Hot dry desert. Yellow ochre earth that mixes with the saffron horizon with and merged with the similar sky. Smell of bullets and gunpowder all around. Distant sounds of shelling and intermittent LMG’s (Light weight Machine Guns). I can see a small tent like structure some 100 meters away, but crawling through the sand isn’t easy. I still make an attempt and limp through. But the severed limb gives no respite. I turn back to see if I was the only one left around and all I could see were bodies of my brethren, who just a few hours back were marching stealthily with me towards this arid area where the sand mines hit us.
There is a silent buzz in my ear, a deafening one though. The blast was loud and it sent us flying off in air. I was at the rear end of the formation so I fell backwards, but could limp all the way to this point now. If I had to survive and be able to send a message back to my base-camp, I had to survive and make it quick. I began limping towards the tent ensuring I keep out of sight of the enemy radars.
I already feel the weight of an inactive limb and the heat of the sand, so close has already taken its toll on my reflexes. I somehow reach the tent. An old tatter, probably one of our base-camps some 20-30 years back – covered enough to hide me safely, so I could report back. It is surprising how my body pushed so much, after being torn by the blast. I try to establish a connection with the base-camp, when my eyes slowly start loading down, feeling heavier with every passing second. A gush of cool air on my face and everything tough, now turns to calmness.
I wake up and the first thing I see is the fan and feel the cool air on my sweaty face. I look at the watch and it’s 6:34 am. I try to move my legs and take a gush of relief when I realize that it was all a dream. But the sense of safety when it felt like I reached the refuge is still hovering around my head.
Sense of safety or the sense of refuge is a beautiful thing. It is akin to a glass of water to a thirsty throat. However tough a situation is, a shelter or a refuge brings enormous amount of inspiration and calmness to an individual. I put on my headphones and sleep back again. This is my tent in this desert of life.
When I am hit by disparity and hopelessness, I take refuge in this. Music provides me the much needed respite. It is like building your own tent for a brief period and then reporting back to your senses that you’re doing okay and will be back soon from this issue. It is in these times, people need refuges. For me it is this, for someone else it can be totally different.
How do you generate that sense of refuge?
Always Ranting, Rantzaada.