October 21, 2013

The story of a pond...the story of our lives

In the 92-acre Sanjeeviah Park in Hyderabad, this was the only pond. I called it the lotus pond or the duck pond for obvious reasons. Anyone taking a walk down the path along the Hussainsagar side of the park would definitely stop to enjoy the beauty of this pond. When I saw the colours of this pond, I understood what might have inspired artists like Suryaprakash or Milind Naik or Claude Monet. 

I often stopped here, beneath the Kadamb trees, just to sit and not think, just to stare and wonder at how many shades green has, and to experience the serenity and the life in the pond. I watched a pair of coots busy making a nest amidst the grasses of the pond, and was hugely excited to see them with their family of five some weeks later!  

Quiet and serene... 

 ...the lotus pond

A cormorant drying its feathers 

 The greens...

That moment when I wished I could paint...

...and the joy when I spotted the coot family!

Then, rude shock.

In September this year, I saw that the pond had been cordoned off, and seemed like land-reclamation activity. I saw the state of the pond and was horrified. The water level had risen destroying the lotuses and the grasses, and the birds were nowhere to be seen. I asked around and was told that they were going to make a garden in place of the pond. Why?...Why?

This is what it looked like, after the human interference. 

“In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we have been taught.” ― Baba Dioum (Senegalese poet and naturalist)

I have no other words. Just memories of something beautiful.

Did it have to be this way - HMDA?

Photos: Sadhana Ramchander; do use them to help the cause, but credit them to me.

Read this update on this story in November 2014


Suroor said...

I'm sorry about the pond, Sadhana. I guess what a lot of humans just don't get is how important these spaces are--for us and the biosystem in general. For a so-called intelligent species, we're not very bright. Here they cut down a road full of huge trees, which created a canopy of green that used to be lovely to drive through on our way to work. Grrr.

There's a book by George Monbiot on how being in natural surroundings is so important for kids (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/may/24/feral-searching-enchantment-monbiot-review). It's pretty clear that living in concrete jungles affects people on so many levels.

We owe so much to nature but just keep destroying it. We'll either have to realize what we're doing before it's too late or--well, it'll be too late.

Sorry to be so pessimistic, but this kind of thing makes me mad!

Sadhana Ramchander said...

Thanks for your comment and the link, Suroor. Sorry about the trees down your road. That happens a lot here too. You are right. They just don't get it. It is very sad to watch this happen...

Laj said...

I love Sanjeeviah park, what is happening there is hard to digest.