At the age of 10 my family moved to Mt Abu – a hill station in India. There my parents (primarily Mom) managed a hostel within the premises of an Ashram (Hindu monastery). The building was practically at the edge of a forest. We were not allowed to step out of the hostel after 9:00 pm without adult supervision because running into a Panther or a Bear was a real possibility.
One day a hostel mate Vimlesh was sitting on a dining chair when Neelkanth (another kid) pointed at the chair and said what’s that?
Pin drop silence followed by a simple instruction by our caretaker – “Vimlesh Do Not Move an inch.”
You see a black python had wrapped itself around the black leg of our dining chair and was just chilling as Vimlesh casually sat on it chatting and eating. I will Never forget the look of Abject Terror on his face and the Uproar of laughter that followed when that snake finally slithered away.
The reason I share this story with you is to give you an idea of how close to nature I lived as a child. There was a tree near our hostel – a Banyan tree. I called it my best friend and still fondly remember him as I would an old friend. I would spend entire days on it. It’s branches thick enough for me to fashion a house on it with blankets, pillows and mats. There was a sense of peace and belonging that I achieved only by being in nature’s lap.
So, watching trees get cut down, watching deers lose their habitat and lose their lives trying to cross the road so they can find food is Very Painful for me. My heart physically aches. I have burst into tears and fallen down on my knees at the sight of a freshly cut tree stump. Therefore, when it came to selecting a project for Unmukt Ella and Gia that would help us experience Compassion Love and Beauty my thoughts went straight to nature. Nothing is more compassionate loving and Beautiful than a tree. Keeping this in mind this is our project for the week-
Think about the impact of human settlements on nature and plant a tree / bush that can provide food to the local animal life.