Blessing in disguise … this is what I hear or read around me. In the midst of not just nationwide but global Covid lockdown, people are happy to see blue skies, hearing the sounds of birds and observing the star laden night skies.
But how did we come to this stage? That these natural phenomena became a rarity and to experience them we have to plan nature vacations, go out of our natural habitat to closer to what naturally used to be.
Earth is a complex structure of flora and fauna, atmospheric and water equilibrium with its own balancing act. And with rapid consumerism, this balance in last few decades has corroded. We have already seen the worst fire in the history of Australia, with massive losses of wildlife; Delhi-NCR had its severest winter in 100 years – it is April, and still very pleasant weather. The yearly cyclones and earthquakes in various parts of the world also bear witness to this ecological imbalance.
The melting icecaps at polars or vanishing rainforests and mangroves with the resulting loss of living species, rising temperatures due to industrialisation as well as eroding of green cover has been well documented by David Attenborough through his various documentaries (available on Netflix, Amazon Prime or BBC) or National Geographic magazines over the years with its stunning photography and hard hitting narrative that should wake us up to this bone chilling truth.
Yes, I hear the cry of Koel, screeching of peacocks and squeaks of squirrels as we work in the kitchen during the day when all we heard earlier was the honking and sounds of traffic well into the midnight. We can see far onto the horizon at towers which were invisible due to smog. Sky is the blue that the poets write about and people are posting their lowest ever pollution readings on social media.
We talk about this blessing in disguise, but will we remember the sounds of birds and clear skies when this Covid lockdown is over and the world slowly limps back to normalcy. Or can the Government, the businesses and the common man will together try to find a new normal that doesn’t stretch the nature’s resources and gives it time to replenish or restore the imbalance that we have caused to it thereby threatening our very own existence. It could be another ice age or another version of bubonic plague or corona virus – we would always be looking over our shoulders if we don’t stop and rethink the way forward – it is no longer about our future generations, it is about us now.