August 20, 2006

I just realized while replying to ....I love fields.

I love the sheen of water in the fields that are ready for sowing, in which the clouds and the glitter of the noonday sun reflect themselves, and where the smooth surface of the water is stitched by katydids and frogs.

I love the different colours of green in the velvet patchwork that paddy fields make, once the grain has been sown and they are thriving.

I love the shy droop of the ripe paddy fields as the heavy ears bend to the ground, ready for harvest.

I love the bluish tinge of fields of cauliflower or cabbage.

I love the yellows and bright greens of fields of mustard or sunflowers, particularly with the large flowers uniformly turned towards the sun, with their yellow heads and brown faces nodding in the breeze.

I love the brown of the newly-turned earth as the furrows are ready to take the seeds. I wonder if it was in such a furrow (the word Seeta means “furrow”) that King Janaka found the beautiful child who would one day embody the ideal of Hindu womanhood, and who would marry the male ideal, Rama.

I love the fields of sugarcane and maize, with their feathery purple blooms and their long leaves rustling.

I love the vast fields of the American prairies…. the rolling fields of the English countryside, set about with hedgerows which support so much life…

I remember the “field” scenes of various movies: Cary Grant plowing through the fields, pursued by a plane, in Hitchcock’s thriller,”North by Northwest”, the quiet menace of Manoj Night Shyamalan’s fields in “Signs”….the scene of a train that Opu and his sister see speeding away to a distant land, across the fields in that beautiful movie, “Apur Sansar”.

Fields…nurturing our food, our culture, our heritage…

And, sometimes..the reverse…I cannot forget the horror of the heaped skulls in the fields of Kampuchea (Cambodia) when we visited … when the innocent are slaughtered in the wars of the powerful,fields can also become “killing fields” as the famous movie called them…so much so that when said that conference rooms at his place of work were called after South East Asian cities, my image was instantly of the "killing fields", and I protested.

But most of the time, fields are beautiful to me….