Saturday, 30 November 2019

A Simpler World

Aren't kids the cutest? They are curious, full of innocence. They are mischievous, playful. We love them because they remind us about a much simpler time, worry free world. We adults are complex, opinionated, we have baggages. We fight with each other, sometimes for the basic needs such as food, water, shelter and sometimes for money, power, religion. We see the world with a different lens.

Kids don't understand money, power or religion. All they know is to love and to be loved. They teach us to be inquisitive, trusting, to forget and forgive, and to find happiness in the simplest of things.

Animal kids are no different. When the adults fight among each other over food, all this cute baby can see is an opportunity to play with its mother. 

Friday, 29 November 2019

The Last Moments

Life in the jungle for these herbivores isn't easy. There are predators lurking at every corner. A moment's weakness can be the end of life for them. They have to be alert from the first moment of their lives till the last.

This baby Topi wasn't the strongest of all. He looked injured, limping. And in these savannas, there is no place for weakness. A lioness spotted the limping from behind the bushes, far away. This injured kid was her best chance at getting some food for herself and her tiny cubs. So she targeted him, stalked him and killed him.

While this is a natural circle of life, it wasn't easy to see the baby lose his life. This photo was my attempt at remembering him. 

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Building Block of Civilization

Many prosperous cities in the world were built around some steady source of water. Either they are close to sea or they were built in river banks or lake shores. This is not coincidental. These places needed steady source of water because water is an essential resource for sustaining life. These places also flourished more than the others, because water brought more trade, industry and more prosperity.

But humans are smart. Probably a little too much for their own good. We polluted these sources of water, sometimes beyond recovery. We changed the course of these rivers, filled up the lakes to get more land. We didn't realize that by doing so, we are destroying the priceless resource that made us thrive in the first place. The steady source of water was sufficient for the human settlements long back. But with the ever growing human population and shrinking water bodies, we practically invited our days of struggle.

No wonder now many of these cities are facing serious water shortage!!

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

History of our lives

Earth is believed to have formed 4.5 billion years ago. The earliest life form was created some 4.1 billion years ago. It took almost 1 billion years to start oxygenic photosynthesis to form large quantities of oxygen, an atmosphere suitable for other life forms. The first organisms who used oxygen from the atmosphere came along another billion year later. Around 2 billion years ago appeared organisms with complex cell structure. Sexual reproduction started some 1.2 billion years ago expediting the evolution process a little as genetic structure changed with every generation.
The first fossil evidence of creature closer to an animal is 600-700 million years old. Between 500-600 million years more and more invertebrates and some vertebrates started appearing. Life at this stage was predominantly sea life. Gradually came tetrapods, various amphibians and reptiles. Around 250 million years ago came first mammals. Around 85 million years ago primates started evolving. Apes evolved into hominidae around 15 million years ago. The earliest humans, homo habilis didn't appear until only 2 million years ago. Fossils showing evidence of homo sapiens, the modern human species, date back only to 300,000 years. So it took humans more than 4 billion years to evolve since earth was created.
Only 300 thousand years, and we have already caused (or about to cause) extinction for almost a million species. The universe took so long to create with it's different species and their delicate interdependency and here we come along to try to seize it for ourselves. In doing that, we have cause the entire balance to topple up. When I think about it, it feels like we are wiping out history, billions of years of rich evolutionary history.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Away from our culture

Most of us love our culture and we are proud of it, whichever part of the world we come from. But what is culture? Things that we have been doing traditionally? The things that we were taught as kids by our parents? Or practices of our ancestors which are nothing more than faded distant memories any longer?

With generations, our lifestyles have changed. Our ancestors lived a more rural life, closer to nature. It was a relation of respect and mutual benefit. They needed nature to stay alive just as much as the nature needed them. They weren't the controllers of nature, they were part of it, just as much as an animal or a tree or the land we stand on or the air we breathe.

We still breathe that air. The soil is still the ground under our feet. We still need the nature just as much as our ancestors needed it. But still everything is so different. With increased modernization, we have changed. We are still proud of our culture, but perhaps a little too selectively for our own good. May be the promise of convenience has got the better of us.

Monday, 25 November 2019

Convenience or Ignorance?

What is bottled water? I read somewhere that packaged water selling companies don't produce water but they produce plastic bottles. The idea of buying packaged water in a place which has availability of clean drinking water through water filters or clean tap water has gained a momentum.

As we travel, we tend to use plastic water bottle. Same is true sometimes in cities, where people order plastic cans of water rather than buying a water filter or use tap water. We ask for mineral bottled water in restaurants rather than regular to show off our wealth or maybe our hygiene.

But rather than just caring for our personal hygiene only, if we thought of the hygiene of the planet, we wouldn't be so careless about single use plastic.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Don't go by Looks

Many of us are scared of animals. We think all animals are dangerous. Bigger the animals, more dangerous they are. Carnivores are the scariest and big cats are worst of them all. It's better to stay far away from them, otherwise our lives are in danger.

This stereotype couldn't be farther from truth. The biggest human killer (of all animals) in the world, hippos, may seem innocent to most. But they are actually the scariest and most dangerous animal to humans.

Hippos LOVE water. They spend their day, in big groups- in waterholes, river or lakes- body submerged in the water. Only their eyes and sometimes nose is visible above water. After sunset, they come out of water in search of food.

Hippos are strictly herbivores. But they don't like anything to come between them and their water. If someone comes in the way of a hippo, they immediately feel threatened and kill the person. With their gigantic mouth, one bite can be the end most of us. They don't bite to eat us. They do it in self defense. But still, it may be a good idea to forget the stereotypes and avoid being close to a hippo.