Clouds never fail to fascinate us! Right from childhood ,gazing at the clouds and trying to see figures based on their general looks and outline was something i always enjoyed.As the wind blows, the clouds would move and change shapes and it would seem like magic!The sunlight would give it hues and silver linings adding to its ethereal beauty...it would transform me to a world high up in the sky!
When I learnt at school how clouds are formed and how they turn into rain drops ,it made me think...hmmm...the scientific definition is only for the theoretical purpose...and it is not going to mar my perception of the clouds.Clouds are always going to be fluffy, cotton-like wonders making the sky spellbinding!
Then I was introduced to the word cloud 9 ! I was intrigued by the word and tried to find out what it was. Then I learnt that clouds are of different types-mainly 4 types- 1)Cumulus...the puffy cotton-like clouds 2)Stratus...flat sheet like coulds 3)Cirrus...high feathery clouds 4) Nimbus...the word added to clouds about to precipitate .Cloud 9 refers to the highest cumulonimbus type which can reach heights of 40,000 to 50,000 feet and appear as glorious white mountains in the sky!!That really rocketed me to those great heights and they were just exotic and exciting!(To help you imagine ,please watch the song..venmegam pennaga uruvanadho..from the movie yaradi nee mohini...in the middle of the song during an interlude would come a picture with clouds and castles...that is cloud 9).Then I decided this is my place...my abode!! When I flew for the first time in an aircraft,I saw what was in my mind's eye ,right before my eyes....and then I knew I had been right about choosing where I belong to!
Life in cloud 9 has always been enthralling!You get a bird's eye view of this world and everyone in it.This gives you a totally new perspective of life and living!All things that affect you a lot in the world,seem like trivia when seen from high above.You become as light as the cloud and you float about lazily,with no goals,no pressures...just enjoying the moments the way they are, drifting away...in bliss!
To explain the state of mind one has in cloud nine....I would like to quote a little Zen story which is my favourite and which best describes my point of life and living.The story goes like this---there once lived a sage under a banyan tree who always looked so beaming and blissful.Word spread about this sage and people came in and spoke with him and found his words help them out in one way or the other.The King of that region came to know of the sage and he wanted to meet him.He came and saw the sage and was impressed seeing him and so invited the sage to come and stay with him in the palace.The sage obliged and went to the palace.There he lived life to its fullest enjoying all luxuries..he ate varieties of food,wore expensive clothes,travelled in a ferrari ,sang and danced and what not! The King observed this day in and day out and was confused and angry to see the sage while away and make merry like this!He thought the sage had cheated him and gained entry into the palace and is enjoying his riches.When he couldn't take it anymore,he confronted the sage and asked him why he was behaving in such a way!The sage smiled and left the palace and went back to his old banyan tree and sat there.The king followed him and asked him why did he leave and what did he have in his mind.The sage asked the king if he can give away his kingdom and palace and sit under this tree and be happy.The king said that would be impossible.Then the sage said"This is the difference between you and me.I can be happy wherever Iam .If I have riches I can enjoy them and stay happy.If iam a paradesi under a tree with just nothing,still I can smile and stay in bliss." The King understood,bowed and left!
There is another small Zen story to add to this .Here a sage passes through a village every evening and all the villagers gather to throw abuses at the sage.The sage listens to it all patiently with a smile and then goes away.A young boy int the village was observing this and he asked the sage ,why he is acting so madly...coming everyday to get abused.The sage smiled and said...there are three reasons for it..".1)Iam like a river and their words are like fire arrows and hence once they reach me they are douced and have no effect on me! 2) When a gift is given by someone to another,only when the receiver accepts the gift then it is his.If he does not ,then it belongs to the person who offered it.Similarly,Iam not accepting anything they say and so it is all ...THEIRS! and 3) It gives them some let out/satisfaction when they come and pour out abuses at me.So,if I can be of some use to cleanse their minds and ease their burdens..so be it!"So,when we can live our life like a lotus,that is,having our life in the slush of all the unwanted elements but still staying above it all like the lotus,then life becomes beautiful!
, So,cloud 9 is wide open to all of you with such a state of mind.Like the 'Atlantis' of Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged....cloud 9 offers one LIFE! So,fly like Jonathan Livingston Seagull and come up to Cloud 9...we shall live life eating son papidi,elandhapazha vadai,chocolates and icecreams....reading and discussing some amazing books....listening to some wonderful music (it needs a separate blog to talk about how music can fill ones life!)....dancing hiphop to dappankuthu...sleeping and dreaming .....and above all being in love..in compassion...with one and all!