Wildbuzz: A delight in clouds white - Hindustan Times
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Wildbuzz: A delight in clouds white

ByVikram Jit Singh
Dec 17, 2023 06:24 AM IST

The people of Himachal Pradesh, who experienced heavy rains and dark clouds in July-August, have finally seen the return of sunshine and blue skies. The director general of police and additional director general of police, who played a key role in responding to the natural disaster, have shared pictures and words of hope on social media. The couple's love for nature is evident in their posts, and they find solace and inspiration in the beauty of the natural world. The return of clear skies and sunshine has brought relief and gratitude to the people of Himachal Pradesh.

Just ask the people from Himachal — wracked by the deluges of July-August last — what it must have felt to miss out on things we take for granted: sunshine, stars, moon and flowers blooming with honey bees hovering. Those weeks of endless dark clouds, of days without sun and moon, when dampness had crept into the very soul of “Dev Bhumi”. But at last, the sun god returned to shatter the tyranny of morose clouds. Crystal-blue Himachal skies staged a comeback as if returned from nature’s laundry, dotted with white fair weather clouds, as if roses and lilies freshly blooming and adrift on a blissful blue canvas.

‘Friends’ visit Satwant’s Shimla home. (PHOTOS: SATWANT ATWAL TRIVEDI)
‘Friends’ visit Satwant’s Shimla home. (PHOTOS: SATWANT ATWAL TRIVEDI)

The furrowed brows of Himachal eased and people gathered the broken pieces of their lives to embark on a voyage of hope and resilience. Nothing could possibly better represent this transition from darkness to light than the words and pictures put up by an IPS power couple, who had helmed the response to the natural disaster. Satwant Atwal Trivedi was in-charge Himachal director general of police (DGP) in those weeks while her husband, Abhishek Trivedi, the additional director general of police (ADGP, law and order). The couple share a passion for nature. As life seeped back into the battered soul of the hill state, the Trivedis posted radiant pictures on their social media handles earlier used to reach out to besieged Himachalis/tourists with warnings, advisories and route clearances.

Sunflowers and fair weather clouds over Trivedis’ Shimla residence. (PHOTO: SATWANT ATWAL TRIVEDI)
Sunflowers and fair weather clouds over Trivedis’ Shimla residence. (PHOTO: SATWANT ATWAL TRIVEDI)

During those dark hours of homes sliding into oblivion, a fervently praying in-charge DGP, wrote this on August 13: “Dear God, tonight, whilst mountains turn to sleep and the rains don’t seem to, all I ask is, You please watch over everyone out there, those working tirelessly to make ways and keep others safe, the homes, hearths and everything.....Sound of rain has become scary instead of soothing, raindrops that lulled you to sleep now wake you up worried: an accident here, a landslide there is all you hear. Fury of nature is bigger than all of mankind put together.”

When the weather turned, the gloom lifted with a bloom: pictures of skies wearing big smiles, unveiled moons, sunkissed flowers and framed with words borne from poetic stirring. It was the police officers’ poetic contemplation of cosmic vagaries. “When even one ray of sunlight would peep through the clouds in those dark weeks, everyone looked up to that as a symbol of hope. In stressful police careers like ours, nature lends a soul-soothing touch. Abhishek’s eyes light up when he photographs the play of colours attending sunset skies and mountains. Are those Himalayan skies the actual painting or is the painting the art of Nicholas Roerich who captured the Himalayan far pavilions with such a sense of the mystical?” Satwant Trivedi, currently ADGP (Vigilance and ACB) told this writer.

Could there have been more happiness over a sight so plain as a clear sky and a gratitude so deep as for simple sunshine? The relieved couple, having shouldered enormous responsibilities, posted pictures of their garden’s sunflowers embracing a blue sky dotted with giggles of white clouds, a scene straight out of Dutch Delft blue pottery. A muse emulating Wordsworthian clouds and dancing golden daffodils animated their posts. Abhishek Trivedi, who keenly observes the discipline of ants feeding on a water drop, morning chatter of bulbuls, weather-signalling dewdrops on leaves or a shy, little nasturtium peering from a fence, penned this: “Fair weather clouds after a while...beautiful Shimla. Presently I want my clouds only like this.”

Twenty plant pots circle Satwant Tivedi’s desk at home while three adorn her office desk. Her home is an isle of greenery with a rainbow of petals arching over. A child of the mountains, she grew up in Shimla skipping joyfully across alpine meadows and peering at tiny, wild flowers. “I grow plants for my soul: for joy to the eyes and teaching patience and respect for nature’s pace and wish,” she posted on social media. She described insects on her flowers as “some of my friends did come visiting”. She added: “In my garden, I whisper my prayers and wishes in the ears of my closest friends (flowers), for those blooms keep their good cheer and brightness alive with unwavering faith even on grey, rainy days!”

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