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Sep 15, 2010

Letter To An Editor

The trees lining the Boulevard road.

    Last year the Boulevard road became notoriously famous in Mysore.As the name suggests its a beautiful road lined with monumental trees planted by the king of mysore during the age of  imperialism in the city.The trees which are naturally divine heightened their beauty with their royal age.But as is the usual attitude of humans they just cant let go of an opportunity to kill natural beauty in the name of development!This precisely was the issue debated by thousands in the city and I was one among them.
   The case was highlighted when a drunk driver cruising on this road at inexcuseable speeds crashed against one of these trees and died,killing with him rest of the passengers.And people who professed the idea of  doing good to the society came up with a plan.They concluded that in this case the trees posed as a tremendous danger to citizens and hence the easiest and the smartest solution was to chop these 'murderous' tress off!But the influence or rather the consequence of alcohol consumption was totally ignored!!!
   There were a series of  articles by the general public published in a local newspaper supporting and appreciating this idea of cutting the trees in order to widen the roads.To my bewilderment even the editor wrote paragraphs over paragraphs justifying this decision which eventually turned into condemnation of the state government which was on the verge of pronouncing that the tress not be cut.Everyday the paper had opinions of those including the editor who thought that cutting of about 330 trees aged over a century was the only way out!
   I am an environment lover.Which meant that I most certainly disagreed with all these opinions.I am not against development or doing good for the society,but cutting of so many trees when there was a more practical way out seemed unreasonable to me.Re-routing the traffic to another highway already existing close-by and already wide enough was an idea that I supported.But the editor seemed to have turned a blind eye towards this suggestion by other environmentalists and experts in the city.And in hopes of opening his eye I wrote a letter to the editor which goes like this........
    I am very happy to note that you are so concerned about the well being of the citizens of mysore and hence are supporting the cutting of the trees on the boulevard road.Its not very often that you find such concerned and aware human beings these days...but I really wish you had cared enough to investigate both sides of the story.or rather just used ur common sense!!!
    we humans have never been able to survive without the elements of nature.and I highly doubt we have the power to do so even now.The plight of the farmers due to the dried up rivers and dams should be enough to prove my point!Atleast the frequent power cuts should help!If you read around a little bit you would find that the GLOBAL WARMING  is the cause for all this!And if you read further(if u care to) you would find that the CUTTING OF TREES is the cause for global warming.Its really hard for me to digest the fact that an educated person like you,is being so blind and ignorant.
    You are of the belief that the widening of the road will save a couple of lives.But the experts all arond the world will tell you that to save a couple of lives you are risking the lives of the people of the whole world...maybe you hav not seen people suffering from cancer and asthma.I have! it sure is not a pretty sight.wondering why I mentioned it?You cut trees and these are the consequences you face!In the past two decades the life expectancy of humans decreased rapidly from 80 to 60!!!!an eye opener?It is reducing still further....
    These facts are not pretty but its the reality.Life is not as simple as just chopping off your problems.There is a complicated and balanced cycle maintained everywhere.You chop off one element and the one to suffer ultimately is YOU!the world will heal itself over centuries but it is us humans who have to suffer!
    All I ask from you is before you think of cutting these trees please see the faces of all the kids around you.A dried up, starving and famine-struck world is what you want to leave behind?or give them what your forefathers gave you the oppotunity to enjoy.
    hope I have had a positive effect on your mind....please think about what I have to say.This is not a simple matter so understand the complexities befor jumping to such drastic decisions.
    This is a plea from the truly concerned citizens of mysore.
A view of the boulevard road.
    sincerely ,
  My letter was not published in the paper but the editor(who was obviously enraged!) wrote a full page article indirectly replying in the negative to  my opinions.
  For those curious readers who want to know the final result of this battle,the state govenment ruled that the trees not be cut and the suggested re-routing of the heavy vehicle traffic was implemented.This meant that traffic drastically reduced on the Boulevard road and hence the trees continue to live on even today....smiling in victory or maybe waiting in fear of when people might come back with another reason to end them.... 

Sep 14, 2010

The Animal Side Of Man

     Courtesy,Kindness,Respect,Gratitude;these are only some of the attributes that identify humans from the animals,or so we say.Over the past centuries we as the human species have come to think of ourselves as being different or rather wiser than the rest of the animal kingdom.How many times have we not been questioned by our elders"are you animals to be behaving this way?", therefore illustrating my observation that humans have begun to think of themselves as rather the masters of the world.
      As a person of curiosity I tend to observe people around me and their behaivour.Just the last month I happened to visit Ooty(a hill station in Tamil Nadu) with my family.We decided to hire a taxi and hence a driver also accompanied us.When we were passing through the bandipur forest we were fortunate enough to spot a lone wild Elephant.What a rare sight it is for the people of the 21st century!Our driver in his excitement to show us the animal,stopped the car closest he could to the wild animal.In spite of our presence the wild Elephant remained calm and minded its own business but to my astonishment our human driver began to make loud noises with the car's horn.I guess he expected the elephant would come out in a circus outfit and perform him tricks!It was at that moment that I wondered who really was the animal here - the wild Elephant or our Homo sapien driver?.... 
      Dogs are adored by the human kingdom for their loyalty,love and joviality.Especially their loyal nature fetched them the title ''The Best Friend to Man''.One evening, as was my routine, I took my dog out to play.When I and my pet dog were tussling with each other I got a call from my little sister,who in her early teens just began experiencing the predicaments of the teen life.From her voice I realised she had been through just one such experience and hence called upon her big sister for a little consolation.Her sob story was all about her best friend of  3 years who had gone behind her back and said unpleasant things about her to their other classmates.I understood her emotions completely as I myself had been through the same bitter experience not too many years ago.Just as her detailed explanation of the situation ended she exclaimed ''What a dog she is!".On hearing such a comparison of a back-stabbing best friend to a dog I looked at my little dog and smiled, and I thought to myself "Was calling the best friend a dog, a taunt to her or really a taunt to dogs?"......
      The hard work of a colony of ants,the responsibilities of the alpha male in a pack of wild monkeys,the dependability of a kangaroo mother in the australian outbacks,the perseverance of the penguin parents in the freezing Antarctics,the courage of the Wilder beasts of the African forests;these are only some of the natural characteristics of animals that make me spell-bound.The more animals I learn about,the more they seem human-like to me and the more humans I observe,the more animal-like they seem to me.Petty fights that lead to wars, petty differences that lead to violent discrimination,petty demands that lead to terrorism and petty misunderstandings that lead to man killing man, makes me ask myself are men really wiser than animals?Are men really the masters of the planet?
      I am neither a philosopher nor a scientist hence I wish to make no statements nor state any facts,but i am a mere observer to life.And I only wish to ask, are we humans acting like humans anymore or are we losing our human side?.....