Human and Nature

It was the time of the 2000s when I was a little girl. My grandmother used to take me to our village’s river, which has always been a serene spot. It had such crystal clear water that you can almost see your face on it. I loved those times heartily.

For a shy and introvert girl like me, it was a great solace. It filled me with great joy whenever my grandmother asks me to accompany her to the river. It had a large bank that filled with mustard flowers, different veges that our villagers grow, and gave a feeling of ‘Painter’s palette’. It always spreads its sweet smells throughout our village. I used to brush my teeth there and whereas my grandmother and her friends take a bath. As all other river does, it is also a great source of irrigation in our village.

And now, the scenes are very different from what it used to be. The crystal clear water of my village’s river has long gone. I no more get thrilled whenever I passed by it. I miss the old feelings but don’t want to get close to it for its extreme muddy color. I feel huge sorrow for what my beloved river has been suffering from.

Not only in our river, but some other changes were occurring day by day, year by year. The huge and tall trees, which were perhaps standing at the entrance of our village before the age of my grandparents and I have been seeing them since my birth, were get uprooted recently. I used to think they were our village’s guardians. Its a heartache to see them retreat to welcome Pucca roads to the village.

The mornings in my village were magical. It was blissful with the fragrance of Jasmine and Rangoon Creeper. The sounds of hymns and prayers from the village temple, woke us up to see a new sun rising, in the reddish eastern sky. Though the mornings still come to my village today, the mornings of those times were rare. I don’t know what exactly made those mornings to extinct, but maybe its the changing time.

How lovely are the seasons in the village! Rain, summer, winter, spring, they have all their unique shows for us. How do you feel when walking through the foggy roads in winter? Have you ever noticed the patterned raindrops on a spider web? Or Have you ever spent a summer afternoon, eating marinated cucumber with your grandma in your backyard? There are many brief moments of our life spent with nature in serene, peaceful ways. But we always overlook it and search harmony in life through the materialistic ways.

The degradation of the village environment is not the case only in my village, it’s the existing problem of the whole world. When our village environment is extinct, talking about the city would be meaningless where we live within the enclosed compartments of what we call modern home and use artificial flowers/plants just to decor our interior. We mind our own business, work like machines to earn money, and live our lives in unique, innovative, and destructive ways, without ever realizing the drastic effect of our behaviors on our environment.

Urbanization, we call it. The word that is responsible for the fastest change in a city’s environment. Air, noise, water everything is polluted here. Migration, industrialisation, and deforestation are some other words that catalyse this process. Apart from the services that said to be easily found in a city, there are a lot of things to take, if you want to strive.

For me, when I first arrived in the capital city of our state, I became more introverted. Being out-of-touch with the brief moments of aliveness that I used to extract from the company of nature, I sank deep into myself. Got a depressive mind, which later influenced my life greatly. I always wonder, how do people live in such an environment, where you give more importance to machines than people! I know people are different. But nature is the essence. Imagine a world of large magnificent buildings, robots, airplanes, or every highly modernized vehicle controlled by AI and no trace of greenery, mountains, and rivers. A life looking like a sci-fi Hollywood movie!

Which one you will prefer? A modernized civilization, built on the graveyard of nature or a calm, peaceful city/village, blessed with the fresh air, sweet songs of birds, rainbow-filled cloudy sky, and a stern-looking mountain demanding your attention?

Another thing to bring in to the light is “Creativity”, which is strongly related to Nature. Our mind, body, and soul get connected to each other in the stillness of the forest and awaken the spark of creativity within us. Writers, painters, and other great artists often get inspiration from it. Its great effect helps to solve many problems related to psychology. So it is not just Nature that is being affected by our actions, we are also victims of our own actions.

Like our own home, the earth is our home planet, instead of caring and protecting it we are busy destroying it. We have already forgotten the valuable teachings of our great ancient teachers. Indian Vedic literature which says: Air, water, fire, earth, and sky; the five basic elements of life are meant to be well preserved, and protected as a disturbance in one element leads to disturbances in other ones. We should learn from their religious ways of the simple life, where peace and harmony were the key products.

So, who are we? Where do we live? How do we live? What have we done for our planet? When we are going to look back on what we did? There can be many questions and I fear every answer might contain a flaw of humans.

From Global Warming, Pollution, and Rising sea level to the destruction of Natural Resources, and loss of Bio-Diversity; all thanks to Mankind. Now our waste products even reached the space as “Space Debris”, mainly in Earth orbit, accumulated as defunct man-made space crafts, launch vehicle stages, and dead satellites, etc. The results are seeing worldwide. We are experiencing weird things happening here. Changes in climate, frequent earthquakes in some regions, Cyclones/hurricanes/typhoons, and associated floods are showing their disastrous forces during these recent decades, harming lots of life and resources.

Similarly, water scarcity in big cities, the sinking of coastal areas into the sea, extreme heatwave, forest, and wildfires, spreading of new unknown diseases, like what we are facing now as COVID-19, and scientists are also found out that new pathogens are being activated in arctic areas due to disappearance of sea ice.

The existence of human life is only possible for the suitably conditioned elements of nature. And if we continue to create wreck by our selfish actions, we can not expect a single peaceful day to live on. So what we need to do is to be aware of the urgent importance of what is happening around us and what major steps we should take as individuals to start with.

So, for the sake of our own harmonious life, ‘CAN WE DO IT?’

-Supalee Dalai (One of the Prize Winners of Article Writing Competition 2020 in the 13-24 Years Age Group)

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