Humankind, love and Nature, nowhere in the history of literature anything has been written without encompassing one or more of these subjects. Since the dawn of civilization, nature is nurturing us fulfilling our every need. The cerulean sky, the verdant valleys, the vibrant waterfall, steep mountains, fragrant flowers, and roaring oceans- all these are perfectly concocted producing a coherent canvas. The invisible yet palpable brush of Almighty changes the shades every day only to make it more beaming and fulgent.
With the advent of civilization, we have acquired several techniques making our life comfortable. We have changed the face of the earth; we can now re-paint the canvas created by Him. We can re-create Nature!
But do we care for her? Do we ever think how much pain we are causing to her when we mercilessly felled the trees in the name of development? We are an inseparable part of Earth; if she thrives and flourishes, so will us. It’s time to stop the cacophony of the concrete and, listen to the melodies of our eternal nurturer, Mother earth.
This is what Nihar Pradhan tries to remind us in his book Voice of Nature. The book is an awakening call for all of us. The protagonist here, Haiku (I especially loved the name and no points for guessing why) a little kid who visits the Nandankanan Zoo located in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, and this journey reveals Nature in a different way to him.
The zoo lies among the lush green vegetation of the Chandaka forest, along the picturesque Kanjia lake.
Here Haiku meets the tiger Mogli, a rare white specimen, of which the Nandankanan Zoo is famous for, caged and confined, away from his natural habitat and family. The tiger raises his voice to make Haiku realize the pain of being in such a state.
Then there is Bani Uncle, the quintessence of wisdom. The Banyan tree or Bani uncle tells Haiku of the nitty-gritty of Nature, of the life as it sees from above. Kuki, the little bird acts as the messenger in the story as it flies in a jiffy from one place to another, garnering all sorts of information.
All these characters exchange views, analyze and criticize the acts of humans, the way they have toppled the equilibrium of the ecosystem, blocked the natural growth of forests in the name of development and civilization.
Little souls are pure ones, they can understand the melody of a small brook, can listen to the loquacious silence of Nature. So, our Haiku transcends to the world of flora and fauna, understanding every gesture, realizing every word, making himself a conduit to the blockage of miscommunication. He dreams to bring back the once existing harmony between Mother Nature and her children, humans.
The name, Mogli, reminds me of the Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Story by Rudyard Kipling, the long-cherished tale of the eponymous hero of the novel, the jungle boy.
Voice of Nature is not just a children story, it makes us think of our eternal connection with Nature, the penitence we should have for breaking the communication.
The book, I think, brims up the emotion and love for nature and humans. It is equally enjoyable to children and adults.
Quotable Quotes From the Book
The Banyan Tree: Sometimes our process of producing oxygen appears dwarfed in front of the
mammoth magnitude of your egos.
Human lives have no meaning without communication. The constant conversation between the members of human community has been the bedrock of creativity.
Its education, without it your behaviour and your understanding will be no different from animals.
We all perish in the whirlwind of nature’s devastation. Nobody knows or can demystify the mystery of the cycle of life in the ecosystem.