Dooru is a curious village, slightly off beat in some sense- a few miles left of NH1. The famous spring of Verinag lies ahead, to the north. Small muddy hills, that run up to tall Pir Panchal mountains when you look upwards, as far as Wadwan valley- playmate with yellow mustard fields in the most natural ways. The blend is so uniform and subtle, that it strikes one instantly: unvexed. Vast space perfectly formed and colored. At fall, when the leaves turn crimson, the whole aspect of the village turns polychromatic.
The fields are littered with tall Chinar trees, whose wide shade provides shelter for farmers, when tired after working in their fields. I listened attentively in the fields, to the sound of leaves in the chinar trees…. a shy, soothing sound descending from the far reaches of its twigs. Leaves of the summer whispered modestly, quietly finding me alone- away from the material world, they transfer me to a quiescent world. A world where a poet wrote ballads. Where he serenaded along his sleepy village; where he played, he danced; and he wrote. An evening of one such brilliance must have fallen that year too from these skies, that I was looking at now. Love must have loomed along the dusky pavement I was walking now, and vaporous hills, that year too. A sad melancholy that unreqited love carries, must have filled his lungs, that year too. An abandoned well, a rusty bucket soaking up little drop’s of night’s first dew. I was here to watch a play- played years ago.
The play is about a mid 19th century careless young chap named Rasul; who loitered around in this village, with no purpose and will. The spring had passed by, he sang and found no meaning. The old world sparrow warbled its chorus. When the blossom died and fruits swelled, the prickly pear fell for his Fanny- like Keats did. He was under her spell. The young lover stirred his garden under the same skies, the trees of all climes he befriended, chirpy birds feeding on hay listened to his ballyhoo, his thoughts clinged to like an alcove in the whirlpool.
His sad plight in the days could no longer be a secret- when one fine day, that fairy of his dreams- that petite mademoiselle of unparalleled beauty and grace, walked up to him. The splendor hung aloft, this romantic union was a priestlike task.
What happened later is unknown with many versions. Was it Rasul's unrequited love- that gave way to such romantic pathos [Here]. We may never know. However, the poet resonates through his verse, more than a century later, as powerfully as he did in his village of boondocks.
There were no flowers there. They squashed them all these years. I found one, yet, and carried home. And that, was my small tribute to our Keats.
Meti rooz dama
Roze darem channe lou’l..r
Shroney daar soun sinz
Bengeri garem channi loul’l..r
Adde vech’ta kecha paam jarim
That I fasted in your devotion.
Golden ivory bangles
That I designed in your devotion.
You see my beloved, I could blot this slander
for what? but only your devotion.