Mar 07, 2022 6 min read
The healing power of nature
I joined Gujarat Refinery in 2003 and was allotted a Quarter in the Refinery Township. That was the first time I had a house of my own. It was a great feeling, and with it came a sense of independence and responsibility. The Township was lush green as it had a lot of trees, many of them very old. There were Mango trees, Jamun, Peepal, Eucalyptus, Banyan, Neem, Imli; I can go on and on. These trees were home to Langoors and Peacocks. It was no surprise that the Township was also teeming with birds and had its fair share of other small creatures, i.e. snakes, mongoose, mouse, rats and monitor lizards. It was nothing short of a small sanctuary where all the creatures, we included, were free to roam around in the green surroundings.
The residents also grew a variety of plants and vegetables in their gardens. It is another matter altogether that most of the flowers, fruits and vegetables were claimed by the Langoors, Peacocks and birds. The residents had a tough time saving their chillies, bananas, roses and marigolds. It was exciting to see them develop ingenious ideas to protect their precious plants. However, the little winged fellows were the creatures that had a profound and lasting impact on me and created vibrant memories.
In Gujarat Refinery Township, the mornings were always filled with cries of peacocks and quails. The morning sun would bless the treetops and window sills. The trees used to oscillate to the hum of the gentle breeze. There were jungle Babblers all over the ground rummaging for their morning snacks. The Sun-birds and Fantails added an aura of magic to the pristine mornings. The Crows and Mynahs used to frolic around to the music by Parakeets and Bulbuls. The vast repertoire of calls and equally eclectic mix of gimmicks of rufous Tree-pie could light up even a dull day. The water Hens would move in silence, but the Koels would always be shouting or singing to announce their arrival. The shrill voice of the flock of Ibis would bring in the much-needed melodrama in the otherwise peaceful show. However, the metronomic call of the coppersmith Barbet was soothing enough to offset all these histrionics.
The long calls by Magpie at dusk were ominous. In the evenings, Peacocks would climb the trees and perch themselves on the highest branch for spending the night. The group of red-headed Ibis would often gather at dusk to have a lively discussion on the top of imposing Eucalyptus trees. The flame-back Woodpeckers would impress me with their continuous pecking on the old hollow trees. The Parakeets could be often seen hanging upside down to eat the guavas or ripe mangoes.
It was really invigorating to see the beauty of nature unfolding before my eyes in its full grandeur. Altogether, there were calls and songs to evoke every emotion ranging from joy to agony, from pique to peace. The birds would distract my mind every time I saw them flying high or having fun together. Their lively and friendly behavior forbids anyone to be melancholy. Their peculiar activities would draw me into a different world altogether, which was hitherto unknown to me. I never had the opportunity to observe such a variety of birds from close quarters. I had only known crows and sparrows till then and had paid very little attention to them as well.
We are all so engrossed in our own world that we miss out on many things which are all around but can’t see as we don’t have an eye for them. We immerse ourselves into a vortex of emotions that mostly drain us, but we can’t find a way out. Nature has blessed our lives in many ways that we overlook and fail to appreciate more often than not. The sunrays, the moonshine, the twinkle of stars, the touch of wind, the drop of rain, the sight of trees and plants and the sound of birds and animals; they all have the power to heal us, to alleviate our pain and to promote our mental as well as physical wellbeing.
Everyone is not so fortunate as to be living so close to nature, but all those living in Refinery Townships may benefit from clean and green surroundings. Our Townships are endowed with natural environs and are havens for a variety of flora and fauna. I would always feel thankful to Gujarat Refinery Township for introducing me to an ingenious world filled with colour, music and natural beauty.
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