Off school – VI: Nature

The two student write-ups in this edition of the series acknowledge and appreciate nature as it heals and nurtures beauty.

Anantinee ‘Jhumpa’ Mishra, a Grade 8 student of Apeejay School, New Delhi, pens her thoughts, with illustrations by her cousin Aadinath Sastry, a Class 4 student of Sai International School, Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

Have you ever sat on your terrace or rooftop or balcony and gazed at the brilliant night sky, the twinkling studs of diamonds which glitter and skitter it? Let’s narrow down the question a bit. Have you ever sat on your terrace or rooftop or balcony and gazed at the brilliant night sky, in any of the Indian metropolitan cities?

Well, if you have, then you are among the lucky few. I, for one, was always waiting for the day-or rather, night-when I will be able to do some stargazing on my own.

Let’s say that New Delhi and stargazing don’t go hand in hand.

In this context, the lockdown has come as a “blessing”. No vehicles or less number of vehicles on the road, means less pollution. Which in turn means gradual clearing up of the sky and unfolding of the night beauties above our heads. You can always get a glimpse of a star here and there for a teeny-tiny moment, but sitting and watching them in their full glory, is something unparalleled.

Just the other day, I was sitting on our porch, toying with the flowers on the verandah. I looked up… and for the first time in years, saw whole lot of stars spread across the sky. And all I could think at that moment, was that I could be forever in this position; legs crossed, the soft lingering fragrance of flowers in my nostrils, their soft petals and buds tickling the underside of my feet, and the soothing glow of the night time beauties illuminating “every single thing” in sight. I could literally picture myself in eternity there.

Flowers. I love them as much as I love stars. There is just something so positive about them, you know? Like, they signify “hope”. And isn’t hope the most powerful emotion out there?

It is, for me.

The flowers are blooming with much more gusto than pre-lockdown times. Like today there are two, and tomorrow there are eight, instead of the usual four. I suppose, I can stare at them for an eternity too.

But, that leads me to another thought. Will this natural abundance be possible without an eternity of sitting at homes, and lockdown and shutdown and curfew and what not?

God, as much as I would like to say yes, deep down I, and probably you as well, know that the answer is a No. A big fat NO.

How can it be possible? I mean, it is not like we care for nature. After all, if we did, we wouldn’t be squabbling away its resources, would we? We wouldn’t be wasting away something that isn’t ours to begin with.

If we check the internet, we can find some hundred thousand articles on how to save nature, and so on. But do we really read them?

I think not.

It is extremely sad that the price of enjoying nature and its bounty, will always be sitting at our homes, all locked up. It saddens me that we need “a Government intervened restriction to curb a pandemic” for taking a good look at nature. This lockdown, I got a reality check. I hope that you get yours too.

Rudra Shikerkar of Grade 9, Pragati Vidayalya High School, Borim, Goa shares his art and nature photography work during lockdown.

In Goa, first we had only 7 cases so we felt that things would be normal in days to come. But within no time there was rise in cases and we again had to be under lockdown. Earlier, we used to look forward to school holidays but now it feels that it’s better to be with friends in school. First few days, I enjoyed watching TV, but soon I got bored of the same repetitive programs, and almost stopped watching TV. Now, I spend most of my time drawing, chalk carving.

I have also tried my hand in photography. In the midst of monsoon, Goa is lush green and in full bloom. Spending time close to nature makes me forget my difficulties. Alas, I cannot step out too far.

Now our online classes have started. Our teachers are putting in lot of efforts. I hope things will change soon and we will be able to attend our normal classes, and spend quality time with our friends.

Other stories in this series:  
Off school – I: MusingsOff school – II: Early yearsOff school – III: Contemplations, Off school – IV: Mommy on, Off school – V: Screen time, Off school – VII: Time to choose

Featured image : Team LV
Story images : Contributors

Standard Disclaimer : The story contributors are responsible for all views and facts provided in their posts. Lockdown Voices and its editorial team is not accountable for the accuracy of the information posted.

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