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Subtledge and Satlej

By Sonavi Desai

On 25th March 2020, the auspicious Gudi Padwa day, we announced the birth of Subtledge, our new baby. It has been our silver lining to the dark and depressing corona cloud. It has kept us grounded, optimistic and positive in the midst of so much fear and tragedy around the world. It reminds us, every moment, that life is all about duality. Without one you cannot know the other. Happiness and sorrow, good health and disease, birth and death, knowledge and ignorance. What is paramount is balancing the energies, maintaining equanimity, and working towards your purpose, as life plays out all around you. And so, we look ahead to the future of our venture with enthusiasm and excitement.

Several people ask me what the name Subtledge denotes. The obvious answer is Subtle Edge, which is self-explanatory. What is more nuanced is that it also indicates Satlej, the great river in the Punjab, in northern India. The Satlej, which, like the Indus, originates in Tibet, is a tributary of the Indus. Subtledge, too, is a tributary of Indus Source. A riparian publishing house, one may ask? Possibly. After all, India is a land of rivers, and our rivers provide us with man’s basic means of existence – water! Major civilizations have developed on the banks of our rivers. Moreover, rivers (as indeed all aspects of Nature) have been held sacred in our culture and have been worshipped – a precursor to the modern environmental consciousness.

The nature of a river is to flow, steadily and persistently, to merge with the ocean. Thomas Moore, American psychotherapist and writer, has very beautifully said: “A river sings a holy song conveying the mysterious truth that we are a river, and if we are ignorant of this natural law, we are lost.” Just as the river flows unfailingly to the ocean, we all ultimately seek our own higher source to find peace. Similarly, knowledge too, flows out into the world towards those who seek it.

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