Tribhuwan N. Bhan

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Man Versus Animal And Nature

By Tribhuwan N. Bhan

Last-night I had a dream in which I walked along the periphery of Powai lake. Suddenly I realized that someone was pulling at my trousers, thus not allowing me walk any further. I turned round to see who the intruder was. I noticed it was a lioness, pulling at my trousers with her fangs. As I looked at her, I noticed tears in her eyes and her right paw raised as if to greet me. It took me quite some time to disentangle my trousers from her fangs. Then, I heard some voice from above directing me to follow the wild animal fearlessly as she had a special message, not only for me but for the entire mankind. 

I followed the lioness as my pet dog Caesar used to follow me decades ago, when I was at Srinagar. Reaching a lofty high-rise building, the lioness stopped to check whether I was following her or not. Walking further near the huge iron gate of this twenty storeyed building, the lioness sat on the ground. Again the same way voice from the skies above said in a resounding tone, "The piece of land on which this concrete monster is built was once the abode of this lioness.

She lived her along with her four cubs in utmost peace and harmony with the surroundings of all types. But the heartless and unscrupulous builders and promoters intruded into her home broke it apart and shattered her dreams and hopes. Man has thus committed an aggression which is an unforgivable sin".

Seeing this and hearing the celestial voice from above, I felt ashamed of myself as being one of the species of man, whose greed is limitless. Some decades ago people would go for picnic to Powai lake. Those were the day when man and animal lived in absolute peace and harmony. Picnickers would sometimes see lions and leopards crossing the roads without harming or attacking anyone. But things have changed since then. A luscious green jungle has disappeared and in its place has come up a concrete jungle. Suddenly the star-studded sky was overcast with dark clouds and it became pitch dark. There was a blinding lightning followed by deafening thunder. The lightning was right across the black sky, as if it would part the sky into two. This awe-inspiring scene was similar to the breath-taking one, when the red sea breaks into two, allowing Moses the Hebrew prophet and Israelites to escape from Egypt. When the Lightning and thunder subsided to a certain extent, I heard the same voice again prophesying, “Huge tidal waves several meters high will rise from the sea swallowing all the high-rise structures built on the reclaimed land, which will disappear as the waves recede”. With this loud voice in my dream, I found myself sweating, as I had never experienced such a dream sequence ever before.

Man has to realise that nature is all powerful. Without understanding this, man is continuing to intrude into domains which are not his. The exploding of spaceship Challenger seconds after its launch in January 1986, the bursting into flames of Columbia on re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere inFebruary 2003, put a blot on NASA’s space programmes and shook its very foundation. Still man has not learnt a lesson from these tragedies. It is high time we realize that it is better we set things right on the surface of this planet, than to pillage the heavens above. The colossal amount that is spent on various space programmes should be utilized for removing poverty, disease and to provide life’s basic amenities to the poor and helpless. NASA’s mission is "to improve life here, extend life there and to follow life beyond".

First comes first "improve life here", then think of the rest. A dreamer turns to fiction, which rolls out myths. Some of these eventually become reality which at times are stranger than fiction. Thereby hands a tale!

Source: Milchar

  

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