Dr Gopee

Glory be to warmer days!

— Dr R Neerunjun Gopee


There was a little scepticism when the meteorological office announced at the beginning of this week that the weather would improve for the remaining days, as we were in the grip of cold and rain and wind continuing from the weekend. Knowing its vagaries, and the impossibility of absolute predictive accuracy of weather forecasting because it is ‘an inexact science’ (as an article in ScienceDaily News underlined), expectations were rather still mitigated yesterday morning as I met the regulars on the walking track.



In fact, I had woken up to the sound of birds chirping, and there can of course be nothing more glorious than that to start the morning. The poor creatures had all but vanished for the past few weeks, since the harder elements were having their own glorious times! I did wonder once, in an earlier article, about where the birds disappeared when the weather is so bad, especially with days of continuous rainfall and such strong winds that the little ones can hardly lift their wings against the latter’s might.


This question was asked to me by someone else, and I still do not know the answer. Be that as it may, though, it is literal music to the ears when the chants return to lift our mood, and I could feel that this was clearly the case as I stepped down from my car and approached the little group of friends who had already completed their routine dutifully and were about to leave. From the distance that I was, the babble resonated like the chirping that had brightened my morning, and as I approached I heard someone saying kote gagne sa quantite palabe la tous les jours!

I had almost reached up, and learnt that the reference was to a daily that seems to specialize in brewing storms in a teacup and making mountains out of molehills. Who knows, perhaps it’s what people want? As Mahatma Gandhi remarked about Katherine Mayo, a journalist who wrote Mother India after visiting the country in the 1930s, instead of looking at the drawing room, she went about sniffing in the gutters. As management experts say these days, GIGO: garbage in, garbage out.

Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, who was not known to mince his words and was very direct and blunt when the situation demanded it, observed that you can choose to be happy as a pig or as a proper human being. Put a pig in a parlour, he wrote, and he will soon turn it into a pigsty, for that is where he is most happy.

To come back to the chirping friends: I told them to take a look instead at the spectacular sunrise that was unfolding. The edges of the clouds waking up to it were being painted a fiery orange, and the soft golden rays were fast travelling out towards us, born on a cool caressing breeze. I remembered the immortal lines quoted so often and with reason – a thing of beauty is a joy forever…

Let those who choose to wallow in ugliness continue to churn in their pigsties. The rest of us have better things to do, surely. I think it is fair to say that the indications are that winter — a tough one it has been! – is most likely on the way out. But almost everybody I have come across during this period has been unanimous: one could hardly sit up after dinner to do anything! It was best to get into bed early and keep warm. Most of us had turned babyish, sleeping over quota – and well may it be, why not! And getting up in the morning, grrr! But what to do, one had to! Still, one could look forward to the cosiness of the blankets at night again, not a small comfort.

In the same article in ScienceDaily News I referred to above, a study was quoted as showing that we are influenced by the weather more than we think. In other words, we make major allowance for weather conditions in planning our activities, whether on a daily or a long-term basis. I would think that this is intuitively known; still, it is good to have it confirmed by a formal scientific study, because I have come across friends who deny that they are at all influenced by the changes in the weather conditions, which they accept as being but natural. Meaning that for them whatever be the weather that’s fine.

But it is established that, for example, in certain climes with long and dark winter nights, the rate of depression seems to be higher. And of course, we can see for ourselves daily, around the world, how dramatic changes in the weather are affecting the lives of millions. And that, for some, as for the friends that I mentioned, life – which includes killings even as others are struggling to survive – goes on as normal in spite of the weather.

For my part, I must hurry, for the day is brightening and I cannot wait to take my lungful of its freshness…


RN Gopee

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