I sat in the rustic log cabin looking at the burning wood in the fireplace. It was a splendid fire enveloping me with life-giving heat. Its crackling sound was beautiful and I felt as if all my worries were slowly dissipating.
I was simply taken care of and felt a contentment that had alluded me for sometime now. It was great to rediscover the feeling of completeness in being silent and alone. I then corrected my thoughts - I wasn't really alone. The fire was my partner, my female companion. It was a heart-felt feeling that was so revealing and elevating. We were in love and making love in the picturesque Wildlife Park of Jim Corbert in the foothills of the Himalayas. I was truly lost in love and beauty. Suddenly a thought flashed through my mind - how glad I was that nobody knew my secret thoughts - perhaps people would label me an autistic who lived in his own private world. And maybe they were right. I was indeed living in a world of my own - a world that was so lovely. For the first time, I actually felt that the whole world was a part of me. Everything seemed so right! With these feelings, I slowly started to slip into a dream-like state where I felt an awareness of being both here and there.
I was walking cautiously in the midst of a dense forest. The trees were really tall and slender reaching out into the heavens to quench their hunger for energy from the sun. Looking between the trees at the sun's elevation in the horizon, I estimated that it was probably late in the afternoon. Despite a full-day's effort I had been utterly unsuccessful in seeing any exciting wild animals let alone a tiger - which is what I had hoped for. I was disappointed and felt reluctant to head back for a rendezvous with my elephant ride. Being tired and hungry, I saw that this reluctance would be soon overcome by practical reality. I decided to give myself one last chance and set myself the goal of checking out the next dense growth of trees that seemed about 1 km away.
I was walking very slowly trying to take one final look at the surroundings - trying to absorb, as it were, the environment in my mind's eye. Visiting Jim Corbert Park had been a longtime fascination for me since childhood and this was the first time I actually had had the money to visit. I was glad for the opportunity but it seemed so incomplete without having a face-to-face meeting with the lord of the jungle - the tiger. As I walked along, I thought I heard a sound - a snarl from a few feet away. Taking this to be the sound of a monkey or chimpanzee I ignored and moved on.
I must have taken only a few steps when I found myself grappling with an animal. I almost fainted from the suddenness of the attack of this burly and strong tiger. He threw me to the ground and I could see his face and eyes so clearly - my death warrant was written all over it. He had me under his paws and his ugly teeth were ready to eat me alive. He looked extremely angry and his whole body felt like a mountain of terror to me. I was shaking violently but he seemed totally unperturbed and nonchalant. I simply closed my eyes waiting for him to rip me open. My only prayer was for him to kill me instantaneously so that I would not be subjected to a painful torturous death. As if affirming my fears, the tiger dug his teeth into my stomach. I yelled in pain calling for God to help me. The pain was unbearable causing me to slip into a daze. I yelled out again, crying loudly with all my life force. It was a bellow that came literally from my guts. I could see from the corner of my eye blood coming out of my stomach area. I was writhing in pain and rolling over but the tiger was unmoved. Holding me by his sharp teeth, he started to drag me towards a small nearby clearing. My head hit against a big rock but I felt nothing - all my pain, attention and life seemed to be focused around my navel area. I was pain personified.
Then, all of a sudden, I heard a roar from behind me, and before I knew what was going on, there was a thump and the tiger was no longer holding onto me. I turned over to see what happened, but could barely get my eyes to focus. As I strained to look, I could see two tigers fighting and rolling in the muddy grass. They were using all their ferocity to throw the other to the ground and overpower. It seemed to be an equal battle even though one of the tigers seemed different and smaller - and it was clear from the blood on face of the bigger one, that the smaller one was the new entrant. What the new entrant was lacking is size, it seemed to more than make up by its ferocity. For a minute, I started to debate on whom to cheer or root for but soon realized the futility of this exercise - in all likelihood they were both fighting to decide who would get me for dinner. Either way I was dead meat! There was no real hope of me surviving unless both of them would kill or completely injure each other - which seemed an unlikely event. I was so badly injured that I could not move even an inch and felt totally helpless. However, despite the pain and hopelessness of the circumstance, I seemed to muster enough curiosity to see what was going on at the battle unfolding in front of me.
As I looked carefully, strangely, there seemed to be a change in the way the tigers were interacting and I realized that there was something amiss here. I saw both the tigers licking each other, rolling their tongues lavishly over the face of the other. The pawing too seemed to be getting friendlier and they seemed to be nudging at each other. Realization finally dawned on me - this was a couple, a tiger and his mate, who were courting each other to make love. Wow! Could this be true? Indeed, so it was!
Both of them were now entering into an intense, passionate lovemaking mood. I could see that the whole world seemed non-existent for them. They were so engrossed in each other, expressing their raw animal passion in an uninhibited manner that seemed so enrapturing. It was a torrid, fiery scene that I was witnessing, and fortunately, I had the best viewing seats for this live show! Seeing such undivided passion, the beauty and creativity of the moment, I was simply overcome with feelings of joy, and for a moment my pain did not matter. Tears started rolling down my cheeks as I saw this love ritual go through emotional peaks and valleys - as if making me explore the hilly terrain of this jungle with it. As I moved over to the other side to get a better view, I saw two tiger baby cubs watching and imitating their parents' fun-filled lovemaking actions. It made quite a humorous side-attraction. I could now barely keep my eyes open. It was as if the most intimate part of this ritual had been censored giving me access to only the audio feed. However, the audio itself was remarkably expressive and revealing!
After, what seemed to be an extraordinarily long time - by human lovemaking standards - things finally became quieter and I heard the purring sound of two tigers who have been satisfied with a job accomplished to each other's satisfaction. Then fear overtook me. Now that the reunion was complete these cats would probably want to enjoy a feast that was waiting for them. I could hear the approaching footsteps and I closed my eyes waiting for the final attack. However, unexpectedly, I only felt a gentle paw on my stomach. Even with that I almost fainted from the pain. Before I had time to collect myself, I felt a tongue on my face and another all over my stomach. I felt as if my mother had suddenly appeared out of nowhere in the form of these tigers and was licking my wounds. I felt like my whole body was getting healed by this divine touch which seemed to be so different from the one which had caused the wound, even though it was coming from the same source. I opened my eyes to see what was going on. Scared seeing two tigers all over me, I quickly closed my eyes and breathed deeply enjoying the feeling. I wanted to lift my arm and feel and stroke the back of these angelic life forms but lacked strength to do so. Forgiveness was not even an emotion - I felt a love bonding with these cats that transcended barriers of form and shape. I could now hear the bells in the background and a thumping sound of an approaching elephant. Perhaps the mahout had heard the sounds and was coming to look for me. Honestly I did not want him here. I wanted this healing to be with me forever. But the sounds were intensifying and I knew I was soon going to be rescued against my wishes.
I woke up to find my hair being gently stroked by an old lady - the caretaker of the log cabin. I heard the breakfast bell ringing in the distance. Seeing me awake, she instructed me to get ready as the ride was waiting for me to go and explore the jungle and its wild life. I smiled knowing that I had already accomplished this task and the trip was going to be a mere formality. As I got up the following words appeared in my mind's eye, my inner voice, guiding me as it were, in my life's lively journey -
Repression of Passion is Aggression.
It is Violent and Hurtful.
Passion is a Statement of Who You are
It's a Demonstration of Your Being
It's a Celebratory Announcement of Yourself
Don't Deny It. Express it!
Freely and Frequently!