” Metaphors – Love in the Times of Corona” by Meera Kumar Menon
Care Consciously! # DEFEAT CORONA
A concrete road from the main junction takes a steep fall, following a pristine course of enduring greenery, with lush green fields on the one side and the natural rock formations on the other, perturbed only by the village pond and a few solitary houses here and there.
Veetampara, our beautiful village, as the story goes, gets its name from the benevolent rock forms which lent graciously to the villagers at times of need. Each time someone needs money or gold for an emergency, they would come near these rocks and pray from the bottom of their hearts. Whatever they need would then, miraculously appear in front of them. However, the lending is not without clauses. Whatever is lend had to be duly returned to the rocks once the need was fulfilled. Only, one day, someone chose to break this rule, and since then, it is said that the the ritual came to an end, and ‘kadam veetta para’, the indebted rocks, stayed as a nonchalant reminder of debts unpaid.
Along the coast of these rocks we have our grand May tree, purposefully sheltering the greater rock among the forms, with its visceral foliage. ‘Aanappara’, as it is known, is a larger mass of rock, stunningly resembling an elephant’s form. Legend has it that the Goddess Devi who protects the village, never liked her procession being heralded by elephants. Once though, the villagers, out of sheer curiosity and interest, decided to involve an elephant in the temple festivities. However, on the way towards the temple, when the procession reached somewhere near the archean rocks , it is said that the elephant turned into yet another huge rock and stuck there for times to come. To this day thereafter, the processions to the temple have no elephants, and this, our (animal rights warrior) Devi, definitely made sure of.
Overlooking the rocks, amidst the green paddy fields, is the village pond, to which early in the morning the women around make their visit. Each season has a baring on this teeming village life. April, the month of harvest, from my childhood memories, reminded me of the stacks of paddy being threshed on the rocks by women in baggy shirts and lungis, the kind of cross dressing which went unquestioned. June mornings leave a stunningly picturesque impression, with little children in new uniforms racing the rainclouds, to a new day at school. Greens turning greener, the spirit of the village so exuberant, syncing harmoniously with the blue skies in their soul song.
Lost in thought, leaning on the gate and letting my eyes graze at the distance early in the morning, I see Neelandettan on his way to buy milk. Kamalamma is still a red dot, at the fields afar, walking her way towards our home. Overtaking the elders came a pair of little feet, least expected on a friday morning.
“Koorkka undu chechi”, he brings a newspaper package of little yams, and tells me they are really fresh.
“I’ll get you the money”, I walk in, leaving our entrepreneur boy at the gate. With three notes of tens, I bring back a bar of chocolate. “Here, take this”, I tell him, ruffling his hair. “No, no! I’m fasting!”, he replies. “Well, you could have it after the fast”, I offer, indignance creeping into my rejection. “Can’t eat by myself, I have four younger brothers,” hardly completing the sentence, he is almost half way past the elephant rock, quick on his feet.
“Wow, that’s one of the most selfless things I’ve heard”, I ponder upon his silhouette, now a tiny speck at the distance.
Selfless concern does run deep in every soul I meet here.
Perhaps at times we may have to lend, not to one’s ability, but to the other’s need. Times might get tougher once our nation picks up after the lockdown, and our opportunity to repay the ones who’ve worked relentlessly for the past two months, maybe just around the corner.
While we shall remain forever indebted for their many services, our little acts of graceful gratitude might just be the need of the hour to ensure we pick up from where we left of, one step at a time.
Stay tuned for more about “Love in the times of Corona” 😊
With Conscious Care, Together we shall overcome!
Care Consciously! #DefeatCorona !
Disclaimer: The opinions endorsed by the speaker is solely the author’s and not in any way endorsed by the Institute/Programme.