Dia Mirza – Nurture Nature
Discovering myself through the wonders of nature is possibly the best gift my parents and school could give me.
I was taught that I was just as much a part of nature as it was a part of me. Even the cobras that lived behind our home were never looked at with fear and we coexisted peacefully. Rock climbing, nature trails, birdwatching, sunrise picnics and learning all the remarkable qualities of nature was a very integral part of my formative years. My father (an industrial designer) would refuse to take on a job offered by any industry that was spewing effluents in a river. He never budged on his principles even if we really needed the money. And my mother? She gifted me the moon one birthday. So yes, just as much as this Earth is ours so are the moon and the stars.
As urban dwellers, some of us may not have had the opportunity to discover the wonders of nature. Our fast-paced lives and all the responsibilities they come with most often ensure we don’t find time to spend by ourselves in the open, under the sky, watching tadpoles in a tranquil stream, listening to bird song or the rustling of leaves as the breeze gently lifts our spirit. Many of us find that this magical symphony of nature is a luxury that our busy lives cannot accommodate.
In fact, if you were to observe closely you may find that we are actually living our lives, for the most part, in a box. From the cubicles of our work space, to avenues of entertainment that are largely digital, to that lone game of tennis on a clay court at best. This way of life is a risk to health, a sense of community, spiritual growth, a sense of connection to Mother Earth and most importantly a sense of belonging.
I truly believe that a lot of the damage that we are doing to our environment is because of this disconnect with nature.
It is this very belief that keeps me and fellow nature lovers working doggedly to rebuild a connection between man and nature! A little over two years ago, I decided that I wanted to do more than just raise funds or speak on environmental issues. It was my friend, editor of Sanctuary Asia, Bittu Sahgal who gave me the opportunity to become a part of what has now become one of the most meaningful objectives of my life – saving the tiger.
The gaps between human beings and nature will continue to increase if we don’t encourage ourselves and our children to go out and discover nature. Our response to nature is instinctual and it helps us discover what it means to be human.
Actress, model and producer, Dia Mirza is Sanctuary Asia’s ambassador for the Leave Me Alone campaign and a much-loved supporter of our work. Heavily invested in issues of wildlife conservation, she is one of India’s most effective champions of the tiger.
Author: Dia Mirza, Sanctuary Asia, Vol. XXXV No. 6, June 2015.