Monday, November 06, 2006

Do we care?

Nature: the natural physical world including plants and animals and landscapes etc., or the complex of emotional and intellectual attributes which determine a person's characteristic actions and reactions, or a causal agent creating and controlling things in the universe...

No matter what connotation one decides to take of the word, one cannot escape the fact that we are gradually alienating ourselves from nature.

There were days when we, children as well as adults, used to love and appreciate nature. Today, nature seems to be evaporating fast, making way for mechanical or technological marvels and synthetic substitutes.

As a kid I loved swinging from the supporting roots of the Banyan tree - broad, cool, dark, and shady. The banyan is like a boarding house: it attracts a large number of visitors - birds, squirrels, insects, and flying foxes; many of these interesting creatures actually live in the tree, which is full of dark, private corners suitable for a variety of tenants. One can climb on to its branches without difficulty and without danger of falling off. Reading a book without any disturbances leaning against its broad trunk used to be true joy.

It is a known fact that most plants largely take in Carbon Dioxide and release Oxygen during the day (photosynthesis), and take in Oxygen and release Carbon Dioxide during the night (respiration). But some plants such as the Peepal tree (Ficus Religiosa, called Ashvattha in Sanskrit) can uptake Carbon Dioxide and release Oxygen during the night as well, because of their ability to perform a type of photosynthesis called Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM). The Peepal is used extensively in Ayurveda. Its bark yields the tannin used in treating leather. Its leaves, when heated in ghee, are applied to cure wounds.

A friend of mine dearly misses those Painted Storks, Grey Herons and the occasional Spot-billed Pelicans that used to nest in his village on the Peepal, Babul (Acacia Nilotica), and Imli (Tamarindus Indica) trees from January till the end of the monsoons to feed, breed and prepare the young ones for the long journey across continents.

Today we have taken complete liberties and replaced the wonderful nature of our physical world with our filth. Dense forests and wooded areas have been cropped to make way for our concrete jungles, thus driving away, and conceivably exterminating the natural denizens who had survived the path of evolution. Fresh air has been replaced with our exhaust fumes, and plastic flowers have won over our beautiful natural gardens.

We have begun to experience the worst of our man-made world, be it the synthetic fruits and vegetables; the chemically beefed up meat; the contamination; the incessant din... Exactly what is it that gives us the nerve to imagine ourselves powerful enough to overthrow nature? Will we ever realize that damage to nature actually signifies the beginning of the end for our race? Will we ever be able to return to our roots? Or will we eliminate our own chances of survival?

Do we even care?


mojindro said...

hi pradeep,
great topic for post...
nature as it seems to be has lost is glory and we human are the sole responsible for it...
nature seems to balance iself and earthquakes and other natural disasters are the result of it...
ozone layer is dimenishing , increasing global warming are all area of concern but then we are busy in making more and more of wealth....
issues are discussed and actions had been taken bt the ratio didnt match with the problem....

Krishnakumar said...

Nice Post :)
"We don't care" - Probably, its the lifestyle that we are leading today is the cause for this.

Eclipsed Thoughts said...

hey pradeep.

Do we care??? i think we only care on the 5th june to celebrate that day with all our filth... awareness is increasing, but not with the rate it is supposed to be... hope we get serious about SERIOUS matters!!

passerby55 said...


Do we even care!

MY PC is on a wooden table, I sit on a wooden chair. If we all look around we find that we are served by nature, every moment of our life.

SOme of us may think, I should plant one as I needed to cut one. MAny of us WOUld say i Paid for the table/chair, that money takes care of all the services.

WE all need to go back to the "ROOTS".

Whether they are plant,animal Roots or our own emotional and intellectual roots.

A good post which concludes with several questions, to which we all are answerable/responsible.


Jewel Rays said...

yeah...You have got a great point there...Do we even care??? I think most of us are so filled with the busyness of life that these simple and important things seems unimporatant at times. Your post sure open my eyes out how nature do deserve attention at times..

thanks Pradeep..:)

enjoyed this post!;D

Ashley said...

My chosen profession has me championing this cause despite the widespread apathy.

I totally agree with you. We all have to push our governments to make responsible choices and educate individual citizens to do the same.

Keshi said...

I say Man is the greatest enemy of Nature.

How have u been Pradeep?


PRADEEP K. said...

Dear Mojindro and Krishnakumar,
Welcome to the Chasm.

Perhaps it is becoming human nature not to appreciate the glory of nature?

Dear Eclipsed,
Yes, each issue/celebration is given not more than one day of the year. Looks like they cannot afford to give them more time. As problems/occasions increase, they will perhaps add more days to the calendar.

Dear Passerby,
Thank you for the encouraging words, dear.

Yes, I guess money does take care of all services; but people who think that nature can be bought would do well to remember that they can't buy anything with the vendor's money. The piece of paper they call "their" money is also a gift of nature, as is everything else they see and feel around them.

Hey Amy! :)
Enjoyed your comment, girl!

If we are busy, it is with the business of life. All our efforts are directed at keeping ourselves alive, and procreating. However, when we don't appreciate nature we are assuring ourselves exactly the opposite.

Dear Ashley,
Pushing someone to do something is not worth it. Appreciation must flow spontaneously from within oneself.

Hey Keshiiiiii !
Welcome back, girl!

Romba miss pannitten. Ungal vacation post padichitten. Lovely pictures! Had a great time, illeya? :)

Naa nalla thaan iruken Keshi.


tulipspeaks said...

i was born n brought up in a rubber/palm oil plantation. been 7 yrs since we left the plantation as it was taken over by a developer. and i still havent forgotten the life i had back then. i still miss the green surrounding. and yea, we had our very own Banyan tree near the temple. i miss the small river i used to swim. lolz.. i miss the 'travels' we used to have around the plantation and the nearby jungle to find mushrooms. but all remain as memory coz now we have lost it all. my hometown has since bcame a satelite city, attracting thousands of ppl every year. guess i've just traded the greens for what they call modern city.


PRADEEP K. said...

Dear Amu,
** "...guess i've just traded the greens for what they call modern city."


Felt so good to read that wonderful comment.

Even as I type this, right outside our office window, beautiful beach-side greens are being rapidly reduced to dust, and being replaced by living quarters.

Let us pray the modern city can reserve some space for the lovely greens. It is not enough if we address our surroundings as "mother nature". Let us hope that we learn to respectfully coexist with our mother.

Thank you, Amu! :)

Keshi said...

Praddy romba thamilan ahi..:):)