THE WATER DREAMER: Thoughts on Water, Poets, and Contemporaneity

Blood has dried up, the blood of humans. You can smell the dried up blood of the man of the future in your surroundings. The blood of humans is the water of the soil. Humanity’s blood is in the water of the earth.

In Kerala, the culture is exceptionally sensitive towards the water. However, because the culture is a consumer-centred one, water deficiency threatens in the scarcity of drinking water only. The consumerist culture doesn’t bother too much about the scarcity of water in agricultural pursuits. The thought process is that someone would grow the food we want and bring it to the market. If we have the money, why bother thinking about who cultivates all the food and how.

Deep within the culture of this land, I have always sensed an agrarian spirit. This spirit has dried up due to two reasons, in my opinion: availability of opportunities in gulf countries and crazes for white-collar jobs.

It is common sense that these two cultural phenomena are not direct reasons for the scarcity of water. The attitude of the people towards these two events caused the shift. From a balanced environment, our land has shifted onto an imbalance.

The government now plans to have artificial rain. I have never seen artificial rain. It must be quite a sight. Would it be as wonderful as the real one? Or would the artificial rain be just a copy, an imitation, a simulated reality?

Poets and artists have resorted to rain for inspiration. However, I have also heard writers remark that rain fills them with longing and they reach a state of ecstatic creative high. This could mean that more than resorting to rain and using it as a subject of exploration, the artists and poets have been used by rain. Does rain have a mind of its own? Is rain an organism?

Can artificial rain bring the same gifted minds of artists to fruition? Would there be a poetry of any sort that the rain could inspire? If this rain that is only a reflection without a mirror of the other true rain created poetry, what would be the nature of that poetry? Wouldn’t that also be artificial, like the artificial rain?

My questions are stretched beyond a realm I could see. The perspective of anyone living in my time, at my place, is dangerously walled. The wall is made of political correctness and the fear of being wrong in front of everyone else.

Someone might quip that these truths are always written in books. No one reads anymore, for that matter. No one cares about artificiality hijacking originality. Artificial flowers are in vogue everywhere during Onam days. Onam is the festival of flowers in Kerala, the time of harvest. No one foresaw what was following artificial flowers. Artificial rain would soon replace original rain, the water from where our ancestry stems.

Artificial rain would inspire artificial art. That would gain prominence to artificial souls. Afterwards, man would die without a soul to pass through to the other dimension. The artificial soul has a price that wouldn’t let us pass through the hole in the needle.

Everyone seems to be very fond of Arabia, here. In Arabia, the Monsoon doesn’t rain down as it does in Kerala. Arabia is surrounded by a desert. So must our land also be like Arabia, with no rain to irrigate our paddy fields, surrounded by a wretched desert? I like this question, whenever it is posed. No one asks this question though, for fear of being wrong.

It seems to me that Monsoon would be early this year, as the summer had started early. It must be that way. “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”


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