Quintessential Hope

Vishnu Balram
Sunday, September 13, 2020

I looked out of the window. It was raining. Being an eternal pluviophile, I watched the tiny droplets of water caressing the window panes of my apartment. Alas, I could hear a faint wail with each drop of rain, drenching me deeper than my thoughts. How I wish this rain could wash away the blemishes and jitters of the devastated world, cleanse and cool the earth, and sing a lullaby to the fragile world.

I love the pitter-patter of rains and the fragrance of wet earth. The first feel of it draws me closer to my motherland and my grandparents, who long to meet me during every vacation. How I crave to nibble the hot and crispy snacks my grandmother prepares when it rains. I literally pine to have a glimpse of the camouflaged hills and the temple atop the hill from the verandah of my ancestral home.

Everything seems to be a dream now. Uncertainty looms over as to when I could re-live those moments. A priceless, misty saudade runs through my spine when I realise that I am stuck in the labyrinth of incertitude.

My romantic view of the rain was shattered when I saw its fury last year when I passed Coorg enroute Bangalore. I could see the aftermath of the floods that wreaked havoc and the vestige of landslides where an entire area was wiped off. I was indeed devastated to see the scars that were left by nature; the sight demolished my fairy tale reminiscence of the beautiful haven where I spent my childhood.

As I passed through the lush coffee estates of Coorg, I was astonished to witness the fighting spirit of the Kodavas. In the midst of chaos, the resurrection of their land was underway. Their sorrows were assuaged, and their smiles supplanted the streaming tears of the sunken spirit. I could see their happy faces brimming with the hope of a brighter tomorrow.

Nowadays, I always look for rainbows after it rains, the Rainbow of Hope over the tears of humanity. I have realised that the brightest rainbows are always preceded by the darkest thunderstorms. I have a strong conviction that the falling crystals of colour will usher “rose-coloured glasses” than “jade-coloured glasses”. Human race is akin to a rainbow, colours are distinct but part of the same spectrum, and life without hope is like a colourless rainbow. In the present scenario, when the whole world is confined to a cocoon, hope is the only antidote to fear. Hope is neither a quintessential human fantasy nor an elixir. It is tomorrow’s gloss over today’s dismay, the silver lining that gives strength to humanity to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of despair.

Vishnu Balram
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