The third and final quote in that philosophy book was by Smt. Vandana Shiva. It read ‘In nature’s economy, the currency is not money, it is life’.
Shah: What is the solution then, Sharma Ji?
Sharma: co-existence of different habitats. Understanding the concept of coexistence becomes our prime priority in today’s time. We, humans, being the most influential creature of all living beings in this universe, it is our prime duty to protect the weaker ones, nurture them, provide them with food and home, show compassion, and live in harmony with them. It is our moral duty to make sure they prosper, and consider their well-being, as ours, which is equivalent to the welfare of the entire universe.
Shah: I agree.
Sharma: The good news is, we don’t have to do much to fulfill their needs. Nature is already doing that since the beginning. All we have to do is stop harming nature’s cycle. Sustainable living and such fancy terms are recently coined terms. We all have heard of Ahimsa towards birds, animals, and nature in our respective religions and ideologies we believe in. Since we were kids, being compassionate, sensitive, responsible, and sympathetic towards birds and animals was imbibed in our values and culture. I wonder, where did we go wrong? It still remains a mystery to me.
We, being cultured and educated, have believed that birds, animals, trees, air, and water are for our use, for our comfort. We do not care and have taken them for granted.
Every living being should be treated with equanimity and to respect every other living being is real humanity. Man is interweaved with animals, birds, trees, and nature. Every element of the natural ecosystem and its biodiversity has a fraction of human and element of it is connected with humans.
Saying this, Sharma Ji stopped himself. Both Sharma Ji and Shah Ji looked at each other. There was silence in the air. The rain continued…
There are many legends and folk stories in our Gauraiyā community. It was said that humans in ancient times believed their connection with nature was that of the creator of the universe, the supreme being. They would go to any extent to protect them. To live and let live was their mantra.
At times, looking at Annu didi’s artworks, I would wonder, when did humans need to be told about the use and advantage of the bird population? Cant, they act without finding any profit in any subject? To live is the right of every living being and to protect and preserve them is a basic human value. Annu didi at times focuses on this gap and in her few works bridges that gap on how can natural ecosystem and humans can live in harmony. Her wish for harmony and coexistence is seen or rather can be felt in her works. Her perspective of buildings and nature, pop icons, advertising, and commercial art, leads the viewer’s eyes, to play an interesting game.
On behalf of the members of biodiversity and natural ecosystem, I can say her art is by and for the people, where she represents people’s observation, comments, and remarks in her vision.
In the end, Sharma Ji, Shah Ji, Annu Didi, and I, agree on one thing – Just like white lives, black lives, women’s and children’s lives matter… Every life matters!
I am sure you too think the same way!
Thank you for reading my story.
I am sure you will help me find a Home!
Photos and Text © Chaitya Dhanvi Shah