There was a pleasant chill in the air as you could feel it causing a little sway in your hair. As you tried to catch it with your bare hands, it got more fluid. Lights were dancing across the orange sky and you could see colors slowly fading into one another. The lights were beautiful, swaying and illuminating the world around me. They shimmered and stretched, grew and receded, striving and striking. It was 6:59 PM and I could see the orange hues blending with blue as the sun set in its magnificence. At 7:00 PM, there was a click sound. One moment, the light was a singular thing, a path to heaven, the next moment it was a collection of many, an army made of light glowing in its own glory, high in its own sheen.
The Mysore Palace, of the Wodeyars, was painted in the most florescent colors. The pallet artists then used to create it might make Picasso shed a tear one time. It smiled rays of colors from every end of the spectrum in splendid beauty. Its domes reflected the ornate red as the tungsten in the bulb bent to acknowledge the paler beauty that was hidden to the naked eye. When dawn was on the horizon, the palace sat in its glory, shining like a nebula amongst the darkness. Thomas Edison’s last words were, “It’s beautiful over there. I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.” Looking at the palace all lit up, I spoke out loud, “It is here. And it is beautiful.”
Looking at the Palace, I thought of something very different. I thought of how I am a strand of wheat in the vastness of the prairies. With my colors being as muted as those around me, that allow me to hide in plain sight, there is an innate light that will spark on, just like the palace did. There is a possibility, a hope of light inside. It brings to exuberance, a happiness so infectious that it starts as a tingle in my fingers and toes. The pleasant Mysore weather makes everything better as I feel this happiness pass through me like a warm ocean wave. As I see small children with toys running around the palace complex, the smile widens.
Having started to Mysore from Bangalore one Sunday morning, little did I know that this quaint city will touch me so warmly and beautifully. My trip started with seeing the Wax Museum and the Sand Art Museum as they captured rich history and intensive art forms through pure subtlety.
Following the museums, Karanji Lake was the next place to be at. Looking through the waters of the lake was like peering through the perfect glass, unblemished by the sticky prints of small children. The rippled water ran into the crevices, washing the soil from the rocks as families paddle boated. In the park alongside the lake was a small bird sanctuary with 4-5 peacocks roaming around with untouched pride and royal magnificence. The crimson of their feathers reflected oceanic blue amidst a perfect thunderstorm. With hypnotizing feathers, the peacocks reflected blissful calmness.
Followed by the lake was the famous Mysore Zoo. In the zoo, the giraffe in the paddock leaned its long neck towards its mother, resting its heads against her silky fur and half closing its eyes in bliss. The lion was visible with its golden paws crossed before his snout and shaggy brown mane. In the early summer daylight, he was simply golden as the sleek fur laid over his elegant frame. The chimpanzee was entrancing. Its flat bare face and small nose were so human, but what struck me the most were its soulful eyes. With arms longer than its legs, watching it manipulating a stick in its hands, using opposable thumbs was endearing. There were large tigers, snakes big enough to swallow a puddle but in the warm sunshine, it felt more like a farm with the wrong animals. The zoo felt like a perfect enclosure for a few sheep, except the fence was more comprehensive, more prison-like. Somehow, those soulful eyes of the chimpanzee were giving us humans, a message.
Mysore has this ornate beauty to it that distinguishes it from other cities. The quaintness makes it more serene and fills you with artistic inspiration. If you ever happen to stumble near Bangalore, do visit this place and most of all, do visit the Mysore Palace.
“Agar duniya mein kahi Jannat hai, toh voh yahi hai, yahi hai, yahi hai!”