Nature, spirituality, culture and history put together!

Lakshmi Kothaneth –
lakshmiobserver@gmail.com –

I am writing just before I left for Jakarta. It has been a fabulous fam trip to Indonesia. Eight days of amazing surprises and experiences. Journalists have a way of gelling with others but in a fam trip it is in a hurry that you learn personalities from different parts of the world but working in the
same region. With in a day you realise we are all the same.
Indonesia is mystic place when you go to East Java and West Java, as well as modern as you reach the cities like Jakarta. There were many lessons learnt such as when we went up to the Love Hill in Bromo to watch the sunrise. Looking at the crescent moon and a star stand strikingly together as we climbed up the hill in almost darkness if not for the torch and waiting for the sun to rise had the same feeling of waiting for someone special. And then the sun arrived with all the grandness brilliant orange contrasting with the dark clouds and soon there was trail of yellowness. This is when we began to see the shapes of the trees as they formed silhouette.
No matter which country you were from among the many who had gathered to witness the natural phenomena, sunrise generates excitement in all. We take sun for granted. It just reminded me how universal the message of sun is. The sun appears to each one of us to start a new day of hope no matter where we are. Somehow we tend to always forget hope. That we have another opportunity tomorrow, but the only difference is we should try not to make the same mistake over and over again.
The days in a calendar move because the sun rises without fail, but some of us prepare with great enthusiasm and some of us just wonder to ourselves, “What is new?”
The day is new is the simple answer and it is filled with new choices.
Going into the Trans Studio, Bandung was exciting but there was so much to learn in the Ocean World Science Center. In the tank there were bluish orange fishes with glitter thrown on them. They looked amazing as they kept swimming across to each side of the tank as if they are on an agenda. Walking around the admiring their beauty and energy of the fish I finally saw the label in block letters — PIRANHA. So that is what they were! I had heard so much about them but never knew how they looked or moved. They are on the go constantly.
“Do you want to see how they eat?” asked one of the staff members. Within minutes they hooked a piece of chicken thigh on a white coloured chain and dropped it. The tank turned violent and the predators were in action within seconds they left the bare bone for the slower ones to deal with. I noticed one with a bit of an injury. The staff member said again, “If they are not fed they will attack one amongst them. If they sense blood then that is the target.”
Interesting lessons to learn from Piranha. We cannot blame them they operate under instinct. What they do under pressure when they do not have the food is almost what we see in the societies of the world when there is lack of opportunities. But we must realise we can create our own opportunities. The piranha we saw were in a tank but if they are in the open they would be rushing out there looking for ideal food not each other, which probably means, us the social beings need to think and look out of the box.
Another humbling experience was crossing the plain on a horse to climb the Mount Bromo to reach the crater. Never thought I would want to or successfully ride a horse. The horse owner Yuno and his horse were most understanding as I began with fear and moved on to enjoy the gallop only to reach the base of the volcano and one look at the hundreds of steps leading you straight to the top and give up the notion of climbing.
“No way are you giving up,” said a voice. It was Said from Saudi Arabia, a journalist and teacher by profession and spirit. “You only live once and who knows whether you are coming again. Let us start climbing.”
And before I know I was looking down at one of the amazing sights in the world. Bromo was exhaling and roaring. You can hear the roaring of the earth. The sight that made me realise how much we take earth for granted. She is inhaling and exhaling while putting up with all our stupidities.
Crossing the plain once again Yuno guided his horse to one more special place — an ancient temple. Nature, spirituality, tolerance culture and history put together give Indonesia its essence. I would like to call it the
mystic land.