Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sun Questions

At one time, in India, Summer was vacations, mangoes, jackfruits, trips to native places, running and climbing amidst the trees, swinging with cousins of homestead swings,  and swimming on beaches and riverfronts. Today, most of these things are either polluted, or expensive, and vacations sometimes do not even happen .

For aeons, the country, state, city is the same, the Sun is the same, the sky is the same, but suddenly, sunscreens are a dire necessity, you have many of them preying cleverly on your obsession with your ability to tan, and turn dark, and folks who have more modes of covered transport than say, 50 years ago, daily slather on stuff as they leave for work. 

Call it insecurity, call it herd mentality, or call it inability to be comfortable with your own melanin levels,  the cosmetic companies are laughing all the way to the bank.

I wonder what the Sun Himself has to say .....

He sits enthroned
and golden
smack in the centre
watching all nine of them go by.

the only one,
noticeable human movement,
carrying her oceans ,
her animals.
her people,
her trees and her
mountains and rivers,
going around
around herself too,
to get a breather
from his piercing hot gaze.

He sees
women on steep mountain roads
carrying pots to fill;
who cares if you look darker
if there is to be
water for all;
the sari palloo
and the pot
will cool the merged fontanel.

He sees
a gaggle of kids
throwing themselves
the breaking waves
of a polluted sea
with overflowing
infectious mirth,
making him
temporarily hide
behind a cloud and smile....
Any color is fine,
if they get space to play

And he sees the young girl,
half out,
in the suburban train door,
squinting against him
and some
nasty folks
passing by in another train
another way;
Another in sunglasses
and a scarf
rubs something
on her arms and face
and disembarks.
And the young girl wonders
how many lunches
she must forgo
to be able to buy
a tube of stuff
like the other girl.

Maidans full of sweaty kids
waving bats around,
young fellows with
false ages,
working on carts
selling stuff
in the hot midday sun;
Five stars full of pools,
waving colorful umbrella tops,
with some pretending
they cant reach their backs
to slather the stuff in the tubes;
Some very concerned
on Sun Protection factors(SPF's),
the know all lady
nodding , what else

And late in the day,
as he hurries
to meet his Ocean ,
he wonders,
how he,
to whom
Suryanamaskars were addressed
in praise,
in chaste Sanskrit,
and the
Gayatri Mantra
resonated every dawn
in his honor,
how he could suddenly
be the villain
that spoils the beauty
of those
inhabiting the planet....

He wonders
if it is Fair....?
and then says
"Oops! That was a loaded question......"
and promptly
sinks into the waves...


  1. Not Fair at all.
    And the truth is, The SPFs hardly work.

    1. About the SPF's. Just what I suspected ...... Maybe folks will start using Ambehaldi powder and cream/milk if we call it AHP....:-))

  2. The irony lies in the fact that the young girl wonders about foregoing meals to afford a tube of sunscreen :( Couldn't but smile at the 'loaded question' in the end. Our advertising fraternity will first make the Sun the villain and then begin 'selling' him back, just as they had first peddled baby formulas and are not 'selling' breastfeeding as a healthy alternative. The Sun should remain patient till that time. :D

    1. Sunscreens appeared here with the opening up of the economy. Suddenly, optional stuff became mandatory stuff. And today, they avoid fresh green beans in meals due to cost, but splurge on cellphones and cosmetics indiscriminately. Lopsided priorities, as you say, sold by the ad companies....

  3. Suranga, I don't know where to begin! You have left me breathless, I'd dare say, somewhat like the sun, whether it be the women on steep mountain roads carrying pots to fill, shielding herself simply with her palloo, or children throwing themselves into the breaking waves of a polluted sea unmindful of the burning sun, or the young girl fluttering in the suburban train door wondering how many lunches she must forgo to be able to buy a tube of stuff like the other girl....

    And, that was a beautiful preface too!

    1. I've seen all three of the above events, the women, the kids,and the girl in the train. And then a girl with a one shoulder blouse cribbing about getting tanned. And i've really wondered if willful exposure has consequences from the sun, who might be going benevolently easy on the others going about their work. You never know !