When the jungle came calling
She walked slowly. It had to be so. The fate of every step decided the next one. The thinly treed forest with sounds of streams in the remote distance was almost therapeutic. She saw the rubber trees on her right side. Latex was beginning to flow into the cups. She admired the natural process and then marveled over the man-made one. Each night a new cut is made on the bark, causing a new flow of latex. Latex flows toward a collection cup. After that it is coagulated in a pan. Water is rolled out of the cake of fresh rubber and fresh and smoked sheets of raw rubber are obtained. She had seen the entire process a day before. She stood in awe for a couple of minutes and then moved ahead.
She thought again of the words of the guide: “Natural rubber is produced from a runny, milky white fluid called latex that comes out of certain plants when you cut through them. This latex is about one third water and one third rubber particles held in a arrangement known as a colloidal suspension.”
When she had come to the forest house for a ‘break’, she had just thought she will see some animals, meet some forest people and breathe some fresh air. Then she will go back to being the fancy interior designer that she was in the capital city of India. Of course she knew there was a lot more to nature than what our eyes met, but who knew that things were such. That you cut into trees and unimaginable and amazing things ooze out of them making our lives easier!
She was awed by how complex it was, though in the city she used rubber bands and car tyres as if they dropped from the sky. The guide had said that there were several quite distinct steps to make a product out of natural rubber. By itself, unprocessed rubber was not so functional and useful. Gosh! There was so much she had heard and learned that she couldn’t even recall now. But it was not the learning that stayed with her. It was the entire experience, the feelings that went through her and the overall vibe of the place.
What was it about this forest, about this natural place that compelled her and attracted her in this way, that had this impact on her that she was unable to shake off? Why did it feel so mythical and life changing? She thought she was content in the city living her comfortable life full of luxuries, and never ever felt she was lacking anything. Now why did it feel that she was lacking a touch with herself? Why did it feel that she did not even know her true nature till this morning? Why were these parts of herself suddenly surfacing and surprising her in ways she did not imagine?