Thursday, 19 November 2009

Silent Valley

For us to understand our relation with the whole we have to step out
of the sterilized hum of our air-conditioned cabins and go to an
untouched evergreen valley that had evolved over several millions of

There we encounter the silence of eternity. We hear the soft touch of
our feet on the dead leaves that carpet the ground and then we skip a heartbeat as a bird rustling the canopy in flight startles us…

We freeze a moment watching the bird take perch on a sagging vine and
swing, wipe its beak against the vine from left and right, cock its
head askance at something, preen its feathers to enjoy an itch, and
fly away again, flashing to us the full glory of its plumage.

We find ourselves smiling… What bliss!

Now we hear a langur somewhere calling khu-khu-khu-khu and a stream
gurgling down the fold of the valley. The answering khu-khu-khu-khu
comes from another direction and we are in the middle of a grand
concert--birds, squirrels, and so many other lovely little
creatures we don't know have joined in!

We have never been part of such celebration all around… We have never
known this is how it has always been and suddenly we see the now of
the moment flowing down from millions of years to fill us and
overwhelm us…

And how cool and fragrant the air we breathe! We kneel down and kiss
the Earth...

In this Silent Valley is the whole. We have so withdrawn ourselves
into little cabins of our ambitions, worries, greed and hatred that we
have never known the love that only the whole is.

Silent Valley is like the first man on Everest, because it showed that
the Everest of insensitivity in the self-enclosed modern mind, which
spells doom for the entire Earth, can indeed be conquered.

Many more mountaineering victories have followed over the last 25
years since its declaration as a National Park. Many more will follow.

And it is for all times to come. We have only to take to
this place the people who decide the destiny of our survival together on
Earth for them to see what is and what is not. A lightening bolt of
austerity will strike them to change their vision on development.


(Note: On November 21, conservationists and nature lovers are meeting in Silent Valley to celebrate the 25th year of the victory of their campaign to save the pristine evergreens of the area.)



bluebird said...

interested. are you going as well? will call tomorrow and talk.

suresh said...

venu, excellent words....thoughts...have felt the same hundreds of times i have gone into the wilderness...every time i come back with the reinforced thought that humanity cannot..will not...survive without wilderness...

Balachandran V said...

Great writing. You should post it in the Newspaper, let it reach a wider audience.

P. Venugopal said...

Newspaper will not publish such an item, unless it is from someone like Arundhathi Roy.:-)
And, doc, I miss the trip this time because of domestic responsibilities (cooking, washing, sweeping the floor etc.)

Imagination said...

What an amazing write up Venuji, even I feel this should to a wider audience if not newspaper then may be through some other media.

Need to visit the silent valley to have that experience myself

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

I bow.

vijay said...

Jus beautiful.
Silence embraced my poor soul when I read it.
Very picturesque,vivid and balmy. Great writing. Congrats.

P. Venugopal said...

i kneel down and kiss the Earth, with tears in my eyes...

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

nice post sir. i love the sound of silence.
is this where you found the eagle's nest?

'A lightening bolt of
austerity will strike them to change their vision on development'- i admire your optimism

P. Venugopal said...

we have to be optimistic.
the eagle was not in Silent Valley.
In Eravikulam National Park. A trek with my wildlifer friend James Zacharia, remembered.
i forgot to mention one thing in my piece. we stopped on the way to cook a mid-day meal of kanji, under a tree, on a flat rock, close to a stream.

P. Venugopal said...

Kalpana, Balan,
Vyga News, the news and features website of Vyga Animations, a Technopark company in Trivandrum, has picked up this piece from my blog to use it yesterday. I have friends in the company and they too felt it should reach a wider audience, for what it is worth. Afterall, whatever I post in this blog is free and open source material, and I am grateful to them for using it, since very few people read my blog. This is the link:

Musings said...

reminded me of my trip to Thirunelli on a weekend away from the closed cabins of A/c. But as JK said, life is everything. Those beautiful mountains, lush green carpets, the water flowing and also the filth on the street, the slums, those greedy people in office. One will be sensitive to all these once one understands nature around us... This is a fantastic peice from you.