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God of small things

| Updated on September 25, 2020 Published on September 25, 2020

IIT-Bombay comes alive with gems of nature gifted by the monsoon every year

* At IIT-Bombay, it takes little effort to come face-to-face with the season’s magnificence

The monsoon creates innumerable imprints of nature’s magic. As it unfolds over the western coast of the country, even a city like Mumbai gets its share of elemental beauty. Hidden in nooks and corners, under a rock or behind the hinges of a closed door, small forms of life attest to the nourishing powers of rain. At IIT-Bombay, where I am based, it takes little effort to come face-to-face with the season’s magnificence. An oasis of green in a city overrun by concrete, electric wires and railway tracks, the campus reveals gems of nature at every step.

I spent several days in the last few weeks exploring the campus’s monsoon riches — pearl-like eggs of an unknown bug on the hanging roots of a banyan tree; a germinating jamun seed atop a stationary vehicle; the rose tint of the Pleurotus roseus mushroom; three ficus leaves attached together in different stages of afterlife, the fragile brown frame of what was once an entire leaf, the tender toes of a tendril against a concrete wall, the symmetrically arranged spore sacs on the underside of a fern leaf, a crack in the wall that allows life its first foothold...

Technology helps us capture these moments of beauty. Thanks to smartphones, the memories of monsoon can be enjoyed even after it’s gone.

Pankaj Sekhsaria is a writer and photographer based in Mumbai

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Published on September 25, 2020