Doi Nang Non was not sleeping, she lay still conserving each of her stressed breath for the ones trapped inside her caverns. On that rainy morning, she had welcomed them and hosted a birthday hang-out for them; least imaging the onslaught the ravaging rains may create.
Wild Boars, trapped inside the cave for days and nights, playing mind games of survival, had only her for company. Doi Nang Non mountain range, which housed the Tham Luang cave complex, is called as the Mountain of the Sleeping Lady by the natives of the sleepy farming village.
Crisis situation for strictly two parties’ – parents and their children. Look at it closely and you will understand that both the sides had just one set of crutch – Hope.
I wouldn’t remember any event which has left me with so much hopefulness and hopelessness at the same time.
Mother’s sent off their kids for a soccer match, with much love and wishes. Like all previous times, filling them with hopes of winning the matches and thereon the series. Running their errands, while coordinating with other mom’s about the pick-up time for the boys and car-pooling. So, the ‘soccer-mom’ is ready to ferry their young soccer enthusiastic kids. In between; reassuring their hopping minds with the wellbeing of the boys….sab theek hai
Sitting stoically at 1 km from the ground surface, Tham Luang Nang Non cave had no body for company in many years. On 23rd June, the Sleeping Lady, grabbed the attention of the enthusiastic boys. Itching them to explore her limestone dungeon, tunnels and narrow passages. Exploration, as it goes, pushed the boys and the coach to give the solitary mountain a company. They parked their soccer gear and the cycles outside, thinking that they would be out of the cave before the outbreak of the next cloud. And what change of events! Endless downpours and spurts of rain water pushed the team further inside the 4 km long cave. Deep to the dead end. Water had turned foes. 130 million litres of water, which was pumped out later, spoke gallons about the hydraulic threat the young teenagers were under. Driven to the fag end of the cave, the boys and the coach sat on a ledge, loaded with hope…koi toh aayega.
Hope is like a half full filled beer mug. On a good day it appears a full mug and on a bad day it looks empty. And sometimes. A mirage. Only after one reaches closer, one understands the fruits the hopefulness delivers.
So, what about the journey? The long hauled steps, the heavy breath until the delicately nested Hope takes wings? The many heartburns in the journey, the shallow consolations from well-wishers and the endless wait. How does one ensure that they keep Hope – graceful and supple? Who will coach Hope to keep hoping that all will be well at the end of the tunnel? It is tough, and none other than the mind helps to overcome the difficulties.
16 days of sitting still with cramped legs, arched back and stopped heads. Food was a distant thought; even the air they were breathing was grated of oxygen. Thousands of micro-organisms were breeding or lurking around to barnacle. There was a sort of celebration in their camp; they smelt new and young blood.
Boys centred their worries; meditation sailed them through in the limestone abode. Until one day a foreigner smelt the boys and cried out to them inside the 4 km deep cave. Their parched throats and famished bodies rose up to the sound of the fourteenth person. This was phase 1 of reviving life. And later the man; pulled a thousand more for the mission. Mission Humanity. Troops of volunteers travelled the length and breadth of the earth, with the hope of rescuing the stranded boys. Germany, UK, Australia, US, Denmark, Finland, Canada, Belgium were a few of the developed countries eager to assist; besides the many more who were happy to help. Phase 2 ended only after the soccer squad was escorted out of the narrow and dangerous cave; without a scratch
West Asia. The world’s oldest, expensive and high stake war; since times immemorial. Power, oil, religious supremacy, ideological supremacy, ethnic unrest and much more than what can meet the newsbyte or the newspapers. Atrocities of ancient, medieval and modern histories, put together cannot equate the hell in the erstwhile beautiful land on earth. History, cultures and spirituality that once ran through the by-lanes of the region have been bundled into smoked clouds running over the landmines and Fidayeen attacks.
I wish to ask all those in the position of power – how come you are choosy about Humanity? Why didn’t those drowned bodies of kids not melt hearts? Why didn’t the bruised and blood soaked boy atop a car seat not wake the sleeping souls. Thousands, ramble across tattered tents, with no hygiene and school – why are the countries in power silent about them? How are the powerful missing the barren mothers, who cannot feed their starving kids? Like the wailing mothers of the soccer team members even these mothers were hopeful of life and revival. Youth and kids are charred to death in the fire they never started. Are they the children of lesser Gods? Or does lust for money trounce over the inherit consciousness?
In the beginning, people in power lamented over the threadbare youth and their dilapidated belongings. Later, their pictures layered up spaces in the newspapers or social media. Invulnerability took over humanity. Mourning over the budding souls was done and dusted with. Hope died a silent death.
So, does catering Hopefulness to the poor nations of the world become a fancy of the powerful nations? In other words, Hope finds home in troubled parts; after the rich have stashed their assets – this cycle of rhetoric’s keeps the economies moving in circles. As far for the people enduring the curse of wars; Hope looks like the hackneyed stuff-toyed teddy bear sitting still at the gift shop. Clarion call by Doi Nang Non, shook countries world over. In harmony and unanimity saviours across cultures came together to save the young boys. Hopefulness.
My question to the countries in power – what is taking so long to choose between humanity and cruelty at the battles in West Asia? Hopelessness. Eat the frog.