At the end of a rainbow

Lucy found her diamond sky

100 shades of Grey

on June 22, 2015

No, this is not a kinkier version. Call it a better use of the title. If you have nothing to do but alternate between staring at a laptop screen and a window overlooking a rainy landscape, I suppose you might be more sympathetic to the topic. There is something about the Grey skies that suddenly pushes into view a bright yellow water tank unnoticed for ages. It is as if, myriad objects take on the responsibility of compensating for the monochrome hues in the heavens. Despite all their efforts though, they are but transient distractions in the face of a tempestuous weather. For all the subjugation and domestication that our species is capable of, the weather remains as awe-inspiring and wild as it was for our ancestors a million years back. The torrential rains us a reminder of the fragility and effervescence of humankind, a lesson to be humble about things beyond control but only if we choose to listen.  Trains ply, vehicles fume and sputter, umbrellas knock off each other, people obstinately wade through the muck. There is no stopping the giant cogs of societal functioning. Yet, when things do come to a stand-still there is that palpable relief in getting off the hook of economic drudgery to enjoy unscheduled time that one gets to spend. In that sense, there is little difference between the children who rejoice the unexpected closure of school in the face of calamities and adults who are faced with a day sans monotonous work. Many people have confessed meeting their neighbours and feeling like part of a community only in the occasion of sudden breakdowns that forced them to leave the privacy of their place and interact with each other. Unsurprisingly, an inconvenient incident turns into cherished memories; memories because the moment life goes back to ‘normal’, the invisible hand pulls people back into their shelters and work.  Rebecca Solnit writes in her book A Paradise built in Hell, “The possibility of paradise hovers on the cusp of coming into being, so much so that it takes powerful forces to keep such a paradise at bay. If paradise now arises in hell, it’s because in the suspension of the usual order and the failure of most systems, we are free to live and act another way.” So, if disruptions emerge as platforms to reclaim our humanity, might we not take the audacious step of celebrating these pauses as potential for a new way of life?

(Picture from Outstanding in the Rain)

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