A CLOSE LOOK

Wondering at the order of the universe

Nilratan Halder | Published: August 31, 2018 20:52:47


Do people in this busy megalopolis see the sky? In this concrete jungle with so much pollution, visibility encounters an obstruction for a number of reasons. Few people live in residential accommodations with a clear view of the sky. There is no guarantee that even the lucky ones would spend idle time looking at the sky always in the process of changing its contour and colour. Leave alone the disinterested morons, what about those with a keen sense of Nature all around? Unless happily provided, there is little chance that even such people can make time enough from their hectic lifestyle to pause and watch the subtle transformation of the sky above.

People can be forgiven for not showing much interest in the sky when visibility is poor or the sky remains glum with monotonous darkness covering the entire length and breadth. But here comes Sharat (autumn) with its refreshing clearness and vibrancy. Rabindranath Thakur in his myriad poems and songs have paid tribute to this season -and not for nothing. Sarate aj kon atithi elo praner dare (which soul mate has knocked at the life's door?) expresses the ecstasy one experiences with the advent of Sarat in its regal magnificence. S/he is indeed a poor soul who does not view the white woolly clouds that float aimlessly or pass the moon shining bright at night.

On Tuesday night, the sky presented a mesmerising sight. One is hapless to miss such a captivating scene painted by the invisible painter of all painters. It is difficult to remember when Dhaka's sky was so clear and bright last time. With the Eid hangover still lingering and not many vehicles cramming the city roads, pollution here is now negligible. Also the occasional showers have helped wash out the hanging particles of dust and automobile soot. What a night it was! Breeze was driving the white clouds in their groups or isolation northwards and when they crossed the moon a little above, some chemistry occurred. One wondered and became nostalgic when in childhood the endless journey of such clouds left a little child bemused. The thought then was: where do the clouds go and for what? Is there an invitation somewhere from someone they love so dearly or it was a race they were competing with each other!

The little boy now knows the answer and it is a disillusion no doubt. The scientific explanation is nowhere near the romanticism that was so enchanting. But from another point of view, the scientific deduction presents yet another kind of mystery -the mystery behind the creation of the condition for life to prosper. Had the clouds not gathered at the peak of the Himalayas in the north, the source of water would have dried up for a vast expanse of the Gangetic plains. Not a savouring prospect for South Asia.

So, there are layers of a mystery -on the one hand it is purely romantic and on the other it is scientific. So much for science now. Let's delve deep into the instinctive attraction one feels for beauty of the world all around. It is the feeling of connectedness to the surrounding, to material and living things that sustain the human species. Pantheism was not an idle philosophy. People with love and vision discover how connected they are with everything. On that count, nothing is irrelevant an unimportant. Yet to someone, the important thing is the capacity to feel wonder at the order of the universe.

A man's place in this universe is a unique occurrence. Paying tribute to the living world and the cosmos is an expression of gratitude. One gets enriched in the process. Some of the wonders of the world are so obvious that almost all people notice them -more or less. The autumn sky is one such phenomenon when the kash and sheuli flowers on the ground look up at the white clouds to borrow some of their whiteness and compel people to look at them too. Thus a bridge is built between the heaven and earth and man can feel grateful to know how blessed he is with so much to appreciate all around.

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