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August 2, 2013 / swati

August 1st.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written. Well, I have had my reasons. There were many times I felt like writing some of my experiences down, before I forget the tiny details. I would take notes, at best on my phone, saving the deed to a later date. Until one day, I lost my phone, the phone with all my notes on it. I never felt the urge to write something so strong as in that “week of lost phone”. By the time the Swiss kindly returned it back, the itch to write had taken a back seat again.

Today, it’s the Swiss national day, August 1st. I’m sitting facing the lake crowned by 5 layers of mountains only making me wish more that I had my paints here. Everything here seems like a painting. There is the artificial noise, as on a blank TV, in the water. A layer of trees sketched with thick charcoal, a spray paint of fireworks that perhaps someone is testing with. It comes for a moment, and then disappears into this dark blue night. A couple of boats, as if to give the painting some elements. A very raw layer after layer of mountains, eclipsing those before them. Oh, and I forgot, a simple gradient from cream to mauve in the sky. The reflections in water of the moving boats, the way the current in the water changes the intensity and sharpness of the strokes one would use to paint them. I would need a whole range of mixed media to paint this one!Β It’s no mystery why there were so many great artists in Europe, but well, even they couldn’t have done justice to what I am seeing right now.

Listening to the water splashing somewhere, lying down on the grass, watching fireworks roar above me in the sky, I am reminded of an encounter with a family we ran into on one of these summer days. The man was giving a hand to his kids, about 8-10 years old each, helping them climb onto a very high rectangular arc that was protruding above the Zurich lake. It was a scanty frame that remained of a roof that once existed. These kids climbed on that, that high thing up there.. ran, RAN on it, and dived into the lake! Wow! Not an itch, not a quiver, not a falter in their step. My mother was as astounded as me, and congratulated the guy for making his kids so fearless in life. His reply was, “Haha, that’s the problem. They are now not scared of anything! Every other day they either come back with an arm broken or a knee!”

Well, I feel the excitement today, the guts to run on that arc, to dive in the sea! Here’s to the broken arms, knees and other things.



Leave a Comment
  1. Sujata / Aug 5 2013 1:33 pm

    It was a great experience to watch these youngsters jump into the lake…..! How fearless they become….but at the same time give grey hair to adults….!

  2. Amartya Ghosh / Jun 8 2014 3:22 pm

    Extraordinary piece!! πŸ™‚

  3. swati / Jun 8 2014 9:22 pm

    Thanks! πŸ˜€ I feel inspired to write more! πŸ™‚

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