21 days ago

Looking for small bliss all around


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Rabindranath lamented the inability to venture a couple of steps out of home and see from close quarters a dew drop on an ear of paddy. Although there is no dearth of enthusiasm in embarking on journeys across countries to see far off mountain ranges and seas, few people feel the urge to discover the joy and bliss in the luminous dew drop that hangs from a corn tip.

Indeed, it is in human nature to stay indifferent to the precious little gifts close by. People look far beyond for grand and imposing natural and man-made wonders. In search of thrill, romance and entertainment, they often miss the wood for the trees. Rabindranath asked such adventurers to pause and discover bliss in small marvels.

At a time when automation, robots and artificial intelligence (AI) are almost on a rampage, can the poet's appeal to the soft corner of hearts make any impact? The world is convulsing courtesy of human misdeeds and the most rational animal on the planet is yet to get back to his senses. It is this super animal that alone has brought about phenomenal changes in the natural order of this known world fostering life. His genius has come up with amazing inventions mostly for living more and more comfortably. But there is a limit to comfort. Comfort has given in to unlimited luxury and the Earth had to pay for this in various ways.

It had to bleed from within to supply fuels, minerals and precious materials for feeding industries, communications, high fashion and even the most vicious weaponry system that can destroy the planet many times over. It is a civilisation with many contradictions. If machines and gadgets have made many of the manual tasks easier to perform, the crazy invention called smartphone has diverted human minds to undesirable channels. The young generation, in particular with hardly any exception, has become dissociated from the natural world. Even a large section of adult and elderly people are honed in on social sites. For some it has become a pastime for others an addiction.

It is a kind of dissociation that sets aside man from Nature with no concern for the consequences of his action. Their world revolves around the virtual world. The world of flora and fauna have no appeal for them. Unaware they also get brutalised like the poor and abandoned street children who have to fend for themselves without knowing the love and care of parents.

In a way, the majority of today's generation in the face of atrocious discriminations lose the insight to find mirth and happiness in the gifts of Nature unfolding before their eyes. The shoots of grass and buds on a bough that first tentatively peep through and then gradually assume their unique shape, size and look cannot attract their attention. Similarly, the smallest of birds that dance on the branches of rooftop plants, the kites and eagles that float high in the sky and at times two of them putting up an aerial acrobatic show or the parrots whizzing past overhead to perch on a tree or the flocks of pigeon, the most sprightly and energetic of all birds, fly past swerving and displaying calisthenics of unparallel agility and dexterity have no appeal for them.

Indeed, like colour blind, people are increasingly becoming blind of natural sight although their eyes have no vision problem. Mechanical and robotic advantages are there but they have been robbed of the mental power for appreciation of beauty and aesthetics all around. In this concrete jungle of Dhaka, there is not much to see because the structures are impervious and discouraging to develop appreciation for the myriad blessings Nature presents before appreciative minds.

Yet the city is not totally devoid of some precious gifts. One has to be a little mindful to discover those. Right now the radiant luxuriant blossoms of Krisnachura and Radhachura under the scorching sun are indeed a sight to behold! If one passes by the Hatirjeel area, the red and yellow exuberance on these trees close by the flyover can make one's heart dance in joy. So plentiful are the flowers in their dazzling colours that they are sure to captivate both eyes and mind.

There are other flowers like Sonals which are in fact showers of gold on show. Jarul flowers, also found at this time, display a splash of violet and white. If these flowers cannot hold attention of people, it is their fault. It shows that the minds have been mortgaged to the devil of high performing devices and gadgets.


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