Living in harmony

I was getting more and more excited as we neared Kochi air space & I looked down the window of the air craft. The view below was mind blowing…mountains after mountains all covered with dense forests…rivers appeared as thin lines in between the green…Even when flying over towns, I could see only greenery, with houses in between; very much in contrast to the metros where one can see only concrete jungles & a few trees here or there!

True, I am a malayalee, born and brought up in this green state, but I do not think I have appreciated the ‘God’s own country’ as much as I did now…

Since I was not able to take any pictures from the air, I am posting some pictures around my house..

Photos courtesy: Biplab
Photos courtesy: Biplab

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Much as the consequence of the progress of mankind, industrialization and development, the greenery has shrunk! Men encroached, nature regressed! Or rather the forests around us were forced to regress…

Similar thought occurred to me when we visited Bangalore a few days later. Once called a land of several lakes, now Bangalore has become more a land of tall buildings. To my dismay, I saw even the few small lakes which are still around are full of garbage and waste water from the apartments around them. It was even more saddening to see the dead fishes around the edges of the lake!

Is this progress? Is this how we treat our own land? Living in harmony with nature, do we inhibit progress?

On one side, people clear forests to make space for buildings and on the other side, there are people who try to amalgamate with the sorroundings, without harming the trees! A visit to the ashram of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar , the ‘art of living’ campus in Bangalore was as if an answer to this query.

A view from 'Vishalaskshi Mandapa' in the 'Art of living' campus.
A view from ‘Vishalaskshi Mandapa’ in the ‘Art of living’ campus.

Spread over a vast mountain, this ashram houses a ‘goshala’ which has 300 cows, agricultural land where pure organic products are cultivated, an animal care shelter where one can see rabbits, deers, peacocks, several birds. As our guide told us, there are even two elephants in the forest! This place is a true example of living in harmony with nature..

I resolved to make more effort towards Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’. To lighten the burden on our earth!

Some images which I caught my attention as I browsed through the posts of a friend are given below.

Let me contribute atleast a little!


Cleaning and clearing…

This post is inspired by the status mentioned on my friend / mentor Beloo’s FB page regarding therapeutic effect of cleaning and dusting (“Whoever says he/she would rather have a ‘life’ (whatever that means) than clean and dust hasn’t discovered the therapeutic benefits of cleaning and dusting.”). Beloo, I hope you don’t mind my using your statement as an inspiration and quoting you..

I correlated my experience as I read her status. My house is usually a mess by evening! A soft toy here, a piece of puzzle there! Snack plates, glasses on the table and floor in front of TV! It’s a sore sight and the whole place would appear to be a maze, difficult to negotiate through, unless I start picking up! And the sight alone can make the blood rush to my face. Often I start shouting and order my kids to clean up the mess. But on some days when I am in a lighter mood, I start picking up the stuff. As the room becomes cleaner I  feel my mind also calming down.

There are some days when I would feel clouded within… I would be angry for no reason. And a terrible sadness would engulf me! Nothing helps during these times, nothing I read, no music and not even the TV series I follow! During one such time, I decided to clean my house, thinking it to be better than not doing anything. I started cleaning up one corner of house and then went on to make a whole room spic and span. As I cleared one space after other, I could feel my mind too decluttering. By the end of the day, I was physically tired but mentally and emotionally clear and happy.

Decluttering of the material space around us seems to be directly propotional to the decluttering of our minds! Is it the first step of cleaning our inner selves?