By Neel Anil Panicker
A cavern, grotto, hollow, cavity, pothole, underground chamber, gallery, tunnel, dugout.
When it comes to the word cave there indeed is no shortage of synonyms.
What then is a cave? A hollow or natural passage under or into the earth, especially one with an opening to the surface.
This was one definition that really resonated with me. Kind of rings a bell. In a good way, that is.
There is something very medieval, prehistoric about a cave. The very mention of the word draws out our innate primal instincts.
All of us relate to it in a raw, elemental, passionate sort of way, don’t we?
Why is that so? Is it maybe because we have all come from there?
Remember, we were the original cavemen. Back then, caves were our abode; our hearth and shelter; our safety cocoon that protected us from external threats; our survival bag that we slid into and remained there for eons.
It was only much later that man learnt to come to terms with his surroundings; to not fear it; to make peace with it; and finally to come out in the open and meet Nature in the eye.
With the passage of time as several hundred centuries elapsed, man became so drunk with power that in his narrow skewed thinking he thought that he could lord over Nature.
Unfortunately, as we see now, it has been man’s greatest folly and hubris to harbour the absolutely wrongly held belief that he can rule and plunder Nature.
It is high time he realises the priceless bounty that he has been vested with and treats it with the care and attention it deserves.
Or else, the day is not too far when man may have to retrace his steps back in time and be forced to start all over again from it all began: the cave.