Can You Hear The Voice Of Nature? An Emotional Connection…

Voice Of Nature

This is the question I have often asked myself…

Nature speaks to us through its ineffable beauty; its voice is powerful and intense in all its forms.

And I have learnt to hear beyond the whispering willows… the whining of Mother Nature.

I could immediately relate to the veiled laments when my dear blogger friend Nihar asked the same question in his book… “Voice Of Nature”

So could Haiku, the little protagonist of this book whose innocence mingles with the wisdom and perception of his new friends who want to live with the same dignity they were born with.

The story of this book is set in Nandankanan Zoological Park, a 400-hectare zoo and botanical garden in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India.

A critique on our relationship with flora and fauna, how we respond to them and how much of spontaneous love children develop for them, forms the basis of this book.

Haiku, a little boy is symbolic of human apprehensions, which often dilute at the altar of self-importance, pleasure and leisure.

Haiku’s own loving relationship with Mogli, the white tiger, Bani uncle, the ancient banyan tree and Kuki, the little bird speaks volumes about the future of our connection with nature.

The fact that Haiku can understand the language and emotions of animals, birds and trees symbolizes that we can hear the voice of nature if we possess the inclination and the disposition.

If we can think beyond our own interests!

If we want to nurture our relationship with Mother Nature.

We love to visit zoos; we have created such places to gloat about the care we shower on our animals but we forget that we keep them caged for our own amusement in the name of saving them from extinction.

Animal Love

Caged Mogli is the center of attraction but he yearns for those old days when he was free!

The banyan tree has been a witness to the disengagement of mankind.

Kuki, the little bird is trying to decipher the reasons behind all this. Her shouting at the tree cutters proves inconsequential.

None of them are familiar with the words ‘selfish’ and ‘profitable’!

It is ironic that the banyan tree is rooted yet it has gathered all the knowledge about the people who visit Nandankanan Zoological Park and the white tiger has been confined to one place yet he is expected to put up a pleasant face! Both of them seem to be hopeful and the hope lies in the little boy.

If we could “find God in nature, in animals, in birds and the environment”, as Pat Buckley said, we would think more like Haiku!

Nihar’s book inspires us to understand the divine bond of harmony, which exists between nature and man. It grimly reminds us, “There is a blurry boundary line between nature and civilization.” We must redefine it.

Albert Einstein also exhorted us “Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it’s beauty.”

I would like to express my immense gratitude to Nihar Pradhan for sharing his book with me before its publication. I read it with great awe and admiration. It raises the hope that the younger generation would enhance their efforts to restore the lost glory of Mother Earth.

It also reminded me about my visit to Sariska National Park in Rajasthan, India where I could experience the beauty and bounty of wildlife and plant life. A home to numerous majestic animals including Leopard, Wild Dog, Jungle Cat, Hyena, Jackal, and Tiger, this Park was said to have 25 tigers, living in their natural habitats but we couldn’t spot a single one!

Doesn’t it show that they possess a better protection sense?

Please share this post at your favorite social networks to express solidarity with this noble cause.

Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh

Can Women Escape Domestic Violence? An Emotional Approach…

Domestic Violence

My friend Lisa is writing a story on women’s escape from domestic violence. This post got an inspiration from her unstinted efforts to help ‘The Great Escape’.

Is it possible to escape domestic violence? I have often wondered…

If this could be probable, why would a woman of 21st century swallow everyday abuse, why would she compromise and be told to ‘ADJUST’! Adjust to intimidation and assault? To slapping? To emotional blackmail?

If this could be conceivable, why would female feticide be forced upon a young mother who yearns to hold her child in her hands!

Why would a woman be assaulted or killed for petty demands like dowry or standing up for her rights?

I know I am presenting a very negative picture despite being a robust optimist.

But I have seen domestic violence, its shapes and shades. I have seen it grow and flourish despite laws against it.

Domestic violence is not just perpetrated by a husband or a partner. Families too are a party to it. To my mind, violation of basic human rights by anybody around us – a parent, a sibling or a relative – is domestic violence.

According to National Coalition Against Domestic Violence ( NCADV ) Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse.

I have seen so many women in such situations. They don’t even think that a mistreatment in a family means domestic violence. They don’t have the courage and the confidence to confront it.

Not just a husband unleashes domestic violence upon her; his mother is more to blame for nagging, verbally and physically abusing, making her work like a slave and not giving her enough to eat.

This is the story of most of the homes in many Asian countries.

Real story:

I had seen this woman in my early childhood…working all day, carrying out all the odd jobs of the house, from looking after the cattle of the house to cooking for the family as well as all those who worked in the fields. My most vivid memories are of those days when it would be raining heavily and continuously but she would be as active as ever, with just a gunny bag on her head, attending to the milking of the cows, early in the morning.

Abandoned by her husband at the young age of 25, she chose to live in his home all her life, probably due to societal pressures. She devoted all her life to her only child and grand children, giving them all they needed, without even a single word of complaint.

As I look back now, trying to understand the definition of domestic violence, this image seems to be more disturbing than physical violence in the homes. This memory is etched in my mind. The emotional wounds that I can feel even today for my aunt, after almost 5o years are irreparable.

Even today I can hear that unspoken message…where can I go?

Even today I can see that agony in her eyes saying…what can I do?

Who is responsible?

Women too are equally to blame for accepting such a behavior. Fifty years ago when economic independence and social taboos didn’t let them take any action, it could be understood but in the present era when there are no such constraints, women accept domestic violence as part of their life and destiny.

The sordid saga continues…

Domestic Violence

Another real story:

She is a highly educated, successful doctor and financially independent woman. There was a time when she could take her own decisions, when she was single though many of her friends couldn’t.

She married according to her own wishes, having found her soul mate at the age of 20. She has been living with domestic violence of unspeakable volumes but could never gather the courage of reporting it, stepping out of her marriage or divorcing her husband. She is a widely travelled woman but cannot step out of her own home, without her husband.

People say women have been empowered and emancipated! Really?

“We live in a world in which women are battered and are unable to flee from the men who beat them, although their door is theoretically standing wide open. One out of every four women becomes a victim of severe violence. One out of every two will be confronted by sexual harassment over her lifetime. These crimes are everywhere and can take place behind any front door in the country, every day, and barely elicit much more than a shrug of the shoulders and superficial dismay.”Natascha Kampusch

Who can help?

No soft words or empathy, no laws or stern action against those who inflict such a cowardly act can help.

Only women, yes those women or victims who accept such a beastly behavior can help.

Unless you help yourself, all others effort go futile:

  • Refuse to tolerate domestic violence
  • Never hide it to protect your self-esteem
  • Stand up for your rights
  • Don’t equate it with destiny
  • Communicate your dissent the very first time
  • Speak your mind out loudly and clearly
  • Seek help
  • If the perpetrator doesn’t change, be bold
  • Never believe in their false promises
  • Never give a second chance to such offenders
  • Be firm and take your own decision
  • Walk out of such relationships as soon as you can!

Do you know that 603 million women live where domestic violence is not considered a crime!!

If you are living in a country that recognizes domestic violence as a serious offence, you must report it.

My dearest friend Kim supports this cause most vociferously at her website. You can visit her for advice and help.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh

How Passive Aggression Can Be Harmful For Your Personality And Relationships

Passive aggression

Aggression has been defined as a ‘hostile or violent behavior’ towards others and when it becomes passive, it is extremely detrimental because it does not manifest itself, it remains under the surface and the façade of goodness misleads us till the simmering emotions overflow into a big explosion.

Such a behavior can be quite confounding for a layman.

According to Kendra Cherry, a Psychology expert, “The phrase passive-aggressive is used to describe behavior or a personality trait that involves acting indirectly aggressive rather than directly aggressive. Passive-aggressive people regularly exhibit resistance to requests or demands from family and other individuals often by procrastinating, expressing sullenness, or acting stubborn.”

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) has classified passive-aggressiveness as many things throughout the years. It’s been called a “personality style”, “hidden hostility”, a “defense mechanism”, a “personality disorder” and “negativistic.”

How do we recognize such persons who may be around us – in the form of our near and dear ones? Some of the obvious signs may be glaring at you.

Signs of Passive Aggressive Behavior:

  • They are non-communicative and avoid dialogue.
  • They lack assertiveness.
  • Silent hostility and emotional blackmail is their weapon.
  • They avoid confrontation but are good manipulators.
  • They conceal their true feelings for a long time.
  • They fail to see reason and logic, even when explained.
  • They have no respect for others’ emotions.
  • They can be quite self-centered and vindictive.

Kelly often talks about renouncing this world. She wants a simpler life; she wants to calm her mind down as peace of mind has always eluded her.

She has made every possible effort to attain it within the confines of her home and culture. A vivacious and beautiful woman, she possessed the most captivating smile and could charm anybody with her personality…a disposition, which had been nurtured by the values of care, love, loyalty and integrity, so rarely found in the modern era of self-love.

A victim of passive aggression for almost ten years in her own home, she has been making the best possible efforts to deal with it but it has affected her own psyche so deeply that she is at the brink of a breakdown.

That is how passive aggression hurts, not only one person but also all those around us.

It spreads negative energy:People

People who are passively aggressive hold a lot of negative energy within themselves and it molds their thoughts. Since they choose to withhold all those feelings of anger and resentment within their heart and carry themselves, wearing a mask of pretended goodness, it cannot reach anybody. Negative vibes are strong enough to filter through their persona and can be felt by friends, siblings, spouse etc.

It fails to address practical problems:

Passive aggressive people evade real life problems and procrastinate, which keeps on building. Any work, which needs immediate attention, is deliberately ignored to prove their imaginative point because nobody could know what is going on in their mind. They behave as if they are absolutely comfortable with people they dislike, as they believe that they can solve their problems in their own silent way but they fail miserably.

It blocks communication:

When interaction with each other falls apart, when feelings and emotions are not discussed with an open mind and heart and when others are expected to determine the reasons of passive aggression, an untold harm is caused to both who display this behavior and those who have to bear the brunt of their attitude. Lack of communication is very unhealthy for relationships.

It ruins relationships:

Happy relationships thrive on a good, honest and truthful demeanor, which is given a boot by passively aggressive people. Since they have the tendency to do everything secretly and could lie to cover up, it becomes extremely damaging for relationships. Their façade gets exposed sooner or later as it is impossible to befool the people around us with whom we spend a considerable period of time.

It creates distrust:

Such people lose the trust of their closest possible kin, as their fake nature can be well understood. Can you rely on such a person who hides his real feelings and emotions? Once the trust is lost, it is very difficult to restore it. Even the honest intentions of such a person can be doubted, thereby making him/her vulnerable.

Passive aggression is like a volcano, waiting to burst when the anger becomes unbearable. Such a person needs empathy and therapy albeit he may resist all your efforts.

How to help yourself:

  • Self- talk to build up your confidence, keep your thoughts positive and your hope alive.
  • Keep your emotions especially anger under control to deal with such people.
  • Share your thoughts and emotions with a trusted friend or sibling.
  • Discuss and try to make the passive aggressor aware of the harmful behavior.
  • Seek professional help and therapy to keep the relationship alive.

Nothing can change overnight. Patience and consistent efforts to deal with such behavior may bring some positive results.

It is very easy to abandon such persons, as they would never even ask you the reason. However if they happen to be important in your life, you are in for some tough challenges.

Do you know any such people? How do you react to them? Do you possess any traits of passive aggression? I would love to hear your views.

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Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh.