Saturday, 31 October 2009
Monday, 26 October 2009
- The lovely cottage in the guardian nook
Hath stirred thee deeply; with its own dear brook,
Its own small pasture, almost its own sky!
But covet not the abode -O do not sigh
As many do, repining while they look;
Intruders who would tear from Nature's book
This precious leaf with harsh impiety:
(Admonition To A Traveller by William Wordsworth)
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
(The World Is Too Much With Us by William Wordsworth)
Wordsworth viewed man as a part of nature and not in opposition to it. He reflected at length on how this relationship could be comprehended: Man appears insignificant in the presence of nature. The towering mountains, lakes and forests appear motionless but they are also alive and vivid, when the clouds move, the lake ripples, the branches sway but still nature is always aloof and incomprehensible. Or is it that it is man who through awe and wonder makes nature come alive?
Wordsworth opposed the construction of a trainline from Kendal to Grasmere (the train till today doesn't come to Grasmere). He wanted the Lake District to become some sort of a National Park, which it eventually did.
For as a man who wrote most of his poetry, in the time of the Industrial Revolution, walking along the lakes in the company of nature he very well understood how man's culture of "getting and spending" would disconnect him from nature, making him lose his sense of wonder and eventually lead to dire consequences. In that sense he was a visionary.
Thursday, 22 October 2009
The air feels crisp as you lift the coat collars and tighten the knot on the scarf around your neck. The sunlight has a quality of gold reserved especially for an autumn day. Brilliant yellow, olive green, orange, rust, red and brown are the dominant shades the trees flamboyantly display.
And the sky is filled with black-headed gulls in their winter plumage overpowering the street sounds with their sharp kek, kek as they meet and greet their cousins who have recently moved south from Europe. The solitary gull that patrolled the canal in summer is now a part of a large pack that goes krreearr and dives at the sight of the smallest morsel tossed by a passer by. The gulls are back.
So, begins a new daily ritual. After clearing the breakfast table you stand with a handful of breadcrumbs and play ‘toss and catch’ with them. Till they hover just outside your balcony, squabbling and swooping even before the tiny piece leaves your fingers. Someday maybe they’ll care to come in and join you for a cuppa.
Thursday, 15 October 2009
So we can choose to make our choices, refuse to accept the responsibility of our actions and ignore everything that brings to notice the consequences of our actions. That is indeed one of the options available to a few of us. Not surprisingly, as a consequence they are largely concentrated in certain parts of the globe.
So while a billion of us are obese, a result of the "English malady" whereby they "have ransack'd all the parts of the Globe to bring together its whole Stock of Materials for Riot, Luxury, and to provoke Excess ... Is it any Wonder, then, that the Diseases which proceed from Idleness and Fulness of Bread, should increase in Proportion...?", a billion of us starve "even though food output per person is as high as it has ever been, which suggests that hunger isn't a problem of production so much as one of distribution."
Can one just dismiss it as a choice they make? They just chose the wrong option didn’t they?
And what about the ? They choose not to let their way of life be destroyed by a mining company. However the real question is do they even have the right to make a choice? And who arbitrates that some choices are more important than the others?
On this blog action day as we debate and discuss climate change maybe we also need to look at the choices we make because for some people in the world the only choice that is left is one between life and death.
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Monday, 5 October 2009
Sunday, 4 October 2009
It can happen at the oddest of places and time. You are crossing the Millennium Bridge contemplating Barceló’s art that you glimpsed at in a book at Tate Modern with your hands pulling up the coat collars in a vain attempt to battle the winds that rush across the Thames. Or you are in a Blue Line bus winding its way through Delhi’s summer traffic flipping the pages cyclostyled from a book on Weber’s essay “Politics as a vocation” contemplating the ‘iron cage’ of rational control with one eye looking out for the men and their usual antics in the buses of Delhi. Or with your chin resting in your cupped palms you stand at the balcony of the apartment in Vasant Kunj or Bandra or London on a wet and cloudy day. And then they pop in from nowhere.