Kul Bhushan interviews Anjaly Thomas, traveller and author of ‘Almost Intrepid’.
How does one experience virgin nature? What do you feel after pushing yourself beyond your endurance and exhausting yourself after a death defying adventure?
Where did you feel and experience nature so intensely that you seemed to touch something of the beyond?
I feel this about every place I go to – it is that ability to feel, to become one with the moment that makes me want to go on and on – or go back to the same place. When I stood on Mt. Kilimanjaro, although it was too cold and hazy and causing giddiness, there was something in that moment that made me vulnerable and powerful at the same time – powerful because my standing on the peak was an example of nature’s willingness and joy at allowing me up there, and vulnerable because I was really at the mercy of mother nature, so high up. It is said that the mountains must like you – or you will never ever get up on one even if you are super fit. Knowing that I was really the one chosen by nature to stand up at the peak on that particular day – moved me in strange ways.
Again, when taking a dip at the source of the White Nile, I felt the same. It felt as though something strong had descended upon me, it was as though I was at the start of a very long journey, that some part of me would eventually find its way, miles away into the Mediterranean Sea.
On gazing at virgin nature, breathing its fresh air and slowly closing your eyes, where were you overwhelmed at Existence and all its glory?
Gazing at nature itself is enough to overwhelm me. Even if I happened to be looking at a tree in a park I have experienced strong emotions. To be amazed by nature or to appreciate it, it is not necessary to sit on a mountaintop or dive in deep seas because often the sight of a quivering ear of corn can move you in unimaginable ways. Strange as it may sound, the very fact that on my travels I am seeing something new, adds to the excitement factor – and when that excitement is present, even the goodness in nature is magnified a million times. Standing on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro was definitely exhilarating; it was a moment of great achievement, but then, I wasn’t really in my senses to appreciate that fact. The hugeness of it hit me only when I reached sea level and took a lungful of oxygen.
Did you feel something immensely beautiful/powerful, all embracing, all enveloping, all dissolving at any time during your travels by yourself?
Yes, that reason alone is enough to make me want to seek more of it. When traveling alone, I am in control and that does gives me a sense of being powerful and my ability to enjoy every bit of the situation. It makes me feel beautiful from within. Travelling gives me the chance to become one with the nature, unshackled from the routine of everyday; there is no pretense, no deadline, no putting on a mask. I am stripped of all bondage and chains; I am free. This freedom translates into a more magnanimous outlook of the world I am in. When the heart is free, everything seems different, more beautiful because freedom also allows you to absorb a lot more of the world outside.
Kul Bhushan, Osho News
Read Kul Bhushan’s review of Anjali Thomas’s book Almost Intrepid