You’ve got to read this. Suprabha Seshan, who is always been radically clear and profound in her use of language is now speaking in a different tongue. I can only approximate it as speaking through the voice of the Earth. ‘Merge minds with the rain, take root in the land and see. When you enter the wild like this, you gain not just a single new identity. You gain many. Of rain, and flower, and frog. and moss, and bee’.

People of the rain

By Suprabha Seshan

pretend you are the rain dancing. Soil receives you, revels in you, absorbs you, as you pour down boles into the ground, further and further seeping, running, gurgling though root and rock, to bank to stream, to river to sea. You are the gleaming drop, perfect hydrant bursting upon cuticle, slipping down drip tips to humus: the musty mother of all beings in this forest. You are the surging sea water racing on a wind powered by the sun, spun by the planet’s Coriolis force; thunderous, savage, mighty, unstoppable airborne sea. You are the shafts of sunshine intermingled with greens of every hue, the shifting shapes of light and water and air and chlorophyll. You are the flow, the fall, the crashing and the howling of a rainforest in the monsoon.

We are the rain. We are all things between and beneath that looming thunderhead. Here it comes.

Today, the cicadas begin thrumming at dawn, earlier than usual. Rain has been imminent since. In the blue-grey light filtering through the forest canopy, a whistling thrush appears, hopping on the trail. He stops to sing. Fluted notes carry far, the intervals impossible to imitate, sweet, so very sweet. He hops closer to where I sit on the stone wall. Large leaves of ginger plants dip to occasional drops. Clouds move grimly over the valley, their low black bellies bulging with rain.

Now pretend you are a tavala, a luminous loving he-frog, a Rana, singing your heart out in the rain. You are not alone, there are ten thousand others in this forest. Chrew-chrew-chrew-chrew-chrwack, Rana, sweet Rana, sitting on a lily leaf asking for love… more



Diba Siddiqi