Melange

Our Nature Gene

Nature Gene

Rituparna Goswami Pande

Sometimes in our haste to lead our lives, making ends meet, meeting deadlines, trying to be a cut above others, walking the tight rope walk of balancing complicated relationships we drift away from the soothing embrace of Nature.

Have you ever paused and just gazed skyward and marvelled at the beauty of the world, how the clouds have metamorphed from Nimbus to Cirrus, have you ever pondered about the shapes the clouds form, sometimes resembling chariots galloping in the sky or at times like a teddy bear looking down at you from the firmament or as if the hills had shifted to the space above? If you haven’t, you need to now for these images infuse you with instant joy and peace in your heart. I have a habit of being acutely aware of the natural world around me – the trees, the river, the birds, the animals around us are important to  me just as the people I hold dear. And the more I observe the more I fall in love with my city which is beautiful as well as unique. And it is a treasure trove of flora and fauna which we seem to have taken for granted. Right from hosting migratory birds in Deepor Beel and even in our backyards, to having the privilege of watching the River Dolphin in the river Brahmaputra, the Rhinos roaming around in Pobitora, the rich albeit diminishing population of golden Langoors in Umananda….. how did we get so lucky!!

Alas we have taken our luck for granted and have completely ignored the rich biodiversity that we have been gifted by nature. We are moving away from nature and against nature… The concrete jungle is slowly taking over, the cacophony of cellphones is assaulting our auricular nerves, the fumes of polluted air are leaving us gasping for breath. But are we even noticing these not so subtle changes that have threatened our very existence, perhaps not. We are basking in the glory of momentary triumphs which has blurred the bigger story of reality that would blow us away when the time is right.

We humans tend to move away from nature lets change that trend this year, 2019. Already a week into it, without us bringing in even the slightest of change in our minds, in our lives or in our views. Are we going to stare into another stagnant year in terms of our spiritual growth?

We need to open up our hearts and shrink our egos. There is so much hatred and envy in this world that it has the power to destroy lives, ruin homes. Competition is a major sport that we indulge in rather than compassion and contentment. Are these the effect of running away from nature and all things natural?

Brothers kill brothers, sons are pitted against fathers, mothers competing with daughters…. where are we heading?

Isn’t it time we paused a while and brought the balance back into our arid lives. But have you noticed how being amid nature calms our minds and soothes our souls. Psychotherapist and philosopher Erich Fromm called the longing for nature biophilia…. so I have been bit by the biophilia bug since long it seems just like so many others like me. Never knew it had a name too. It is the people’s love for nature, for the living. And naturally indeed we are a part of nature though its another thing that we are constantly running away from nature into a degenerative plastic world but it seems ultimately it is nature that would prove to be our nemesis, our saviour from all the complexities that we have woven around us.

Research has proven that nature is necessary for our physical and psychological wellbeing. It reduces stress, improves our mood and enhances our abilities. But we have done our best to remove ourselves from natural surroundings, we are cutting down trees, hills, killing the natural flora and fauna and building a concrete jungle instead of the natural habitat that we had originated from. No wonder we are so high strung, complicated, egotistical, evil and even psychotic. All the answers that we seek lies in
nature and the sooner we bridge the growing divide the happier we will be.

My resolution this year is to reconnect with my roots in nature rather than trying to find myself in the labyrinth of this unnatural world. Hope I am making sense to my readers if not you need to try out your own technique to get up close and personal with our Nature gene, the bond that is gathering dust due to years of neglect…