For the last two nights, the skies of Bangalore have been opening up, as if for me. Last night, it poured rivers. The sky flashed with the kind of lightning that makes you say you’ve never seen lightning like that. The entire empyrean turns that electric pink that you know is all heat, blowing like canons through columns of air at the speed of sound. Seconds later, you hear it building into a crescendo into the sound of a mountain coming apart – and it pours, pours, pours, pours.
The petrichor is thick in the air, clogging your senses. Its name translates in the Greek to, roughly, “the fluid in the vein of the gods in the rocks”. Its odour is due to the presence of an alcohol, geosmin, in the soil, released by actinobacteria. We pick up on petrichor the moment it is in play because we have evolved to; we know it is going to rain when there a few parts per trillion of geosmin in the air. A biologist will tell you it is to help you find water wherever you are. I don’t think so. I think it is to help us find the storm wherever it is. We’re storm-seekers. And why not? I stand upon this crag looking at the world up on fire, the world below underwater and I, in between heaven and hell.
It is where I have always been. Satyavrata cursed, Trishanku liberated.