Of human temporariness

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 21 Aug 2018 10:52:22


By Vijay Phanshikar,






They are apart from rains. They may form a drizzle, or a dangerous torrent. Yet, they are not rains. They are rain-drops -- absolutely, so totally different from the rains. Each
rain-drop has its own presence. I may not notice that if I am a dud. I may not notice their existence if I am in a hurry. I may not feel their aura if I am in a rush, in which I always am. Yet, the rain-drops have their own identity, their own persona, their own way of dealing with themselves and the world and Nature. Minus rain-drops, Nature would not be what it is known to be.

But a haiku writer knows what a rain-drop means. A poet knows the metaphor of the rain-drop. And the rains
themselves know it the best. And this awareness -- on the part of the rains as such -- is not existentialist in nature. It is, so to say, in the genre of self-consciousness, in almost a realm of momentariness of life!

Drip-drop-drip-drop... so goes the sound on a night when the rains are over but the rain-drops are still showering their softness on us. When the lights are out, when the world is asleep, the rain-drops do one great task -- they awaken someone who is willing to listen to their soft, relentless music that wakes you up but does not disturb
your peace.

It is not without reason that so many poems have emerged from the core of human emotions since time immemorial.
Rain-drops, thus, have lent the humans a sense of certain timelessness, certain boundarylessness, some sense of being eternal.

So soft. So tender. Yet so hard occasionally, so much so that they hurt when they hit you. They almost pierce the skin, if one may say so.
No matter all that, they -- the rain-drops -- are also so temporary -- yet so permanent. For, even when the rain-drop dies the moment it hits anything, blasted, splashed into pieces, it lives permanently in memory. It is not possible for any human to erase from
memory the terribly ephemeral persona of the rain-drop. That memory is almost genetic in nature, so deeply engraved on human mind. How can one forget the rain-drop or its eternality!

Remember the child -- any child --
stretching out his tiny palm to catch those few rain-drops!? Remember the glee on his face if he is able to grasp a few in his little fist!? And don’t you then feel that that glee has a divine touch -- of those few rain-drops in the little fist.
That is the essence of existence, so to say, of all of us. We are almost like rain-drops, so temporary in nature, yet so permanent in genetic memory! By birth and at birth, we are so soft, so tender, so willing to expand, and also so willing to shrink in a moment almost out of existence. But, how life teaches us to be hard, to be tough! Each rain-drop may not have a very enduring and lasting existence, like each one of us. Yet, on the memory-plane, each one of us has an identity of one’s own.

But then there is a little, very slight, difference as well. For, just as rain-drops are not rains, one human individual is not the whole of humanity. Yet, each one of us humans has a greater chance to endure in life’s vagaries, and also endear oneself to others. That way, each one of us has a chance, an opportunity, to have a lasting impact.
But if we treat this as a critical difference, we must also remind ourselves of a critical similarity as well -- between us and the rain-drops. We must recall how the rain-drops are all eager to get absorbed into whatever they fall upon. Gods have always expected us to be like those rain-drops -- all eager to get absorbed in the eternal divinity life represents.

Unfortunately, however, we show a tendency to reject that divine gift to us -- of willingness to get absorbed. In that refusal, we become so rigid, so rabid even, that we forget that the beauty of the rain-drops is in their acceptance of their own temporariness.

That is one lesson .... ! Alas!!