21 Mar A World Awaits Us ਵੇਲਾ ਤੇ ਗੰਢਾ
Growing up in a secluded mountain town, I always imagined the world as a snowy fairyland. Every winter we cherished the joy of this white magic. Its aura mesmerized the surrounding and enchanted innocent beings like us. A wintry sense of excitement was always in play. We would pay close attention to even the slightest cloud movement in the sky. Our ears were glued to our weatherman, my father, his keen observation was our winter grail and whenever he would say, ‘ ਮੌਸਮ ਪੱਕਾ ਹੈ ’, it literally meant ‘snow is imminent. Our eyes would light up. Along with my sisters, I would look out from one of our favorite windows, a half-open design with bright wood planks as a safety net. Taking turns, we would look at the sky with our chapped skin, expecting the auspicious flakes to embrace us.
We would gaze at the swirling flakes; traversing our journey upwards untethered from dirt: surreal transportation for our kindling spirit. The snow settled delicately on the cliffs and valleys, on the tall deodar trees and pathways of the town, everywhere there was a sense of splendor and poise. Our chores on a blanket day like this were pretty clear, shovel the snow, and get the entrance & walkway to the house situated, if the water taps were frozen, which mostly they were, we had buckets to fetch it from an alternate source. Our mother handled snow as a delicacy, only venturing out for very important tasks, while we muddled in snow as if it was sugar candy, creating our prints, improvising a sledge, and indulging in snowball fights.
Playing in the snow is optional, but keeping yourself warm is necessary. We would burn chunks of coal that came in cute lumps stuffed in a jute sack. Handling it meant signing up for some soot. We took turns firing it up in a robust cast iron square with a sprinkle of kerosene and a spark from a wooden match stick. We enjoyed the warm glow while drying our clothes with rounds of banter and some silly games. By night, we would snuggle under the mighty quilts and eagerly await the day’s ample hours.
The element of time encapsulates us in its peculiarity & rhythm, subtly propelling our sojourns. One that has been pivotal for me is putting out my first poetry book, Time & Knots. In essence, it is a perspective on how time has molded me and my take on the unfolding of hours and its cast. In the Autumn/ਪਤਝੜ section, one of my favorite lines personifies those unfolds.
Years move— some cold and unchanged,
some chained and warm,
some free in mist—
floating away too soon.
My yearning to create an illusion of permanence via ink is like sailing upward from a window; it is boundless, nurturing & inquisitive. The poem ‘Poet’ in the collection depicts this muse of existential and permanence,
is an opus of rising crests
and plunging troughs,
nodes anchoring our chain-links.
In the wave of his craft
our pulse and knots ride
beyond residue and decree
of the currents, a flag bearer of revolt.
When darkness runs roil,
his pen dismantles the illusion
and his ink an illuminance.
Within his churn,
the chapters unfold:
poet, a revolution.
Most wondrously, our spirit and identity are like the bold & delicate prints of a snowflake, which become powerful when we bring them to the grand stage. Through our own stories, perspectives, and narratives, a world awaits us.
Time & Knots is available on Kindle, Print & Audible,