Mid summer and I take a trip to the mighty Bhadra forest, Karnataka. Sadly, the forest is getting ravaged by wild fire and several hundred acres have already turned into ashes.
The forest department staff attend visiting guests like me, with a smile but a grim vibe. Wild forest fires have beaten the staff relentlessly and mercilessly for the past few days. By the virtue of all Safaris being cancelled, I decide to Loiter around the area, not too deep into the wilderness. A Good old 'forest friend' recommends me to walk down a few steps next to the forest guest house which would eventually lead to a small forest trail.
The old broken concrete steps with rusting steel hand rail on one side and thick vegetation on the other, it is quite steep and a few minutes of treading down leads me to the unguarded, unpaved forest trail. It is still steep and is flanked by trees and bushes.
The hot summer afternoon... ...
.....the hustling of the leaves caused by the moody winds,
.....non-vibrant, dull green shades on a brown canvas in most directions around me,
....cluttered silhouettes against a blue sky above,
Incredible symphony by the innumerable hidden forest residents... all On duty....
...the forest seems to have tired itself out and drowned in its own melancholy... may be tired of waiting for the rains... or just another mood that she likes to be in.
My loiter seems to have gone unnoticed by the mighty forest as i walk the trail, carefully absorbing the gently swirling subtle kinetic energy all around me. The crisscrossing spider webs hopelessly try to prevent my intrusion in vain.
Not much light reaching down to the forest floor this late afternoon. the trail levels out on top of a rock. Over seeing it, i am filled with exhilaration. Now i see the source of the swirling energy that has drawn me towards it. A small gentle shine of a stream flows below the rock, turning and twisting down a large corridor with multiple shades of yellow, brown and green as its walls. The far end of this corridor invites me to walk down the stream, and venture into the wild.
I get down from the rock and stand in the middle of the shallow stream. As i raise my head upwards, the cluttered canopy resembles a starry night and the forest loses all her colors and turns into shades of grey.
I just watch the forest and for a moment, i feel the forest look back at me and then turn away. Or,.. may be it is just a change in the direction of the wind.
"It is when i did'nt go deep into wilderness, i realized how deep wilderness had gone into me".