The sound of the river

Siruvani river

I came for a short break to Anaikatti on the outskirts of Coimbatore bordering Kerala. I did not realise that the resort I was booked was on the banks of the river Siruvani.

On reaching this place, I got a room facing the river. This is not only scenic but the gurgling sound of the flowing river soothes your mind, body and soul. You forget the material world around you and sink into the soulfulness of nature.

It is green all around you surrounded by coconut and arecanut trees. As you watch the river from your room, you feel a sense of calm. It flows steadily and without any catalyst. This made me think why we need a push all the time in our life.

A river can possibly teach us a lot of life lessons. First and foremost it goes around its business without any fuss. It flows through the hills, forests and plains and does not look at stones, girders or hills as obstacles on the way. It considers flowing through them as part of its journey to reach its destination.

The crystal clear water of the river signifies that we can be pure at heart even if we are surrounded by people we may not adore. Most of us throw all trash into the river as it flows by but the river purifies itself and flows clear along its way. It not only provides water for drinking, bathing and other ablutions, it also cools the environment around it as it passes through its way forward.

A river never stops on its way. Have we ever heard of a river, which stops mid way. Never. It surmounts all the obstacles on the way and moves forward all the time. We get immersed in life and get drowned and pulled down by obstacles. We wonder whom to blame for all the things going wrong in our lives.

A river shares its resources without expecting anything in return. It provides water for drinking, transport, washing and many other uses and does not expect us to pay back. On the other hand, we as humans expect more in return even for the smallest service we provide to others. It’s time to learn to be selfless from the rivers.

As the river flows down its path and merges into a bigger river or into the sea, it does not cling to its identity. It is willing to give up its name and fame as it merges into its final destination. We as humans are not willing to subsume our ego for the larger good of society. “I” is the centre of everything we do and we want to take credit even for things we may not have contributed much in life.

I was fascinated by the qualities of the river flowing in front of me. It taught me invaluable lessons of moving on without blaming obstacles on the way, sharing resources selflessly and working for the larger good of society by subsuming our egos.

It is time to reflect and learn from the rivers around us.

S Ramesh Shankar

5th March 2020

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