The recent Biodiversity Day, 22 May, 2015 brought around another event when socks were pulled up, sports shoes and glasses fished out and lower limbs warmed up, in the wee hours of the morning for a change. It was DK's Nature Walk among the green gardens comprising the grave samadhis of the greats. And thus, a good number of brave DK folks did turn up for the event, sacrificing precious hours of sleep.
Noted environmentalist, Pradip Krishen, led the mass through the greens for a short two-three kilometer walk while dwelling on the subject of the day – Biodiversity, with special information on the miscellany of trees. It was a great chance to listen to a knowledgeable and trained eye on the environment, the Earth and the flora and fauna it nurtures. It was surprising to note that some of the trees we take for granted as native, actually belong to far-away lands and continents. The facts and figures were precise and purposeful, to the point and just enough to make the moment enjoyable and a wonderful learning experience. Although some mouths did yawn for want of sleep, one could see the spirit of the event rule and there was enough oxygen in the area to successfully diffuse the disposition to slumber.
On another serious note, could there be fifty shades of green too? The mind assiduously wants to ask the question, how green is green? And where are the trees except for a few privileged places? Despite the fact that it's a wonderful idea to rope in a practiced professional, listen to his views, even walk a mile with him; there's a much, much greater distance we need to walk with the Earth and the biodiversity and environments it supports. The way we hominids run over the greens, plunder and destroy forests, and concretize every available piece of land, one swallow will not a summer make! And think about it, a smaller tree cover means a smaller branch of life for us to hold on to!
So how about incorporating “greenness” in our daily lives? Shun the car for a day or two and take to public transport. Cycle. Grow more trees, or even protect and water those that already exist and are in need of care. Increase green areas where possible. Put on air conditioning as late as possible in the morning, and similarly turn it off as early in the evening. Use minimum detergents as they pollute underground aquifers and rivers... The list goes on – which only goes to show that there's a huge potential for each individual to do his or her own bit so as to bring about a massive change. The sum of the parts is a lot bigger than the parts themselves.
I am reminded of a verse from a famous Urdu poet, “Tasbi phiri, par Dil na phireya / Lena ki, tasbi pharke”, which translates as, “I went round the rosary, but not my heart / Then what's the point of turning those beads”. We could witness days on the calendar as they change – some of them may even be eventful; but why not give ourselves a chance to change too...
Alec Smart said: Didn't you think it was strange I was trying to shake hands with a car?
Tree: I assumed you were drunk.
Alec Smart: I thought cars were the dominant life form. I was trying to introduce myself.
(Adapted from Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
Illustration: Richa Verma