14-03-2011, 10.45 PM, a group of 8 young men and women after a sumptuous dinner at Radisson temple bay, Mahabalipuram, walk to the beach. There is no sound except that of the waves. Pure foamy white in parts and colorless otherwise, like a beautiful slithering animal, the waves ceaselessly and with a certain ferocity, grace the coastline. The sight in the half moon light is breathtakingly beautiful.
A feast for the eyes - the unending waves ahead and heavenward, clouds billowing, revealing the moon, every now and then.
A constant roar to the ears, at once soothing and a little frightening, as if, a gentle domesticated monster is singing a lullaby.
The smell, taste and feeling, all, a little salty, with the wind carrying the salt from the sea and spraying it all along the shore.
This is the very definition of beauty. If someone asks me now, I can say, I experienced beauty for a whole 15 minutes, albeit very briefly, but highly intoxicating.
What is beauty?
An exaltation of the spirit when it is in communion with nature...
A priceless experience when all the senses are heightened in a sweet anticipation...
An enormous void, just lying beyond a high precipice, falling into which, one experiences nothingness!
A brief period when every thought gets clouded out, when the mind forgets to think and enters a suspended state, just observing, without any judgment!
A poetic interlude when art reaches its zenith before it regains its pitiful ordinariness...
A short time, when happiness reigns supreme and the soul rejoices and dances to an internal rhythm...
Beauty begins to fade the moment, we try to hold on to it, for, precisely, at that very moment, it eludes us. It is not something that can be possessed; rather, it is the one that possesses us. Instead of enjoying and reveling in each of those brief encounters, we commit the mistake of trying to latch on to them. In our eagerness to possess, we dread its loss. We don't want to let it go and hence, enter a cycle that frustrates us.
Why is it that, we just cannot let beauty be? We want to lord over it, be its master and intend holding its reins...when we develop the capacity to appreciate it without trying to hold on to it, we can experience it in every moment. This, to me, is a huge learning, made possible by one of the most wonderful evenings in my life.