ACTION AND REACTION 

If Sir Issac Newton had not discovered the Law of ‘Action and Reaction,’ perhaps I would have discovered it … ! So don’t think that I am a scientist. And don’t think that to discover that law I would have studied science and would have become a scientist. But on that day I was convinced that that that law is as much true in worldly life as it is true in science… And if the law had not been discovered my name would have been immortal as the discoverer of that great worldly truth. I have no regrets that it has not happened… because I am indeed fortunate to tell you this story to you.
Let me tell you at which place, when, and how that incident happened:
The construction of the Revati dam was going on with extra ordinary speed. It was an earthen dam. It was to stand across the river and sop the flow of the river, then through canals the water will be distributed to the thirsty plants.
The speed of the construction of the dam was mind boggling! How was the construction going on? Let me tell you how. But come, to know that let us climb on the dam which is about four feet high at this time. Truck after truck keeps coming…. they come so fast that we are unable to keep their count! They seem to be endless! From each truck the earth is emptied. It is spread on the dam. Water is sprinkled on the dam. The measurements are done. And those roaring rollers roll over the dam. Everything is seen. You see everything, and yet your eyes are restless to see something else, isn’t it? Yes, why not? Many hands laboring here are rough and hands of many working here are smooth…! Your eyes catch two delicate hands… And watch from those attractive hands that spade slips. The red sari has become wet with sweat and it sticks with the shapely limbs and your eyes keep visiting that figure but you make sure that nobody is watching you!
And your eyes forget to look any other thing — they remain stealthily  looking at one place! After the earth is completely emptied from the truck and is spread on the dam that truck with the labors start to return to get more earth, and your eyes remain staring at the sari flying in the wind!
I must confess that I also acted as described above when I went to see the dam under construction — the dam that will bring ‘prosperity’ to our country. But instead of looking at the dam I kept looking at that beautiful ‘labor-woman’…!
I don’t know why, but beauty is for beholding. And I observe beauty heartily.
In front of the building near the construction site in which I was staying there is a garden. Flowers bloom in that garden also.
On one side of this dam, in technical term near its “toe,” the planted trees swing in the wind, and looking at them the mind gets delighted.
And on the other side of the dam, the waters of the Revati river shine like silver as the rays of the sun fall on them.
And on that road in the moving truck the live flower of the jungle blooms…!
My eyes were filled with some special kind of intoxication. I looked down and walked for some time, but I barely saved myself from colliding with someone! When I looked up my eyes flashed and then my body was thrilled! — that “someone” with whom I was about to collide was a lady dressed in almost transparent nylon sari. I could clearly see red blouse below the sari and blouse merged with her breasts. And in the red blouse some strange tailor had also made tiny holes. The blouse began few inches above her bare waist and was also few inches below her neck…
Behind her was her husband. Hat was on his head, his face was round and stiff, his eyes were like those of a hunter, he was dressed in pent and coat, and his tie was flying in the wind… He was a big boss!
The couple started waking. I was also walking but I had come only to see the construction of the dam. My relationship with this dam and its builders was only for few days but the relationship with the dam of this boss was for years and possibly for his whole life.
I must confess that I overheard the conversation of the couple! I do not mind writing about the conversations of the couple — if you dislike to read them I understand. And if I have committed a sin by listening to their private talk and writing about it, of course I’m responsible for it!
“It’s a beautiful design, Suresh!”
“Oh very good, very good!” Suresh answered while looking at one beautiful labor-woman working with the spade.
“How beautiful! Do you know? I personally watched and got it designed!”

“In fact, with your inspiration I could create such a great design of this ‘dam’! Look at this… ‘filter,’ those ‘teeth,’ that ‘longitudinal gutter, and on this side ‘hearting,’ and…”

“Oh all nonsense! Suresh, what did you say last! ‘Hearting’ — stop your blathering and talk about heart, Suresh! And I was talking about the design of my blouse!”

“Oh… blouse! Yah, it is beautiful, Sulekha! Can I tell you what ‘percentage’ of Sulekha is seen from it?”

“Oh Suresh! When will you stop talking about ‘percentges?”

“Let me tell you what I’m thinking. If these labor-women had blouses like yours they would not have sweated so much!”

“What nonsense you’re talking, Suresh!”

“No, What I mean is these stupid people do not understand how to save cloth… We have put that virtue in practice in our lives! You see, the money that we save by saving on the cloth of your blouse pays for my cigarettes!”

“So for you my fashion is like smoke?”

“Yes, but that smoke kisses our lips before it comes out, Suleka.”

“Oh, you’re a poet, Suresh!”

“Sulekha, after marrying a woman like you, if her husband does not become a poet, then he is worthless! He has lived in muddy earth!”

“But you live in muddy earth, Suresh! This earthen dam…!”

“But have you seen the jewels in the muddy earth, Sulekha?

And at that time a truck with earth came. It was four or five feet away from the place were it was supposed to stop. The laborers including labor-women removed the nails inserted on the three sides of the truck. Along with The heaps of the earth from the truck falling down the laborers also slipped down and the spades started working.

And I loved those live jewels of the earth so much that finding some excuse I extended my stay there. And of course every day I visited the dam.

It was one such day — that is, the day was like those that were passing. In my wrist watch the small arm was on twelve and the longer arm had reached on eleven. That boss had arrived there… And Sulekha was in new outfit. She was boasting to Suresh that that outfit was the latest design! But that boss was laughing loudly… I don’t know if he was paying attention to the words of Sulekha or not but his eyes were looking at those trucks.

“Suresh… Why are you not looking  at me…? Tell me how do I look?

“Oh! Your mirror will tell you!”

“The mirror of a woman is her man! Today I’m wearing the dress of the latest fashion but you don’t care to even look at me!”

At that moment a truck came. In its loud noise their talk couldn’t be heard much but Sulekha started cleaning with her hand her body which was covered with the earth from the truck. But the earth loved to stick on her limbs and refused to depart! It was good that her eyes were looking down… otherwise she would have felt embarrassed as so many eyes were riveted on her!

And wind is such an expert in teasing. It was about 12 o’clock in the afternoon. The blowing hot air lifted earth and it started playing with the flying clothes of Sulekha.

I felt that the one standing on the dam was not ‘Sulekha,’ it was an half-naked woman exposing her body and showing her pride for her beauty!

At that moment came the truck making loud noise. From the spot where the earth from the truck was to be dumped it came about four or five feet close. On the truck on the right side were women and on the left side were men. From the left side the nails were removed and the side-board made the sound “fut” as it fell on the lower side.

But on the right side while removing one nail the skirt of one beautiful labor-woman was caught up and she fell all the way down… She was not hurt as she fell on earth, but her beautiful naked body was seen by about one hundred eyes of about fifty workers working there! Not only the eyes saw but they were riveted on her!

And then Suresh roared with laughter… And after the boss the workers laughed loudly and their echos were heard far away…!

That poor woman was so much embarrassed that she desperately tried to hide under the heap of the earth! How can she show even her face? She may be thinking to bury herself like Mother Sita in the land if it gave a passage!

And yet those men were laughing!

And the face of Sulekha featured several thoughts.

And Suresh continued laughing loudly.

And those fifty workers were laughing.

And Sulekha was ashamed.

I kept staring at only Sulekha.

The waters of the Revati river tossed. And that naked woman’s sweated limbs that were not covered with the earth were shining with rays of the 12 o’clock sun. They looked like ornaments buried in the earth!

And the breast of Sulekha in her almost transparent brassiere was trembling — it was shivering!

With my heart beating fast I came to my residence.

And then the day passed and the night also passed with sweet dreams!

And the next day was my last day there.

When I went to the dam the next day morning, I saw the same boss there. He seemed to be smiling remembering the previous day’s incident.

And behind him was a woman completely wrapped in a white sari. Her beautiful face looked like a blooming lotus and the delicate fingers below the wrist reminded me of the fingers of the Devi Saraswati playing the Vina.

In her neck was only Mangalsutra. On her forehead was kumkum mark. In her hair was Senthi and a jasmine (mogara) flower.

I must confess that it took me a while to recognize her… Yes, indeed she was Sulekha!

The river Revati coming from far was flowing quietly. On the leaves of the trees planted on the side of the dam dew drops were shining… and the face of Sulekha under the veil of her sari looked so beautiful. In the East as if new sun was rising and its golden rays were painting the face of Sulekha.

I felt like running to her and prostrate before her feet.

And with that desire I remembered the Law of Sir Issac Newton that I had learned years ago in science and had almost forgotten: The Law of ‘Action and Reaction.’

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