(Copyright Sue Vincent)
The tranquility was, for Venky, an exquisitely created deception. The serenity was an elaborate façade that drew within itself many a master conspirator owing allegiance to Mother Nature. The still water itself was the main orchestrator of the intrigue, drawing attention of the unsuspecting. The radiant Sun then stepped in casting its resplendent rays of light upon the vast expanse of water making it glitter, shimmer and be bathed in a translucent orange. The majestic mountain was a solemn sentinel in Grey guarding and brooding over the vast expanse of liquid. The gnarled tree with its twisted branches being reflected in the water crowned off this fascinating trickery.
This place was Venky’ refuge. A shrine whose benedictions he sought both in times of triumph and tribulation. A leveler that warned him not only to not get carried away by success, but also to treat failure as a handmaiden of determination. The whole setting in fact reminded Venky of one of the most enduring and confounding physical experiments of all time – The Double Slit Experiment. This experiment It demonstrated, with unrivaled strangeness, that little particles of matter have something of a wave about them, and suggested that the very act of observing a particle has a dramatic effect on its behaviour. In the experiment, the very act of looking somehow seemed to make sure that the electrons traveled like well-behaved little tennis balls. It’s as if they knew they were being spied on and decided not to be caught in the act of performing weird quantum shenanigans. It was the same with Mother Nature. When you happened to intently concentrate on the river, everything seemed to be immaculately pristine. The unmoving mass of water was impeccably well behaved with nary an element of dissatisfaction. But beneath this mass of stillness was a roiling cauldron of activity, anger and altercation.
This conflict also reminded Venky of Ash. Ash, who at the current phase of his life was even more complicated than a mischievous electron. Charming yet stubborn, beautiful yet beguiling, accommodating yet frustrating, she was the one imponderable question for which he had no answer. Similar to the unruly electrons, his observation of her seemed to induce dramatic patterns of behavior. Patterns that both induced hope and exacted despair in equal measure. This continuum of alternating emotions had Venky in a bind. Days were spent rejoicing while nights were reserved for strange reflections. A dazzling smile followed by a spell of deathly silence, a warm hug succeeded by a strange bout of disappearance, cheery dispositions inexplicably and suddenly masked by a stony attitude all combined to contrive a heady concoction of extreme irony.
Venky was looking out for answers. He also knew that they could only be provided by the greatest conjurers of them all – Mother Nature. And it was to her bosom that he retreated in his quest for peace.