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.
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?
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