My Love for the natural world.
The environment is a wonderful thing. Take a look around you, the people and the scenery. And you will find that the scenery is an extension of human feelings. When you feel lonely, the environment will act as your looking glass, to reflect what you feel. When you are content, the sun shines for you to enjoy, the rain pores down for you so that you can dance with it. A friend once told me that no matter how much joy and radiance a sunset seems to emit, there is always a tinge of the gloominess as it reflects, according to her, at this point of time which seems to hang from an abyss, a sense of regret. It is like probably sounding out some sense of the eleventh hour and the necessary yet unheeded need to save the ill-stricken planet. On that context, I often wonder what the ecological eminent channels such as Discovery Channel, Nat Geo, Animal Planet and others would broadcast after say fifty years. Will it be,’ Saying good bye to the green world and many of their life forms?’ , Is it enough for us to pick up ONE please of plastic and throw it in the dustbin? I have often cursed such insidiously harmful an invention as the plastic, but I myself do it whilst wearing a plastic badge, plastic rimmed spectacles and holding other plastic paraphernalia that may not have occurred upon my conscience. But in order to change the system, we need to change ourselves first.
I love to listen to my uncles’ jungle lores about their heydays with rivaled interest and a longing for the old times in which they grew up in. They tell me about the different species of animals they have encountered in their fishing trips or bird shootings. They also tell me about the expanse of forest during their time, how the water was so clean then that in one of the villages, once when Grandfather washed his hands, fishes thronged at the surface, thinking the movements were caused by their fallen preys. It’s a beautiful thing to go fishing. For those who have not been to any fishing trips, I recommend it. The sense of bonding with nature and serenity one gets out of it is one that I believe cannot be encompassed by any other activities at home. One forgets about all one’s worries and anxiety whilst fishing. Golf links once upon a time had streamlets gushing forth with water in the rainy seasons and my uncles also used to go fishing at the filled up ponds. Wahumkhrah used to be a famous river, known for its scenic beauty. Once a major pride of Shillong, it is now a major problem for the city’s cleanliness and sanitation. I was once sneered at for watering my gardens when there was a dry spell during the onset of spring. But somehow, watering the plants makes me feel like I am giving back to the earth a fraction of what it gives us. My aunt once told me that her elderly folks foretold them that one day, people would have to buy water. They found it unbelievable, almost hilarious. “Why would anyone buy water, it’s everywhere!” they exclaimed. And when she told me that one day, sunlight would have to be bought too, I knew better than to laugh. I just pray for that time not to come. It especially tugs my heart when my elders used to say, “We have such fond memories of this place, we would catch fish, there used to be a lot of trees, the water used to be so clean, but look at it now, it’s a dumping ground …”. I love reading Jim Corbett’s stories. The crux of my passion for it lies in the fact that it talks of the simple life, when man and the natural world were one. And in this simple living, the goodness of human nature reigns.
Why is it that human beings, when age takes it’s toll on them, crave for a quiet place, with space and fresh air? If it’s because their physical needs get bigger, then we can also say that their psychological needs grow in proportion too .And what if our generation did not have that sense of ‘homeliness’ to go to when we grow old? Would we die in desperation and regret? And what if our children do not get the chance to know what it feels like to play outside? I entreat all of us to walk down memory lane. Imagine the kid you, playing outside at the great outdoors, scratching your knees, riding your bike, sleeping on the mud, playing with insects, digging holes, pulling out grasses. How would we feel if our children do not get to grow up as every child should? If thinking about it is tough, imagine yourself actually perceiving it with your own eyes.