Friday, 1 November 2013

Phailin - Air, Breeze and Wind

The havoc wrought in Odisha recently by the cyclone Phailin (My post dated 22.10.2013) brought to mind the concept of wind. What is wind? Who has seen the wind? Nobody has and nobody can. Wind is blowing air. Air is all pervasive; air is omnipresent. When it becomes wind, it becomes omnipotent in a negative way; it can destroy anything and everything.

There is air, without which no living being can survive. Just as the space around a fish is full of water, the space around us is filled with air. When air blows gently, it becomes  breeze, cool, soothing and making us feel good. When air blows at high speed, it becomes wind and acquires a power of destruction. Air, breeze and wind appear to be like the Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswar. The first creates the living world, the second nurtures it and the third destroys it! In the divine order, Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswar are one and the same, just as air, breeze and wind are one and the same thing, only in different forms!

These days, we are familiar with the term ‘weapons of mass destruction’; however,  no weapon is as devastating as an angry storm. One may call them cyclones, hurricanes or typhoons; they differ only in their capacity to destroy. To identify each cyclone, meteorologists have started tagging each one of these with fancy names, often gentle feminine names. However, giving gentle names to them does not in any way reduce their destructive nature. Just as Shakespeare had said that a rose will smell as sweet in any name, a cyclone will cause havoc in any name.   

Like air, we need water. Drinking water in a tumbler is like air; water in a spring is like breeze and water in a flood is like wind!

There is a saying in Odia, ‘Jala bihune srusti nasha; jala bahule shrusti nasha (The creation cannot survive in the absence of water; it cannot survive in excess of water.) Flood is defined as ‘water in wrong time and in wrong place’. One area may be suffering from a drought; at exactly the same time, an adjacent area may be marooned by floods!   
Before becoming too philosophical, i must come down to earth. In my childhood, I had read the poem ‘Who Has Seen the Wind? by Christina Rossetti’ Here it is:

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you;
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing thro'.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I;
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.


  1. Belated Happy Diwali!

    Apart from loss of the teak, I hope the rest of your garden is back to normal!

    1. No, two young mango plants have got tilted by the force of wind. One guava tree has fallen; I got it trimmed and lifted it up. A young, slender and growing Nageshwar Champa tree has become bent. Apart from this several smaller flower-bearing plants have been damaged.

      Thank you for your concern.