A quiet evening, clear sky, shining stars, cool breeze and a stroll along the bank of the river Ganges at Rishikesh will be such exhilarating and rejuvenating I had never imagined until I experienced it. It was around midnight when my cousins proposed if we should go to the river to take a walk after dinner. First it seemed it was too late then since we had no compulsion to get up early next morning we acquiesced to the proposal. At Rishikesh the Ganges flows just across the road behind the colony we stayed and it was just a hundred metres walk to the banks. When we reached the river bank it was all dark with no moon but since the sky was clear the stars were shining at their best. The sound of flowing water was like slow music in a perfect unison. There was a natural forest along the other bank at the foot of the large mountains of the Shivalik Hills of the Himalayan range. The Ganges at Rishikesh leaves the Himalayas to flow into the plains of Northern India. The silence across with the cool breeze instantly soothed our tired bodies.
There in the dark looking at the concerted unidirectional flow of water it seemed why life is not such smooth flowing, why is there so much cacophony in our lives. Why can’t we just remain there for ever and enjoy this smoothness in the atmosphere. There were six of us from different cities and different careers but we all agreed that the calmness of our present surroundings was unparalleled with any other experience. The cities we lived were as different as Dehradun, Delhi, Pune and California, the profession were as different as scientist, architect, engineer and banker but the experience which we were living together in the present was same for all of us. Our minds were getting relaxed from all the inharmonious involvements of the day before. It seemed we have left behind all the troubles and are now just flowing freely without any boundaries.
It was an experience to just remain silent and merge oneself with the nature. The nature as per its natural process supports unhindered flow or growth of life, but it is we who put several restrictions on ourselves. We watched the river jumping over the rocks beneath it not getting slowed down teaching us that we need not be dragged down by the obstacles we face but keep moving with equal speed to be in unison with the nature. The calmness around reminded of the usual cacophony around us without which also the life becomes so easy. The nature has so much serenity that it shows itself in the dark too and we seek the limelight to showcase ourselves. Taking a stroll along the river Ganges was in itself a meditation which was removing all the thoughts and doubts of the mind cooling it down to its nascent form.
As we left the banks after about one hour I wondered that such smooth, clear and pure Ganges is leaving the natural confines of the mountains here and is now getting into the more artificial worlds of the cities of the northern plains. It is in the plains that even Ganges loses its lustre and calmness and becomes polluted with all the cacophony of pollution to which we will be retuning next morning. Alas! the purity of natural life getting lost in the materialistic world which we have created for ourselves not to nurture but to destroy our very own existence.