by Anuradha S. Bannore
Naina was sitting outside on her verandah. She lived in a house surrounded by a lot of trees that seemed to be reaching the sky. There were very few houses around. Across the road, there was a huge forested area. Various types of birds & animals lived in that forest though hardly anyone ever saw them. It looked amazingly beautiful! The night was a different thing. Everything was cloaked in a black robe. The lights in the houses tore through the pitch darkness dotting it with bright spots here & there adding to the panoramic beauty but at the same time frightening especially with the low & high pitch, melodious & harsh calls of various birds & animals piercing through the silence of the night.
Amidst all this, Naina sat pensively lost in a secret world of her own. Looking around she quietly but excitedly murmured to herself, ‘This picturesque view is a depiction of our life. Oh yes, it definitely is! How could I not see the connection before? God has clearly put forth our life before our very sight, that is, what it is, how it is & what it’s going to be like in a matter of a few years. The medley of sweet & ferocious calls points at the ups & downs in life. Nature can prepare us for all the stages of our life provided we look at it with open eyes & mind. According to me, it’s undoubtedly a fact lying stretched for miles before us in the form of God’s excellent creation!’
She was so very excited by this that she rang up her friend, Binita & said,’Binita, what big fools we humans are!’
Binita was all at sea. She said, ‘Naina, can you please calm down & explain what you are talking about. What makes you think we are fools?
Naina took a deep breath & said, ‘ You see, Binita, we can prepare ourselves for our life & what to expect from it by watching Nature. It will be a great help to face our life as we will be better equipped, so to say figuratively, to know well in advance that life is like the sea waves. At times it will be clear smooth flowing water while at other times it will be turbid & stormy with high waves. There’s no permanent stability in our existence.’
Binita was nonplussed by what she heard & asked, ‘ Naina, my dear friend are you ok?’
Naina said, ‘Yes, why do you ask so? I’m perfectly ok. You see Binita, sitting in my verandah, looking into the darkness of night, it occurred to me that life has a lot of miseries undoubtedly but just as the lights cut through darkness in the same way happiness, beautiful moments pierce through our misery & bring a smile on our face. Along with the scary sounds that we hear in the tranquility of night we also hear melodious calls of various birds and animals which clearly point out to us that neither miserable tragic nor ecstatic moments are permanent. They all are like a passing train with various coaches occupied by umpteen types of people. I hope you understand what I’m trying to say. Nature is an open book of our life.’
Binita was completely confused & said, ‘ I’m very sorry Naina but I just don’t get what you are trying to say. You are really scaring me. Are you trying to turn me mad? I think we better go to the doctor. You sound crazy! Suddenly you seem to be far away from this world. Are you sure all is well with you? Please let me help you. I’ll be with you in a few minutes.’
Naina lost it & said,’ Binita, I’m extremely sorry to have called you. I’m disappointed, I thought you would understand & see for yourself what I’m trying to say. Anyway forget it & go back to your cozy bed. Good night.’
This conversation bothered both of them though for different reasons. Naina was puzzled as to how Binita couldn’t believe in what she (Naina) was saying while Binita prayed to God not to let her dearest friend become insane.
What surprised Binita was when she got up in the morning & sat on her balcony gazing outside while drinking her tea she went over her conversation with Naina & it suddenly dawned on her that whatever she (Naina) had said was in fact the truth. She quickly dashed to ring up Naina & said, ‘Naina dear, I’m extremely sorry for thinking you to be mentally sick. Yes, actually you are absolutely right about Nature is an open book of our life which we have either overlooked or ignored the reality dancing before our very eyes. Thanks for pointing it out to me. I once again apologize for my mistake & hope to be forgiven. Have a wonderful day. Now I’ll enjoy Nature’s beauty with my eyes & mind open because it reflects my life rather than everyone’s. The trees- young & old, with green or yellow leaves, a smooth trunk or a shedding bark each one of them is a reminder of what our life is today & what / how it can be in later years. Bye dear for now. Thanks for opening this door of enlightenment for me.’
About the Author:
Anuradha S. Bannore is a prolific writer and an alumni of Jabalpur University with M.A in English. She retired as a teacher and currently lives in Vadodara India.