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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Of Stones and Shapes

I love collecting stones. Not the precious
variety but the ones found on the banks of
rivers and streams. I have them in all
shapes: round pebbles in bowls and wine
glasses, and all the other shapes in little
heaps around my potted plants. In them (i
imagine) i hear the gurgle of streams and
the roar of rivers... the rush of the same
river which lulled me, my siblings and cou-
sins to sleep when we spent school holidays
with our grandparents.
For us, during the day, the river was so
tempting! We needed to test our agility on
the stepping stones. We honed our skills at
playing ducks and drakes. The gravelly bank
was our Keela Wee and we built sand-castles
with coarse and shingly sand. Any river that
i go to, bring these images back and i end up
collecting unusual shapes in stones.
A few years back, we were at the river Diyung,
the much-loved-picnic-spot near the town of
Haflong. This time i thought i'd go looking
for a heart-shaped stone. I left the group
to discover little surprises that the jungle
offers. I went upstream and downstream but
only got some driftwood of no awe-inspiring
beauty.
By this time , the children had worked up an
appetite and were calling out to me. It was
then that i saw it. Not far from where i was
standing-- the size of a fist, it definitely
looked heart-shaped! I thought i'd pop it into
the van but the children called again and my
husband would've thrown a fit as he's wont to
do everytime i indulge in such "trivial pursuits".
With the thought of my find, the rest of the day
was more enjoyable.
When it was time to head homeward, i went to the
spot to pick it up. It was not there! Puzzled, i
kept looking but there was no sign of the prized
stone. Had my liking for stones come to such a
fetish that i had begun to imagine shapes? Or
did the river fairies decide to create an illusion
because they wanted to put an end to this obssession?
I can't say. But gradually it did come down. I still
pick up a few, every time i go to rivers, but it is
no longer a frantic hunt for any particular shape.
But once in a while, i think of that day at the river
and i see it again. Rough-hewned by the vagaries of
nature, the size of a man's fist, the shape my heart
was after. I had wondered then, about how long it
had lain there, trampled upon by solitary man and
collective beasts; submerged in summer, exposed in
winter; drenched by the rain, the sun, the moon,
the stars.....!

4 comments:

Ashraf Al Shafaki said...

The links under your "BLOTANICAL blogs that I dig" section in your blog are not working. Please try to fix them by adding the URL of the blogs they are pointing too.

(I did not find your email on your profile, so the only way to contact you was via comments.)

cindee said...

I enjoyed your rock story. I collect rocks too. Whenever I see one I like I take it home to add to my collection! It is to bad you did not get the rock you found but I am sure there will be others to find. I find heart shaped rocks often. I always pick them up and take them home. It sounds like you have very special memories of your childhood. That is wonderful!!! Thanks for stopping by my blog!! I will be back again soon!!!

Sheila said...

I too have a fondness for rocks! I think they are so full of character and simple charm. I enjoyed your post!

chey said...

I love rocks as well.They look wonderful in and around the garden.