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The best things in life are free.

Updated: Oct 10, 2019

Indian Hornbill - Image by Arvind Patole

Our home overlooks a designated forest, but over the years it had been neglected and abused and greatly denuded. It was a very sad state of affairs.

One of the hallmarks of successful communities is that, they do not wait for the government and others to do for them what they can do for themselves.

Some individuals and groups in the area felt very concerned. Tackling matters head on, they joined hands with all stakeholders and began to work together. Housing societies, government forest department and many individuals pooled their talents and resources together to transform the barren forest area, into a thriving natural environment.

When people collaborate and sincerely work together towards a goal, results have to come.

Surprisingly, when we share our labours and energies for achieving something better fatigue rarely occurs. Purpose fills our mind and body with inexplicable joy and a kinship with others.

View from our home of the forest area

In pursuit of comforts, we modern beings live in cocoons, mostly disconnected from nature. Is it any wonder that to just spot a Hornbill perched at the edge of our balcony, it should cause the heart to skip a beat?

The fluttering releases emotions and if not disturbed they lead us to contemplation. These I share with you.

  • There is much less dust in the air and in our homes.

  • The air feels fresher and more rejuvenating. The climate has become better, the weather cooler, even in summer and one rarely needs to turn on the air conditioning.

  • Where there is respect and worship for nature no policing and enforcement is necessary. People have almost completely stopped throwing garbage onto the forest land so the environment looks and feels healthier.

  • The rainwater that used to previously flow away now seeps and collects in underground aquifers, recharging the bore wells. The ground water levels have risen. The bore wells that we had drilled in our our housing society as a standby to overcome water shortages in summer now rarely run dry.

  • The noise levels are much lower as the forest absorbs noise and vibrations.

  • When we are pleasant and welcoming, guests will flock to our home. Butterflies and bees are more visible. In addition to Pigeons, Sparrows and Mynas, Peacocks, [Sunbirds](, Parrots, Robins, along with many [Squirrels](

  • The ambience, the chirping of birds and the fluttering of butterflies casts a cloak of peace and beauty over our lives.

Its true, the best things in life are free.


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