Ascent of Sap – Sabarna Roy

Sabarna Roy is a much awarded, critically acclaimed bestselling author of 6 literary books: Pentacles; Frosted Glass; Abyss; Winter Poems; Random Subterranean Mosaic: 2012 – 2018, and Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020. He is the lead author of a technical book, which has been published from the European Union and has been translated into 8 major European languages.

He has been awarded the Literoma Laureate Award in 2019, Literoma Star Achiever Award 2020, Random Subterranean Mosaic: 2012 – 2018 won the best book of the year 2019, the A List Award for excellence in fiction by the NewsX Media House, Certificate for The Real Super Heroes for spreading a spirit of positivity and hope during the COVID-19 Pandemic from Forever Star India Award 2020, and the Certificate for Participation in the Indo Russian Friendship Celebration 2020.


A few days back, I was teaching my son: ascent of sap (Biology). It is all about how nutrients flow through root capillaries to the upper reaches of a plant and its leaves.

Soil is rich in mineral nutrients dissolved in sub-soil water. Root hairs of plants are deeply embedded in soil layers. Capillary action sucks these nutrients upwards. The nutrients with the help of chlorophyll and sunlight create food for the plants in the miniscule chambers of plant leaves. Life will not continue with this fundamental process getting interrupted and diminished.

In the night, a thought struck me: How marvelously nature has contrived with all its constituents and resources to sustain life on our planet!

At one level this thought made me feel uplifted bringing tears to my eyes. As we all know in such moments of self-discovery we are prone to deflect our wavering minds to finding a meaning of life. How can such complex processes leading to creation, reproduction and sustenance of life have no meaning or not transport an implicitly coherent symbol? During these spells of intense sentimental thrusts playing inside my chest I have to hold myself not to get carried away.

Around midnight I started looking at the phenomenon more clearly: The amazing beauty is in the comprehensive effort of nature. It is brilliant and perplexing in all its magnitude, relentless and unyielding. The birth of life including the birth of intelligence and consciousness, I believe, is without any preconceived design or purpose. It must have happened because of a specific series of random movements, sparks and collisions that happen otherwise in every nook and corner of the universe countlessly in a micro-fraction of a second. What an accident it must have been that resulted in the birth of life and later intelligence and consciousness.


As pale beams of morning light lazed inside my room I realized an old strain of thought rising in my soul: The matrix of consciousness is infused with two forces – one, that helps us to feel in harmony with the darkness of the cave from where we emerged and two, one that makes us insecure about it.

This insecurity is at the crux of all art, enterprise, philosophy, ideology and political experiments. We have created an alternate nature of civilizations that works on the machinations of its various institutions.

Man created primeval institutions while engaged in battles against natural hostilities in the early years. Thereafter these institutions have been gradually made into grasslands of power battles run on emotive ideas in the name of good for the human civilization.

Religions, nation-states and family evolved in the process. Industrial economics and retail consumer markets have hit the final blow to the evolution and sustenance of communities (as the largest unit of mankind) and the individual (as the smallest unit of mankind).

I am sure about one thing: A man in the 15th century felt much happier and contended than a man in the 21st century because at that point in time we were still evolving. We did not know we had chosen a path that will kill all of us. We did not know we had built this path fanning the darker force of consciousness that gave us power to interpret; find meaning; assign meaning; and add, subtract, divide and multiply on nature. One does not need to go into history to know that. Art and literature will prove my point.


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