Its been the longest time since I’ve done this.
Experienced this existence so vivaciously; truly exploring and exploding through such an adventurous lens; through that of snakes.
How did that happen?
A snake workshop, called STORM (Scientific Training On Reptile Management).
Where you were taught how to rescue snakes, to understand the different kinds of snakes, first aid, how to treat them in such a way that while you are rescuing them, they are at complete ease, or at least you do your absolute best for the environment to be calm, smooth and the opposite of alarming.
This workshop, even though it was just for two days, transformed my world, into a world where the 17-18 residents that inhabited it were wildlife enthusiasts, and so, conversations that buzzed about nesting, all the spots to see and turtle walks to go, all the volunteering that can be done, and problems with the government officials and son were covered. Like bees of a hive we constantly flew together, with our wings soaring from those of dragonflies to the fluttering ones of butterflies as we darted our way through the evolution of reptiles, to the way to respect and keep the snake calm while rescuing.
I held a snake for the first time in my life yesterday.
Today was my second, where I got the beautiful opportunity to release it back into the wild. And must I say, wow.
What truly magnificent creatures, that literally, in this moment, leave me breathless.
The thing about these kinds of experiences is just that, its the experience. It’s indeed so very rare to find these, the ones that truly bring about this concrete difference; where suddenly the world around you is no longer the same, as you begin to notice the tiny nuances of nature just a little bit more, in the micro level, which in turn translates to the holistic beauty unveiled on a macro scale, and what an unbelievable one at that.
I came home today, and practically had withdrawals to be honest. I can’t just come back to this room and lie down, switch on the tv and chill?
That is not an option.
I was left with so much of energy and adrenaline, for just life in general and so, I packed my laptop and iPod and walked outside.
And wow, with the brightest smile on my face as the trees swayed and the music playing and man, I cant go back.
How can i?
When my vision has been so cleared, and things that matter have become a little less blur, to truly understand the magnificent beauty in this world, how on earth can i just go back? I guess that’s a story for another time; what happens next.
Coming to yet another absolute blessing, this one was the other students of this workshop.
To be honest, I entered saying to myself its okay anushka, you don’t have to make friends or talk to anyone or anything, you’re here for you, for your enthusiasm of the same.
But somehow, so so so naturally, conversations just flowed out from each of us, perhaps because we were all united by our passion and excitement and more than anything, every single person was there with such a good intention. One person was in the venom manufacturing industry, so he wanted to study how to truly handle the snakes properly. Another was a mother who witnessed a snake being killed in her farm and this traumatic event made her want to actually do something about it.
Another was there solely because she had this undying fascination for snakes, and flew from Bombay just for this. And so on.
Every one was so genuine, which is rare especially for such a big crowd. In fact, since we all shared lunch and one of the breakfasts together, I also learnt so much from some of them, the ones I got a chance to fully interact with, and understood just how diverse this world is. To be reminded that you are but another person in this world of diversity and numbers, each number not just a digit, but a representation of something so much more, a living being, with conscious lives being lived in such interestingly different way. More than that, the humbleness with which you can approach one another, regardless of these differences.
Lastly, coming to our instructor. Once again, I have no words to describe the actual, true passion that this man has for snakes. Gowri Shankar, who has rescued and released over 300 snakes, and is heavily into rescuing and understanding snakes, the King Cobra in particular. He not only brought his authentic self, which lets agree, is quite rare in today’s world, but made the atmosphere so comfortable for all of us to just be ourselves, and also interacted with all of us on a personal level. In the beginning of the workshop I was quite anxious, solely because it was a lot of people and my brain was just unnecessarily panicking, but 2-3 hours into it and I was me, plain old (and strange) anushka. What I loved most is that he held truth in every thing he said, and for a person whose senses are trained into spotting the inauthentic, not once did I question this man’s intention or self.
Today, towards the end of the workshop, I was contemplating, or rather calculating exactly how this was possible, this beautiful and genuine atmosphere that I spoke so fondly of.
And that’s when I realized that it had a lot to do with the very topic of this workshop, nature. You see, as I mentioned earlier, each person wanted to be here for themselves. And so, that subtle positive intention, I feel, manifested thousand fold and cultivated us into this humble, and wonderful collective of students who wanted to learn more and more.
Here again I was reassured of the power that nature has, with its beauty, and with its truth, with how it truly does bring out the best in us, however bold; however nude.