We pass the Himalayan ranges, Mount Everest the highest mountain of the world. We howl, we freeze, we carry storms and then we came to the plains of North India. We pass forests and mountains, we follow the route of the impatient rivers with crystal clear pure water, that rush and tumble to journey forth and reach the plains where several rivers converge to form India’s most famous river the Ganges.
We have no age, we have no belongings we only pride on how we affect the people who we come in touch with. We dance, we pirouette we take a bow and playfully allow other troop members to orchestrate a dance. A spontaneous dance that is created at that instant, for no wind of my group has ever practiced before and will never repeat a step again. We whoosh through the intricate marble carving of the Taj Mahal in Agra and the Red Fort in Delhi. We pass the majestic buildings, opulent residential colonies and slums and ghettos of Delhi. We are not snobs! We pass through them all, we howl at them and if we are in the mood we playfully take a bow, do a little cha cha cha and waltz away the debris on the ground.
We proceed to the deserts of Rajasthan. The camels crouch down as we approach and close their eyes, they are not willing to suffer a sand storm, and they too know how cruel we can be collectively. We slide through the palaces and forts that were built by mighty kings and emperors. Empty, cold, stone – hard monuments that too will soon disintegrate into dust, but only because my friends and I sweep through them each year!
They have all left their imprint on us. We remember the invasions that have entered our land, we remember the Moguls who were originally the Mongols from the Steppes of Russia. They entered India through the Khyber Pass and found unbelievable riches and prosperity in this green and wonderful land where people were generous and trusting and were willing to share their bounty and welcomed them. They found the local Hindu temperament fickle and suspicious in nature and they played one race against the other and ruled the country. They would not leave.
We watched the white men, come in their ships from far away Manchester and Liverpool. Our cousins, a band of strong winds from the seas had transported them here. We watched a group of hungry clerks from the East India Company in search of spices and silks trade in this country. We watched how they gradually were able to make India, the ‘jewel in the crown’, of there far away Empress Victoria. We watched them gloat when they found untold riches, like the world s largest diamond -the Kohinoor that even today nests in Queen Elizabeth’s crown, They found it easy to take the Indian peacock throne and carry raw cotton that grew abundantly, to their mills in Lancaster and sell it back to the natives.
We have cried and supported the Indian freedom fighters when they told the British to quit India, Gandhi the man we befriended in his attire of a loincloth and walking stick. We crouched around him when he was imprisoned. We followed him when he led a group of Indians in protest to the seashore to make their own salt. They refused to pay tax to the British for salt! The British were clever they used my friends the winds from the ocean and carried their ships home. We wept when the British left after they had partitioned this rich and fertile land in to two countries India and Pakistan and six million people were killed in communal riots!
My friends laugh at me. They tell me I have become too Indian. They remind me that we exist because we stay together; they say we exist because we have momentum and force; otherwise we are nothing but air! They warn me that all the winds on planet Earth have no loyalty, and when the axis of the planet tilts, we will probably have to relocate elsewhere permanently. I don’t believe them. Because I know each hot summer when my friends – the northeast monsoon enter North India from the Bay of Bengal I will retrace my steps. Gather strength to go back to my mountainous retreat. Refresh. Renew. As I have done each year and wait for my annual journey down ward. I love my route and want to do it again. Again and again! Call me a romantic if you will.