A story and outreach.

By AGNISH KUMAR DAS(First Prize Winner at the Nature's Eye Blog Writing Contest)

Wildlife in its essence is contradictory. The antithetical nature of wildlife could be realized

through the fact that philosophically, it at the same time exhibits varying degrees of abstraction

and tangibility, and functionally, it is microcosmic but in constant symphony with the

macrocosm. Hence, anyone dealing with this dialectical term in varying forms and degrees is

asked a question by one who is uninitiated to its intricacy. The question is: Why do we do what

we do?

Wildlife and the understanding and feeling of it lies in the ability to appreciate imperceptible,

subtle nuances in Nature's behavior with you. And once you can perceive Nature to be your

Coleridge, the forest to be the palace at Xanadu, the interactions between the species to be Kubla

Khan, and all this to be a fantastic dream, maybe, Nature will allow you to understand her meter

and rhyming pattern.

However, the previous paragraph is exactly the reason why the questioner is alienated at the

answer, almost always without exception. So, here is my rather amateurish take on how to deal

with it. Let me tell you a story. A couple of years back, two of my friends and I were taking part

in a yearly activity which involved counting the number of bird species in the forest area which

existed adjacent to where we resided. While we thought, in a metaphor from farming, that the

rain clouds would shine on us, the day as it went along slowly revealed itself to be a desert which

was devoid of any oasis. There was no bird activity. Evening slowly started to set in like a

faraway light of respite on the roadside for a debilitated soul on a pilgrimage. We were returning

back, and then suddenly, we felt something move within the bushes at a distance as if a sniper

was just blowing his cover. A deer appeared. The mirage was seen, the oasis was found, and all

the pain that physically radiated from the muscles to the tendons to the bones, obliterated.

So, imagine four decades from now, when I’ll have a grandchild on my lap, and the child’s eyes

would express itself as the greatest exemplar of awe, I’d have a story to make the child smile.

Maybe, next time, when someone asks us the question, we could leave out the jargon and allow

them to embrace a story. Truth be told, who doesn’t like a story ?

- Agnish Kumar Das (agnishzzdas@gmail.com)

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