“Mamma! Look what is this! It jumped on my foot!” said the little boy, eyes wide as can be. His mouth as wide open as his eyes.
“Really?!” I looked on surprised. “Can this be true?!”
“Oh baby! That is just a frog. It jumped to run away as your coming close to it scared it.”, said the mother.
“But mamma…”, went on the conversation, surprising me more and more. An 10 year old from Delhi had never seen a frog! His 32 year old mother didn’t know a toad from a frog!
A classic case of how we have been moving a little farther from nature, with each passing generation.
Come the rains, and we’d gather around tiny waterholes in the park, to see tiny tadpoles swim in there, and took such pride in our achievement, if we could be the one to have the maximum number of tadpoles in out little bottle. Yes, little, empty injection or capsule bottled with a thread tied around its neck. We took turns dipping our bottles and collect tadpoles talking of taking them as pets, until they grew into frog – vibrant green, hopping and stopping at our beck and call. But always letting go of them, when it was time to go home, for we hadn’t the permission to take them home. One instance of the countless close inter-play with nature.
It was a matter of such pride, when the teacher taught the chapter on ‘the life cycle of a frog’, and we could raise our hand to say we had witnessed those tadpoles turn into tiny frogs, and so on…
Can this be said of the kids today? Technology has taken them so far from nature. so much so, that they can’t seem to co-exist with it! I have seen a little girl scared paranoid of butterflies! Can there be a more benign creature around?!
The story doesn’t end there. The generation now (especially in the metros other cities, even towns not far behind!) is so far from nature, boxed in air-conditioned homes, schools and vehicles. They play virtual games, live in virtual world pouring out from televisions and cable TV…A pink panther more believable than a real world!
Is it a surprise then, that they don’t blink an eye if nature is at stake? Where and how do they feel for something they don’t know?! It is either all that is seen on TV, or not seen at all. Period.
That said, I do, as one who has had the privilege of seeing nature from close, take the responsibility for such surprises…and to make things less surprising. We take children from the school nearby, on nature walks. Apart from showing them for real, things they read that day, in their classes. we encourage them to indulge with nature…we sow seeds with them, and have each one adopt a sapling and nurture it; show them how moths camouflage and how some butterflies rub their wings together, while sucking nectar, and so on.
How does this help?”, One may ask. Well, if they can be fascinated by such wonders of nature and to love nature, they will feel for it, and learn to let it be…let it live and take its own course. They will know one day, that there is no them if there is n nature…that there is no again, when it comes to meddling with the ways of nature’s working…that if there has to be life on earth, they have to remember to press ‘Ctrl+S’ for nature, each tie there is need for it. And that this they can do, by sharing what they learn and multiply the Ctrl+S iterations, until there isn’t need for it anymore.