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It Rained in my Africa today

Updated: Mar 31, 2019

I could hear the gentle murmurs of rain drops coming from the darkness of the night outside as I drew the soft blanket over me. Snug in my cozy bed, with the rhythm of nature in my ears, I went back to my deep slumber one more time, not remembering whether the rain was real or just in my dreams.

It was still the end of winter, nice and cool. And it was the first rain of the season.

The morning after was as fresh as a child’s smile. Pure and bright. Cleansed by night’s shower and filled with a new scent of moist earth.

Like every day, I hopped downstairs and peered through the glass. On the other side lies my Africa!

Not the vast stretches of the brown Savanna with its occasional Acacia thorn trees, nor the ones with the mighty Baobabs. But the one with its rocky hills and green forests. The one we see in the covers of eminent Bengali writer Bibhuti Bhushan’s legendary book Chander Pahar (translated “Mountain of the Moon”).

Cover of the legendary fiction "Mountain of the Moon"

Some droplets of moisture still hung on the glass from last night, while others had decided to slide down making watery streaks, blurring the vision and rendering the view on the other side even more mystical.

It had also rained in my Africa. And what a wonderful sight it was.

I would often imagine a group of screeching baboons hanging out beneath the rich green big leafy plants which dominated the foothills near my view. Even through the smudged view one could make out the distinct outlines of their chlorophyll rich surfaces as they tried to reached up towards the brightness above.

The rich green big leafy plants dominating the foothills

But behind them, further away, along the zig-zag pathway rising gently through the moss-covered rocks was a big vertical rock-face blurred by the distance. This pinnacle rose like a Masai King. Resolute and strong. It was flanked on both sides by the most luxuriant growth of tall foliage. Like a big forest they grew and spread until they reached the edge of their world behind them.

The cliff-face at the end of the gently rising zig-zag path

The romance with nature and adventure so lucidly portrayed in Chander Pahar had mesmerized me from my childhood like it has done to so many others who have read its pages. This is the book which had inspired me to travel to Africa. Vivid descriptions of the incredible experiences of it's boy hero, Shankar, had pushed me to my many treks in the mountains of the great continent.

Old photograph from adventurous days - hike in the Blyde River Canyon

And today when I look through the misty glass at the zig-zag among the rocky path ascending toward that black rock-face, surrounded by the lush green, my memories go back to those hiking days. How I wish I could step into the other side of the glass pane and walk up the winding trail, inhaling lungful of the scent of the wet earth in every step and stand beneath the rock wall and look up to admire the tuft of moss covered ledges high above.

Every age in one's life has their own priorities and own joys. And today when I am otherwise happily busy with my mid-life priorities, a tiny living world flourishing in its own tiny tropical glass box ecosystem in a corner of my room becomes a portal to a very *very* fond corner of my heart.

It rained last night in my city. And it rained in my little "Mountain of the Moon" today.

What an incredible magic it is!

Thanks Ripples from NatureCube for introducing me to the awesome world of Living Art.

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