Another silver-purple dawn had cracked.
The tall deodar trees were standing still, silhouetted against the rapidly unfurling dawn waiting for the winter sun to rise. The dewy Dhauladhar hills were now visible- now gone, with the swirling mist playing one last hide-and-seek with them before moving to the higher altitudes.
The quaint hamlet of Yol was slowly waking up to the morning voices of the gushing river, twittering birds and dewdrops falling from the eaves. Nestled like an exotic flower amid the sylvan surroundings Yol seemed to be forgotten by its countrymen, from their minds and maps both. Away from civilization, it was untouched and undiscovered.
That winter morning, without electricity, the village was enshrouded under the purple veil of darkness waiting for the sunshine to light it up. But, the ladies had already started hurrying up with their chores, lads were helping elders with household errands, menfolk were getting ready for work and little children, they were waiting inside their quilts for their fathers and uncles to step out of home so that they can rush outside to play!
The little daughters of sun, the sunbeams were also waiting for their Papa to get done with preparations and move out of their heavenly abode. Dressed in dazzling reds, ambers and golds, they were eagerly counting minutes till their father rose up from behind the mountains so that, they too can run out into the inviting playground of the world.
"What is it that their punctual dad is being delayed today?" they wondered.
It was getting late and they were fidgeting with a radiant energy ready to burst! At last the Hero daddy defeated the dense clouds and made them pave way for him. The mist rose up, dancing for him but her fake coyness evaporated the moment she observed his stern face, red with irritation on being detained. His temper was rising by every passing second and the way a crafty wily person can't bear the brilliance of honesty, the shallow mist, in front of sun's splendour dispersed into a lack-luster nothingness!
Oblivious to the worldly game of virtuous and conniving, the girls were restless with their childish exuberance and the moment their mighty father ascended the sky glorious in his majestic vermilion regalia, they ran out pell-mell; one over the other, bubbling with joy, uninterrupted, their tiny pink feet taking them here, there, everywhere! The bright smile of their faces sprinkling golden dust on all earthly objects bestowing them a magical transformation from mundane to the morning fresh, lighting up every corner of the village.
The warmth of their laughter filtered into the ornate rooms of madames through peacock latticed windows, caressed the delicate filigrees on the balustrade of the white staircases, made the eaves cozy and comfortable for the birds to hold their meet and spilled inside the dressing rooms, touching each bottle of rose attar on the mahogany dressing tables, making them glint with a pink delight!
The radiance of their cherubic jolly faces threw a sheen on lush emerald gardens and the heat of their incessant chatter reached up to the kitchen shelves bringing the mango and chilly pickle to ripe up tart! Through the gaping holes in the straw roof, they peered into huts of the poor and packed the empty nooks with a warm benevolence.
The bubbly girls then ran through the fields; browning the grains, into the orchards; tickling the apples, pinching the berries, hopped over small hills; caressing the fleece of sheep, danced over the running streams, kissed the cheeks of the children playing in the streets and rubbed shimmer on the red of the bangles of the new mountain brides! Ah, they were girls, after all!
They dazzled the only blackboard of the village school spotless clean making it shine so black that all eyes hurt and combed grandpa's pure white hair making the maze sparkle as if ablaze with golden silver flames!
Tired after all this early morning madness, they silently creeped up in to the pallav of mother's sari, making the gold of zari thread sparkle and the silver of her anklets twinkle.
Then, like clingy children, followed her to the temple sitting bright amid the pooja thali with incense, sticks, earthen diya ,saffron genda, yellow white champa and red jawakusum flowers.
The head priest blew the conch, the devotees chimed the hundred temple bells, the red triangular flags laced with gold fluttered like scarlet flames in wind over every temple dome and for that split second, nature bowed in reverence to the Creator as the little girls of sun, the sun-rays, the sunbeams dispersed, filling the temple with their liquid warmth, scattering into million tiny atoms of light inside the sanctum sanctorum, leaving their glitter on every stone and pebble, unfurling and dancing on the temple floor drawing mystical patterns of the divine.
In that moment Nature became unified with the Creator as light merged with the Illuminated One - the Jyotiraditya Jyotirmay.
|The sleepy hamlet of Yol was covered under the thick veil of blue...|
|...and, at last, the sun rose up. :)|
pallav = the floating end of a sari. genda = marigold yellow white champa = yellow white Frangipani or pluumeria red jawakusum = red hibiscus