Harking back to my childhood…
Its 9pm. Time to go to bed. But under the bed sheets with a torch light I flick through an old ancient tale.
There is luscious jungle, vast coast-lines and towering mountains. An island oasis. Albeit inhabited by ten-headed demons, temptresses, poisons and wild animals.
The Ramayana. One of many ancient tales that was part of the fabric of our childhood. Morals, values, ethics and beliefs were taught as a conduit through these ancient sagas which ended up incorporating itself into our unconscious.
Yet, I always wondered from these very same tales; why in amongst untamed natural beauty, was also where demons lurked.
Nothing strikes more true than the recent terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka where hundreds of people have unnecessarily perished leaving millions of mourners worldwide.
In the last day people have reached out to me given the lengthy time I spent in the motherland after witnessing and integrating myself into the exciting and bustling post-war era at its height. A lot of the places that were targeted were places that I had shared countless memories with family and friends.
The biggest lesson I learnt from my year living in the motherland was understanding the psyche of the common man. In congruence to the all-expansive natural beauty of this island; the common man is genuinely welcoming, fielding a big smile (albeit occasionally missing a few teeth) and an all-encompassing compassion. Yet in amongst this scopic beauty there are demons that try to balance the scale.
Since the days of ancient sagas, demons have lurked in the shadows on this island in a variety of shapes, sizes, forms and entities. The utter cruelty lies in that the common man ultimately suffers.
Reflecting on my whirlwind year and experiencing this island’s beauty along with its untapped potential; all I can say is that ‘It is not fair’.
To the Sri Lankan people and the many friends I met along my travels, there are no words that I can muster that can begin to ease the pain, to even a fraction of a percent.
Take some solace from the fact that from destruction comes re-creation and preservation.
(an enduring lesson learnt from those times flicking through the Ramayana)