Monday, April 9, 2018


During a discussion on trekking in Goa, the talk moved to littering by irresponsible visitors at nature spots. Someone mentioned how a child had cuts on the soles of his feet, when they ventured bare-footed into a forest-stream that had broken beer bottles in its bed.

While all agreed with the growing nuisance by insensitive tourists, I asked, ‘why were the children allowed to enter the water body and that too with bare feet?’ Somebody said it was natural to do so. I insisted that it was unnatural and an irresponsible act!

It is natural to be mesmerised by Mother Nature. However it is unnatural to step out of line. Beautiful butterflies are maimed by the ones who want to hold it in their hands. On the other hand, expert swimmers have died trying to save the over enthusiastic persons who walked into seemingly safe water bodies.

Nature is to be appreciated but we cannot take it for granted. We cannot cross the line of nature. So often, so many of us choose the unnatural. We involve in actions that are contrary to the ordinary course of nature. True nature lovers will appreciate the sights and sounds from a distance as they do not want to disturb or encroach.

We find many signs of caution around us… Do not pluck the flowers. Do not feed the animals. Do not touch the paintings. Do not swim in these waters. Do not bathe in the waterfall. Do not litter. Do not disturb. Indeed it is unnatural to ignore the message to not cross the line! In fact, we must heed the caution sign even in its absence!

It is natural to look but unnatural to touch
Respect the line; heed the caution notch!

~ Pravin Sabnis

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