FORGOTTEN SANCTUARIES.

rohit adlakha

picture credit: Rohit Adlakha

Living in a jungle of desires and duties, we are prey and predator, the hunter and the hunted. It is a maze-like existence that springs up moments of deceptive simplicity that distils pure bliss into our lives, and then again, relents to reward us, rather grudgingly, hard won, almost impossible, triumphs over circumstances and self. Such is our life…

This jungle is verdant, it is filled with lush, thriving wishes, aspirations, ambitions, that spread their branches far and wide, and cover the sky of our dreams with promises of fulfilment. We see our sky through the swaying leaves of these tall trees of desires that engage us as they move to the beat of the rhythm of our heart and soul. We exist in our longings that are like the vines twisting themselves around our larger desires; we exist in our hidden wishes that seem to grow into the dense undergrowth rooted in the soil of our soul. Such is this jungle within each of us…

The paradox of every dark forest lies in the fact that it prospers with light- even the feeblest of rays of the sun, fills every nook and cranny with an overpowering green. The wilderness within is much the same. Isn’t it true that our most intense longings have been fed by the faintest hopes of the heart? If ever, something without, resonates with the something within, the jungle grows deep and thick overnight, and our mundane goings-and-comings begin to be accompanied by the melodies of unseen birds hiding in the branches, or by the multi-coloured wonders of butterflies of dreams flitting in and out of view.
However, even with the birds and butterflies, this is a jungle after all, with the potential to overwhelm every logical thought that seeks an escape from it allurement.

So where lies the way out? Once again, the paradox is that the way out is actually through the way IN. This jungle can metamorphose into a sanctuary once we know how to negotiate its paths and passes. Its tricky labyrinths become trusted trails, once we see them for what they are. This is the work of a lifetime mind you, because there is hardly an instant when desires and wishes do not seem compelling life propellers.
The rays of the sun direct our consciousness to the reassuring reality that, we carry within us a sanctuary posing in poor light as a threatening jungle. The sunlight represents the situations, feelings and people who enter our lives and switch on the lights, where we thought there was none. There is freedom from darkness, relief from pain, and liberating wisdom to know ourselves a little more wisely and without judgements. We are our own forgotten sanctuaries…

And do you know what is the most wondrous thing of all? It occurs when your sanctuary is the refuge for another tired and lost soul, or when you offer the warmth and security of your sanctuary to another carrying a sanctuary all of his own… such can be the life we live 

This photograph, so wonderfully capturing the first rays of the sun, filtering its way through the dense foliage and undergrowth of the Kanha National Park, is an inspiring shot taken by my “teacher-friend” Rohit Adlakha. Does an artist know at the time of creating his art, what he is freezing for eternity? No one can tell in what manner and for how long a work of art, influences everyone who comes in contact with it. My deepest gratitude to Rohit for allowing me to use this picture.

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About preetiroychoudhury

Educator, writer, thinker, dreamer, mind traveller, a moderate feminist, a staunch humanist, eternal learner- i wear many hats and each hat has a voice that demands to be heard- so here i am blogging a bit of me in every post.
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