I wish to share the duality together. Sadness and Joy together. Two stories so interwoven, almost representing our entire life. As most prefer, the happy tale first…
Rewind, almost 10 years back, with my back pack , I walking to this farm from the mud road passing through the nearest village. As I walk past the village temple, my path is crossed by a nimble squirrel. I am mesmerized. That was the closest encounter to a squirrel in my life. For in city, the sight of most of the farm / wild animal is rare , forget about close encounters. I stopped and watched the busy squirrel jumping swiftly from one branch to another till she disappeared into the bushes.
I continue my walk and soon reach the farm. As i start living at the farm, my eyes were looking out for squirrel. Inspite being so close to forest, even common birds, animals werent’ here. This farm was under chemical cultivation and hardly any trees around.
Years pass by and from last year onwards ,finally squirrels and a lot of beautiful birds have become a common sight. Fireflies which are rare in the villages nearby are in good number at our farm.
Similarly we also have a good amount of trees in the farm. Some big, some small , some growing well, some stagnant and we continue to grow more trees. As a rule, no tree that grows on itself by nature is disturbed or uprooted unless it is absolutely necessary. Thus we are adding few trees every year to farm, nature is adding way more trees to the farm.
So, that was the good news. It gives us a feel that things are improving at farm, we have some positive contribution to the whole ecosystem……hopefully….Feels good !
Now the other news ! The sad part.
The story is recent, few days back. We are constructing a new building to be used as an alternative learning space for children and youth, for which we needed some mud to be do the filling. We hired an earth mover, few tractors to dump soil from our lake to our site. The lake was kind of dry by now. Our friend, new team member, Kishlay was supervising the lake area work while I was at the building site. I went back to the lake area just to see the progress of work and I see Kishlay amidst machines in the lake nervously looking around. Parallely , I can hear shout of two birds (Titahari or Red-wattled lapwing) . Kislay shouts ,which is heard barely due to sharp sounds of those two birds and the loud noise of machines – “Bro , this bird had two small chicks, just here…but I can’t see them anymore…” Oh ! Now, we knew the mommy and daddy birds were frantically running around to save their chicks as their nest on the ground was destroyed by some machine passing over it. Few minutes later, Kishlay is waving hands very fast as if he wanted me to come immediately. I reach and we spot a chick crushed totally , broken into pieces like glass and one chick lie next to it alive. The sight was disheartening for both of us. We immediately too the other chick that was alive and parked her safely next to a tree and within few minutes the father and mother bird found her. However, the scream of birds continue. Hovering over the dead body of the crushed chick , picking up the pieces one by done and then dropping it when they realize that it’s dead. The birds continued to scream and shout for almost 2 hours ! We had no option but just to witness the whole thing. The machine folks called us and we had to soon get busy with work. Kishlay stood with wet eyes saying his favorite phrase for a situation like this ..”Sad life ,bro”.
This is just one instance where we could see the damage we are causing. Imagine all such violence we might be involved in due our activities !
Frankly , can we really answer if our coming to this land has a more positive impact or a more negative impact ? Perhaps, best is to leave nature alone and integrate ourselves within the nature without majorly modifying any of it. Human beings have become very violent towards nature. Some violence is evident, most is not.
Nevertheless, we continue to live at farm and learn. Community is slowly growing. Few new initiatives are on the cards. Life is beautiful and I am grateful.