When Wordsworth wrote in a poem in 1802 that he wandered lonely as a cloud, I am quite sure he never imagined in his wildest dreams that the Cloud would be someplace where we would store data in the future ! Or that we can no longer be lonely or anonymous even in cyberspace with the increased surveillance and threats to privacy (more on that some other time !)
But maybe he knew about the existence of a 100 stanza poem written in the 5th century CE which talks to a cloud as a messenger. The 5th century poem Meghaduta is the lament of an exiled yakhsa who is pining for his beloved on a lonely mountain peak. When, at the beginning of a monsoon, a cloud perches on the peak, he asks it to deliver a message to his beloved in the Himalayan city of Alaka. Most of the poem consists of a description of the landmarks, cities, and sights on the cloud’s journey.
I was fascinated to read in this blog that the descriptions by Kalidas are not only poetic but also scientifically accurate! Apparently he writes about the cloud composition being water wind electricity and smoke. He also charts a perfect route and gives aerial descriptions at a time when no one had travelled by air. https://rrkelkar.wordpress.com/2009/06/23/kalidasa-the-poet-with-a-scientist%E2%80%99s-mind/
The clouds or megh are not just a messenger for someone in love, but also in themselves a lovely message since they herald the onset of the life giving monsoon rains!
Raag Megh Malhar is a Hindustani classical raga and legends say that this raga has the power to bring out rains in the area where it is sung. Apparently when Tansen sang Raag Deep he was almost burning and two sisters then sang this Raag and made it rain to cool him down.
Although the monsoon is almost over, here are some lovely songs dedicated to these cloud messengers for you to enjoy during the last rains of the season.
- Megha re Megha -sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Suresh Wadkar and inexplicably picturized under a clear sunny sky…
- Another Megha re Megha, this time with Sridevi in Lamhe
- Allah megh de from Palkon ki chaaon mein.( Rajesh Khanna was such a superstar that he could play a cook cum househelp or a railway station master or a postman and the movie would still be a super hit !)
4. Another Allah megh de, this time from Guide. A brilliant movie about choices and the power of faith.
- Garjat barsat sawan ayo re from Barsaat Ki Raat.
- This song sings of saawan but again there are no clouds or rain. I am including this here for my sister since the movie ‘Dil Diya Dard Liya’ was the Hindi remake of her forever favourite book –Wuthering Heights. Saawan aye ya na aye jiya jab jhoome sawan hai