Documentary : Urbanized

Urbanized is a feature-length documentary about the design of cities, which looks at the issues and strategies behind urban design and features some of the world’s foremost architects, planners, policy makers, builders, and thinkers.

Story : “Is it really your home?”

If you have a story or a reason behind your decision on why you choose your profession / career, then you worth it. So do I…

Diary Date: March 15, 1990

I used to this mild darkness of the dusk. Because I have been riding my bicycle on the same streets, since my class 4th. Now I have reached class 7. I know every nook and corner of the entire stretch of 6 kms between my home and my school.

“Why it is so dark today?” I asked myself. I noticed something different that it is getting unusually darker so early. So I increased the speed of my riding. To my bad luck a wheel got punctured. So the rest of the two kms I need to walk. I started walking, pushing my cycle along.

It’s almost dark as night and just hardly a kilometer more to reach my home. I felt something so strange.

“Someone is following me, or I am just imagining” I ignored it as a hallucination of the darkness and increased my walking speed. But my intuition said that something was wrong and I was followed by someone. I turned back to sneak a look to find no one and there was nothing but the bushes either sides of the road. I was scared a bit.

“There comes that Uncle’s tea shop”, I decided to ask that uncle for help. Our family knows him well. There was no one than him in his shop, lit by a hurricane lamp. I walked towards his shop and I kept looking my back for that mystic person who follows me.

He smiled at me and asked “Your cycle got punctured?”.

“Yes, uncle, can you drop me at home?”

“Wait for a minute I am about to close the shop, you sit here”, he directed me to a bench there.

I looked back at the road to confirm that no one follows me now. There was some movement in the bushes.

“Uncle… Look..” as I about to tell him, all in a jiffy that uncle pulled me inside the shop forcibly and closed the wooden door.

We could peep through the door that something jumped out from that bush on to that bench and my escape was so narrow. Soon, we started shouting. People rushed from the nearby streets for help and we could not find anything / anyone. That creature should have disappeared into the bushes again. Since it was dark neither the uncle nor I could identify what the creature was.

That uncle dropped me home safe and people were predicting that the creature should be a monkey searching for some food. That night I could not sleep properly. I thought it could be a devil.

It was chaos everywhere in the next morning, “A cheetah entered the village, stay inside your home till we capture the beast alive or dead, Do not come out until we announce safety” the forest officials announced the warning message.

We live in a small village and it is the most scenic place I have ever seen. Near by are hills and the valley is full of flowers and birds. Once upon a time there used to be a lot of deers and monkeys, but now we do not know where they have disappeared. Rarely a few comes on our way. This Cheetah warning surprised me and everyone.

I asked my father and got to know that our people forgot Cheetahs, which lived a long time before here, when our villages were a part of the jungle out there. Our generation has never seen a free Cheetah before.

Two days passed, the Cheetah was captured and everyone came out of their home to see the beast, which killed a half a dozen of cattle in that two days and attacked four humans. Everyone was telling me that I was lucky that day to escape from this Cheetah.

They dragged that bleeding animal to a vehicle. It was a female, pregnant and her eyes were still open. As I looked directly into her eyes, which asked me“Is it really your home? she closed her eyes for one last time. She died in the same place, which once upon a time was her home! Who knows, she might have played here as a cub with her coalition. (A group of cheetahs)

I walked back home with no answer to the question of her eyes! 

Today March 15, 2000

I am writing the answer to that Cheetah’s Question “It was your home and will be your home, hereafter”. Tomorrow I will be joining as a forest ranger, with the answer.

– Words by Din

Is it your home

This story is a fiction, but based on facts irrespective of our nationalities, deforestation affects all of us and the animals. Urbanization and Deforestation is not a sign of development, but destruction of nature. It is our responsibility to ensure our developments are sustained by nature as well as technology. After all earth is their home too. Just ensure you choose a career which you love at heart and soul, then you are hardly expected to do any injustice to it; so it helps the society as well to have right professionals.

You can read more stories by Din here Words by Din

FOOD : You may read or ignore, your choice. But we Care for you

It’s a wake up call.

You may be eating Italian pasta or sipping Peruvian coffee or Hyderabadi Dum Biryani or much simple fruit salad. Whatever you may eat to live, everything had originated from the roots once deepened into the soils in search of life. That was organized and done as agriculture for our existence. Many of has a little awareness or concern about what happens in agriculture. This is a mild eye opener. Somewhere some farmer decides to quit agriculture when you are reading this now and move on to live in a small town or any urban habitat.

Naveen's p h o t o g r a p h y

Naveen’s p h o t o g r a p h y

This happening is well justified by many factors.

>> A small farmer’s children got a good job and earning well so he need not to do agriculture anymore. The economy of their family got developed.

>> Only rich landlords can afford the expenses of agriculture and small farmers are unable to tackle the increase in the prices of basic commodities of living and agriculture.

>> In many cases farming / agriculture is still wrongly viewed as an uneducated man’s job and for them the paid employment is a prestigious occupation and a valid reason to quit agriculture as the generation practicing ages.

>> Apart from all these reasons one of the major factors is the environmental issues and depletion of resources. This includes both human induced-natural and purely human created environmental problems. We can list water scarcity, soil depletion, global warming, pollution, etc. here.

The point here is not to discuss how to solve the problems faced by agriculture. The question is Will agriculture itself may survive for the next generation as an occupation or it will be remembered as “a human way if cultivating crops in the history books”?

The alarming rate of conversion of agricultural lands to real estates is a major threat. Like reserved forest areas no government has strictly regulated fate of agricultural lands. Because most of the agriculture has been done on Private lands belongs to the farmers, where big landlords retain their property they amassed while the small farmers are easy targets. The small farmers are large in number and hardly have any savings to count on, if nature or river water fails them once. More than two times if they fail to get return on investment they are forced to quit their occupation. The ultimate bail out comes to them is by selling off their little lands. Even if they manage to stay back there lies only a tough and painful recovery ahead. Whatever the crops they reap in one season, the rate they get on sales in not sufficient enough to bail them out of debts.

Even small farmers without any loans also just do their occupation as an act of survival.  The earnings would not suffice their emergency needs, children’s education, a normal lifestyle and a little saving for the future.

All these make it very difficult to  carry on an occupation like agriculture. Practically speaking, if you were from an agricultural or agriculture depended family backdrop, you can feel the intense on these words.

On news or in school or in many documentaries you might have seen agriculture is still the world’s largest occupation. More than the number of engineers or doctors or a software professional, farmers were more in number. But the rate is taking the reverse gear now. The lack of interest in agriculture is fuelled by the attraction towards urban lifestyle. Very few countries worries about their farm lands and are propelling their industrial growth and looking that as the way to improvise their economy.

Of course here and there campaigns, financial support for agriculture / farmers are happening. Even the Indian government has launched a call centre to support farmers over the phone. But if we look at the bigger picture and see it over all the shrinking of agriculture has to be the bitter truth. We cannot conceal it for our satisfaction and tap ourselves everything is fine.

We are putting our entire future generations on a risk of starvation by reducing the farm lands. Japan has no land so they do agriculture on ships, what is the reason for countries like India? We have vast land to put us in the seventh place.

There are connecting links between the food we eat in cities, the farmers working on soils, the shrinking agricultural lands, the government policies towards protecting agricultural lands, increasing suburban real estates, our imaginary glamour on urban life and Air conditioned occupation and our individual social responsibilities.

There is a single common line connecting all these facts. FOOD

We can’t survive by eating artificial and synthetic amino compounds like in sci-fi movies. If we do that stage we would have killed all other species on the earth. Food comes from agriculture. That’s our life line. Hope we can save agriculture.

Explore more possibilities, options, ideas, questions and logics on Complex Perspectives & Life

Words by Din

 Image Courtesy : Naveen Gowtham