Evening at Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, May 2015
and so does everything around... the situation, the people, the perspective, the needs.... and we too change.... the wise and courageous seek change.. because only change is constant!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

117. Quick Shake

My body, mind and intellect are at loggerheads again.

I know it is not the right time for this to happen. My problem is : there is never a right time for it to happen. Every time I excuse myself on this point, they become adamant. Especially at this hour, I have no control over them. I do not have a wrist watch or a wall clock. But somehow I can always guess time approximately correctly. This must be around 1.30 in the morning, I know.

The windowpanes are making noise. The bed is behaving as if it is contemplating to hurriedly initiate a Rock Dance. The dogs are barking. The crows and kites are engaged in producing frightening calls. People are shouting loudly. First I thought I must be dreaming. But I realize that it is an Earthquake. My intellect orders me to RUSH DOWN – ‘Safety First’ is the right approach in such situations.

However, mind rejects the suggestion of the intellect. (I know, I should not do this!) It decides to ‘experience’ what is happening. The body and mind have their own conflict, but when intellect arrives in the picture, the body always associates with the mind. Like politicians, nobody is a permanent enemy of the other in my own world too.

I am awake, but not frightened. I am not panicking. I am not running away. It is foolish of me to act in this way, but I can’t help. I am listening to the trembling Earth. I think she is saying something, but can’t make out what it is.

The tremor lasts only for few seconds. Two seconds? Three seconds? I am not sure. It ends as if before it began.

I stretch my hand towards my mobile handset to see what time it is. It is 2.00 in the morning. The silence falls – that means not much damage done by this.

I always wonder about Earth. In a way, she is bound by Natural Law, Governed by unknown Forces. Who decided that the Earth should move round the Sun? Who decided that Life should evolve on the Earth? Did the Earth had her choice or she - like all of us - is just a part of the Cycle? In this way we are similar to Earth – we get what we did not ask for and we have the responsibility to carry it on well.

Sometimes I wonder that like me (and you of course), whether Earth too has a mind and an intellect along with her material existence. No, I don’t mean to say that Earthquakes happen to punish bad people, or that is the way of the Earth to take revenge. I don’t think Earth is that MEAN. It must be something like - she is trying to throw her binding in some way, maybe she is just yawning or stretching herself a bit .. who knows?

Does Earth too have a Goal to achieve? Does she have a plan to move on? Is she bothered about her destruction? Does she have hopes? Does she aim to reach somewhere? What is her destiny? Will she be destroyed one day? Then what will happen? From where she came and to where she would go? Does she experience the feelings of happiness, joy and pain? Maybe not measurable on human scale – but on HER scale? Does she speak? Does she have a language? Does she feel lonely? Does she dream? How does she face the boredom? What inspires her to carry such a burden of humanity and other species? Do they mean anything to her or not at all?

Sounds like human life ..... isn’t it?

I start towards my office at 9.00 a.m. – seven hours after the Tremor.

The moment I put my feet on the ground (I live on the second floor) – I ask the Earth (speaking to oneself is a sign of madness, but I have always been that Mad!),

“Are you OK? What happened? ”
Earth smiles listlessly. But she is clearly amused.
“I am perfectly alright my child. HOW ARE YOU?” she asks smilingly.
“I am fine. That was a Quick Shake indeed,” I tell her.
Earth smiles at me. I smile at her.

I move on.
With an assurance: that in Life and in Death, the Earth is going to be with me.
I will never be alone.
My destiny is part of Her destiny, though Her destiny includes many more such tiny destinies.
We may explore it together, or we may explore it separately – but explore we will.
And where we reach is not important, how we travel is important!

To make best of what we have is the right approach to make a right beginning.

The Quick Shake clearly destroyed something in me ... and gave way for new things!


  1. Take a bow lady, you do it again!


  2. wow! that was a brilliant post!
    maybe it was an alarm to tell people 'stop abusing me(earth)'!

  3. sometimes I get tired of writing how I loved it on your posts! But each post tops my earlier 'loved it'!!
    I think its best to not panic. Panic only leads to blunders. At such moments curiosity is too high, there is no time to panic. Of course those who have survived greater quakes will disagree....
    The conversation between you and earth reminds me of the goddess Gaia in Greek mythology. she is the spirit of earth and symbol of the creative mother instinct.
    Perhaps she too needs to yawn and stretch sometimes, I agree! Why should it mean she plans to destroy the abusive mankind?! Mankind is doing enough effort to destroy itself...

    समुद्रवसने देवी, पर्वतस्तनमंडले।
    विष्णुपत्न्यै नमस्तुभ्यं पादस्पर्शं क्षमस्व मे॥
    goddess draped with oceans and mountains as her bosom, consort of Lord vishnu, forgive me for touching thee with my feet.

  4. Only one word strikes to me in a comprehensive perspective . . . Evolution . . . . Geographical geological and biological

  5. that was quiet a conversation..:)

    she must be annoyed with me..I have not talk to her foe some time...so c ya ..


  6. Thanks Rakesh. glad to know you enjoyed it.

    magiceye, that is possible! But I guess she is least bothered about us in a way :-)

    Anu,thanks for quoting that shloka.. though I laughed at it once, I understand it better now :-)

    Mahesh, nice to have you here after a long time ...evolution continues that is true.

    Makk, :-) Go and talk to her before she shakes again :-)

  7. >>The Quick Shake clearly destroyed something in me ... and gave way for new things!
    That's the best way to some it all up! :)

  8. Vidyadhar, if I could sum up my life that way, I would be most happy!

  9. A thousand million
    hard years,
    hurtling around,
    the incandescent star,
    bearing the
    of greedy humanity,
    mountainous excesses
    and flowing and gushing
    defiled water bodies,
    she now wobbles a bit
    at an odd angle
    in her old age....

    it gets too much,
    she shakes her head,
    and stretches,
    coughing a bit
    the skin clutching the bones
    in dryness,
    deep surface wounds.

    Unlike us
    she is her own doctor,
    and emerges
    from the
    short stretching rest,
    energized again
    like a Mother,
    watch,tolerate, and wonder,
    her wayward children,
    again and again.....

    Wonderful post . I'm convinced the Earth has a mind and feelings, of its own.....

  10. Surangatai, wonderful poem. You should publish it as a separate post :-) I am glad that we agree that Earth has its own mind and own life as well!

  11. Have put it on my poetry blog. Thank you for the suggestion :-)

    Have a look


  12. In life and death, earth is with me!

    What a brilliant thought ! very nicely put !

  13. Surangaatai, thanks.

    Kavi, thanks for appreciation!

  14. Quake is a great experience, which I encountered more than once, from Koyana to Satpuda Ranges. So also are other natural phenomena, and everything around shows me my place. And I bow humbly before Srishti – Mother Nature. Thanks for such a poetic expression.

  15. Thanks Remijee. Natural Calamities make us humble ... we owe a lot to Nature ..

  16. We are indeed a lucky lot that we personify all biotic and abiotic nature; hence, we have Panchatantra, more preferable to Tom and Jerry.

    As I read again I am reminded - Saima Afreen speaks of Earth:

    Hazaron dastaanein likhee gatin jis key seeney pe
    Aaj us bekas zamin ka no koi quadardaan apna hai.

    (On whose chest thousands of tales have been written
    Today that helpless Earth has no patron of her own.)

  17. Excellent post. Wishing you all happiness in life.

  18. Remijee, that is a beautiful quote... but I don't think Earth really needs our support. She can 'BE' irrespective of humanity...

    Thanks Subramaniamjee.

  19. I do agree with you. The word "patron" for "quadardaan" is not appropriate, in my opinion; the poet also agrees.


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