Life Stories – Playing in the mud in Monsoon, India


Monsoon brings life. Everything in nature blooms. Plants and tree turn greener. Frogs come out. Birds began to build best to breed and care for their young ones. Even insects and worms flourish.

In April 2020
In July 2020

Monsoon brings happiness to India. Crops and vegetables are grown. Water from rain is still the major source of supply for agriculture and drinking. Rivers and dams start to fill. Ponds and lakes rise again. Peacocks dances with might. Life is replenished.

During Monsoon, young kids used to play in mud. They used to build houses and castles with the freshly soften mud. The smell of the Earth would feel them with new energy. As they play in the grass and the mud, lot of animals would come to graze. Buffaloes, Cows and Horses would be left free to have a good meal in by their owners. They would munch fast enough to not even chew anything but gulp as fast as they can. Once they are all done, they would go to a quite place under a tree or a shade and sit quietly while they chew slowly all the food they just ate. Watching such things as a child, you learn how nature reacts and responds to different situations in life.

Kids create new games or follow the old games being played from ages in their villages and town. One such game played in the mud during the monsoon was very unique. A group of kids would come together and decide whose turn it was to play by other toss or by some trick. One such trick was to form a group and bring your hands together. Then shout and flip your hands. You can either keep your palm up and face it down. Whoever turns out odd, gets to be the one to serve the play.

By forming a circle with a iron rod, it was considered as home. Each one would go about throwing the rod about 8 inches long. Since the mud was dampened by then, anyone who throws the rod well, it would stand upright. Failing to throw the rod to stand upright, you will loose your turn. And you will be next person to serve.

As one by one the kids kept on throwing, they would go far off from the home. Once in a while, one of the kid would through the rod like a parabolic very far in hope that it will fall upright. It may fall flat but if it falls upright, then it feels like a triumph to them. It is almost like a victory. Because that will push the game too far.

Whoever faults, then end up serving. Now from the point wherever the fault occured, that is the rod fell flat, back to the point of the circle as home, the first kid had to come back jumping on one leg. That is the game. They had to learn to jump on one leg all the while in the mud, without putting other leg down. So farther it went, the chances were some may slip, some may end up getting tired and they would have to do it altogether again.

It’s a harsh game that way but the kids do not realise it. It’s fun usually. It develops resilience to keep going. Playing in nature is not only just a fun or playing in mud dirty experience, it’s more about learning how to function as a group. How to compete in a healthy fashion and how to take turns. Also you understand how to stand strong. You develop physical fitness and various motor skills. You become prone to weather. And develop an understanding of underlying vibrance of nature.

In a matter of a decade, most of such open lands have been replaced by colonies, multi-storey apartments, factories and shops. Such open lands used to be as wide as a km or more. Now only a sparsh area of some hundred ft is left for many kids to play. Most kids end up playing games on electronic devices, watching TV and movies, eating junk food and never actually stepping out in the open. They never see frogs, let alone seeing a tadpole. Chewing of food by animals is a distant concept that they read about in books after being adults. Getting drenched in rain is a trouble because of the clothes and gadgets we carry get damaged and we fall sick. We prefer to go rain-dance in some amusement park.

The gap we have created in our lives is causing lot of disturbance in how we perceive and respond to it. By succumbing to four walls and being connected via electronic gadgets, we are experiencing a change in our brain responds to our surroundings. The constant need to be online, read what’s happening around the world, knowing what has gone around the world and being able to see at our finger tips is causing constant drain. It is creating toxic experience. And the same people who built such network and now selling products for mindfulness, meditation, apps, sessions, lifestyle change and coaching.

By pulling us out of our free flowing life and putting us in a cage filled nowhere to go and constantly serving visual attractions, we are collectively creating a world that is causing more damage than the good.

Published by Bhanu

Creator @ Surat Diaries. Interested in Education, Environment & Healthcare. Spends time looking at the sky, birds and nature. Writes about Life, Philosophy, Relationships, Career and Wellbeing.

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