Away from the maddening world

The forest beckoned Ravi with strange familiarity. With nothing left to lose, Ravi decided to heed and walked into the woods. Nothing worked. Nobody loved him. Everything was over with the world. The world was a terrible place. Humans were a selfish lot with their little matchbox lives. Life was meaningless. It didn’t give him anything. No matter how hard he tried, nothing worked. The forest was perhaps the only place to live and finally find the ever-elusive happiness.

The forest floor seemed cool and the pine needles were a natural carpet for him. He dozed off in no time. He woke up, drank from the nearby stream, caught some fish, and had a nice, hearty meal. What a beautiful life it was, in the forest, away from the maddening crowd, he thought. He could live happily here forever, he thought.

Evening came unannounced. Ravi lit a small fire, had some more of the fish and threw away the remains and got ready for a nice evening walk when suddenly the air around him became filled with the sounds of the night. All sorts of little insects started buzzing around and even stinging him. The first time he heard it, he brushed it as something too random. The next time, the monkey’s far away cry confirmed his worst fears. A growl of this decibel was for sure danger written in scarlet. He stood rooted to spot. Fear paralysed him. It happened again. The growl sounded much closer this time.

Ravi had little time on his hands, err…feet, to decide which animal it was. A carnivore for sure, he thought, as he hastened his pace. In no time, Ravi found himself running. The pine needles on the forest floor pinned themselves on his sole as he sped past trees, bushes, and rocks. The panther had laid for over an hour for Ravi to make the move, and it spared no time galloping after him. This was its one good chance at a heart meal and no one’s gonna come in his way; not even the prey himself.

After a chase that lasted no more than 5 minutes, the panther closed in on Ravi. One huge pounce, and that would be it. Ravi knew he was just one moment away from sure death. As the panther began its pounce, Ravi pounced on a banyan tree’s aerial root just a few feet away and swung himself to safety. The panther descended with a thud on the forest floor, empty mouthed.

Even before Ravi could heave a sigh of relief, the aerial root spun itself around him and took him right to the top of tree. It was no banyan tree. A 20 feet long python had laid in wait and Ravi literally fell into it. The python got to work. Ravi could do nothing except struggle with all his might to stay alive. In the melee that ensued, the tree shook and the honey comb right over Ravi’s head spilled a drop of pristine forest honey into his mouth. Ravi, merely closed his eyes and let the joy of the moment envelope him. For a moment, he let go. Let go struggling. Lived in the joy of the moment. With no resistance from the prey, the python released its hold, uncoiled herself, getting ready to enjoy her meal. At that precise moment, Ravi stretched his arms out and grabbed the nearby branch and swung out of the python’s reach and into the safety of the tree top. The moon rose out of the mountains, shone brilliantly, and kept him company until dawn.

The morning saw Ravi walk out the forest, happy and ready for the beautiful world that awaited him at the edge of the forest.