a mind to look at and understand things. Looking at plants and flowers would make you a better human being. You don’t need to have a terrace garden or a real garden to do that. You can just look at the small little weed sprouting there at the way side or at the parapet. If you are too caring, you can have a few flower pots.

There are people who say that only those who remain at home could think of keeping some flower pots at their window sill. Rest of the people do not have time. I have seen people who are having very hectic life during the day still nurturing plants in their homes. I have also seen people who are devoid of any work and spend a lot of time at home even do not look at the empty window sills or the flower pots there kept by somebody else. Let me tell you these plants and flower pots are not just plants and flower pots. They are a frame and a pair of spectacles to the world. You could see the world better once you see the scene framed and bordered by these brittle and humble beings on the earth. Without attributing any religious or ecological meaning to it you could have them; what you need to see is the happiness quotient. There are still people in the villages who start their daily chores only after worshipping the trees; the remnants of a pagan life but how beautiful it is!

The other day I was looking at a few video clippings from West Bengal where both the Hindus and Muslims had taken out processions with weapons in hand to prove their strength and might. Faceless men and women clad in saffron (they outnumbered the green ones in the other videos) wielding weapons in hands went on baying for the blood of their enemies. None cared to ask who was their enemy? I am sure those people in the videos just don’t care about the plants or flowers even if they have a lot in their homes; even if those women do have kids and they do wear flowers in their hair buns. How many times we could tell them (the way Kabir and Tagore had said) that the God that they are fighting for is not there and that God has left long back to the refugee camps. To see the God one should look at the plants at the window sill or elsewhere. Once you see their tenderness and you understand that your life is not that different from those plants, then you wouldn’t ask for the blood of your enemy because there would be no enemy left in the world in that state of mind. Foolish are those people who come out in the street to show strength of their religion. They are blind and mentally challenged people for the mentally healthy ones are those who lead peaceful life elsewhere creating art, music, dance and literature or simply looking at life flowing by.

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