Monday, March 12, 2007

The scarecrow

I went to a place by the name of Morni Hills on a "departmental picnic" yesterday, and a beautiful place it is too. While all the rest of my mates were getting spooked out in the hous of horrors, I walked down a short distance to one of the two lakes called pandutal (after the pandavas of the mahabharata) and got this picture. It was only then that I realised that only a few years ago, this place must have been truly magnificient. I glanced up to the denuded hills to see signs of dried up waterfalls which now probably never flow except when it rains a lot, the fields all green with wheat and mustard must have actually been lake bed, now reclaimed for agriculture. Developement, it seems catched up everywhere. High up from the hills, the two lakes are only divided by a small hill, in all probability an island when the lake was bigger and lusher.
When i saw the scarecrow, i initially thought it was a body hanging from the mango tree in the distance, gently swaying in the breeze. There were cries of children at play but there were no where to be seen. other than that, the silence was exquisite and perfect. The whole combination was somehow surreal and in a way even scary. When I look at this picture, I can sometimes get a twinge of that feeling. I think its one of the greatest gift a meaningful picture gives, that is the power to recreate an emotion. Even though imperfect, I know of nothing else that does.
Evereywhere today, the story is the same, shrinking lakes, vanishing forests, no wildlife to speak of. I wonder if we will eventually be in a state to ever save anything before its too late for anything to be saved.
A few days ago, I read an autobiography by Salim Ali, the well known bird watcher. And it was truly fascinating reading. The fall of a sparrow, as it is named as an allusion to his killing a yellow throated sparrow chronicles the state of the magnificient wildlife and forest that we had even fifty years ago. And within these years of independence, we have been spectacularly successful at destroying of most of all that we had. And we are still ready to ruin whatever little that is left.


tatastha said...

The Sacred the forest

For the mind it is just chaos,
No clear edged boundaries,
The play of life and death,
From the rotting matter the new
life begins.
O sacred forest you hold the truth of life,
O Hidden Harmony of higher order,
Mind cannot comprehend this sacredness,
For the mind it is just Chaos,
This incomprehensible order cannot be grasped
So limited is mind of human.
Being a slave to its logical thinking..
Being the container of useless mental categories of good and bad,
It cannot live in harmony of higher order.
Know the sacred forest through your heart,
Be still and alert, sense the hidden harmony beyond thoughts
Be aware.. Be one with it..
Know that sacred forest is YOU.
You are that. Tat Tsvam Asi !!!

Nic said...

Cool picture, and enjoyed your last few posts. As an outsider looking in, I do hope that India development and "progress" doesn't continue to go crazy and unchecked, as your country is (still) full of amazing sights sounds and places. It's been great getting to see them -- but even in my short time here I can see the changes India is going through now both positive and negative. Anyways -- I enjoy your blog as well -- thank you. I'll be going back to USA soon, so probably won't be updating PaneerBelly much, but glad to have stumbled across yours, and thanks for the surfing picture! :)


The_ILLusIonIsT said...

Cool Pics Shrinked Immaculate ! Keep up the good work!

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