The Archaic Concern
Certain tendencies in our thinking modes such as ‘protecting nature’ have the same impact and significance as ‘protecting the mother’. Both phrases project a weakling who is in need for some sort of help. The weak human mother, with her old age and feeble health could well justify the need to be protected. But nature is complicated. The argument for protecting nature is complex, since the question whether humans are protecting nature or vice versa, is unanswerable.
Happy Tuesday! The previous day the bus that took me back to hometown from my work place, stopped unexpectedly in an area surrounded by cashew trees and barren rocky field.
There was a crowd on the road that was gathered around an old man. He was in shabby clothing and looked as if a picture exhibited on the wrong wall. I got off from the bus and went close to the crowed. Some were arguing with the old man.
The old man was saying; “I am a farmer. I work nearby. I planted these trees, not for myself, but for the all. Once they grow up, they will give shade to all of us.”
“But this property is owned by the government,” one of the gentlemen from the gathering said. “We must cut your trees, because the road should be widened. The work will begin soon, and by the time it’s my duty to make sure the trees are cut.”
I heard no reply from the old man. In the course of the silence, I saw his eyes water. There was sign of him giving his battle up. He, perhaps, wanted to protect those trees, which were now almost five feet tall. “I am the engineer responsible for this area. I have no option, please try to understand. You can’t assault us like this for such a silly reason.” The gentleman said. There were some buttons from his shirt broken; probably assaulted by the old man, in order to save his tree family. The old man retreated, leaving behind us all on the road, to some unknown location across the rocky plateau.
The bus revved to life. Sometimes we meet situations that are so complicated that we even forget to live them. whatever we thought to be the pivotal elements of life, money, facilities, status, all gone into dust, with the single gesture of immense kindness from that old man; kindness that extends from a blood filled human heart to a life form that has immense differences from the race cutting them down.