Of Unknown Fears…

By Hema Ravi 

Seeing a police car in this unobtrusive neighbourhood, triggered discomfort from within; not that I am a ‘capiophobic.’  I am a law-abiding citizen in every respect,  however, as a visitor to this place, I am wary of strangers, more so a policeman in this peaceful environ.

During our walks in the nearby trails, I have read about ‘cougar’ and ‘bear sightings,’ thankfully, I only read in the news about a bear that invited itself to a photoshoot.(Wonder how the couple and the photographer did not lose their nerve!)

During childhood, several untold fears used to haunt me – fear of ghosts, insects, strangers and more. Adulthood brought with it several necessary anxieties such as maintaining relationships, managing the home, the bills, retaining the job et al, consequently, pushed aside fears of the natural environment and animals.

Whatever be our trepidation, facing them is the only way to get out of such a situation.

I recall a story from the life of Swami Vivekananda. As a young swami, he was frightened when he was pursued by a band of monkeys. An old monk who happened to be nearby said to him, ‘Face the brutes,’ and when he turned, the monkeys ran away.  Years later, while visiting Miss Muller’s farm in England, an enraged bull charged at the group that consisted of Swamiji, an Englishman and Miss Muller.  The Englishman ran for his life and into the safety of a hill.  Miss Muller ran, but she fell down and was helpless.  Seeing her predicament, Swami Vivekananda stood in front of her with folded arms. When it came near, the bull suddenly stopped, turned and walked away…


I still wondered why the uniformed policeman had entered our complex. Observing from the kitchen window, I noticed he went around the complex and then drove off towards the main road.  Apparently, it was just a routine check…

‘If you have  something to hide in your lap, you’ll have fears on the way!” My mother ‘s vernacular voice rang out loud and clear at that moment.

Author Profile:  Hema Ravi is a Communicative English and IELTS Trainer, Co-author of Sing Along Indian Rhymes and Everyday Hindi, she is a prize winner in the 26th ITO EN Green Tea Haiku Competition, Japan (2015). Her verses and haiku have been published in HSA Anthology (2015), Atlas Poetica, Poetic Prism, The Enchanted Verse, Rainbow Hues, Contemporary Literary Review, Metverse Muse, write-ups published in The Hindu and a multitude of print and online anthologies.


  1. Fears – unknown and perceived – often create anxious moments in our life, only to end when realization dawns that it was in fact unwarranted!

    As for the ‘real’ fears, ‘encountering the lion just in its cave’ eraces them out of trace!

    Easier said than done, but a consistent practice can do the wonders to our surprise!

  2. Thank you for your valuable observations, dear Sir