Well what was the most expensive thing during the second wave of Covid pandemic?

Yes, it was Oxygen and now we know the real meaning of “Oxygen is life.”

I feel for people who lost their lives in this pandemic and I too lost few very close people.

But what I have realised is that mother earth needs to be nurtured too else there can be many other future pandemics and we will be facing it helplessly.

In the planet earth we are fortunate enough that in our atmosphere the oxygen content has remained 21 percent for millions of years. It is a privilege and the day it will fluctuate we will extinct.

So for that we must take responsibility of growing trees and learn to live in harmony with nature.

Today I am going to tell about a person who has inspired me to walk on this path- living amidst nature.

Her name is Narayani. I have known her for decades. She was always a nature lover, quite obsessed with trees and insects. We used to make fun of her. She loved mountains and wanted to do something for small villages in such mountainous regions.

However she was of believe that she must return something to nature who is preserving and nurturing us selflessly.

And man, she did stick to her words. She was a professional working in metro city. But every year she used to donate plants to a school, which was run by a NGO in a small village in Uttarakhand.

But after 2 years she was disappointed that none of her trees could grow. She felt something fishy and upon inquiring she got to know that the kids and management didn’t like the donation of plants. They wanted money, food and dress.

That day she decided she will take matter in her own hands. She worked hard for 5 years, moved to a new apartment, cut out on her expenses and started to save money.

And then she went on hunting for a suitable land. She found almost a barren land, with only one 50 year old tree. She immediately liked the place and purchased it. She made a small house with basic amenities and then started her mission.

She started to plant trees of her choice, but as she herself was not from mountains and was not much aware about the climate and soil, her trees could not sustain the cold temperature and started to die within 6 months.

Though she was disheartened, but didn’t give up. She did her research, spoke with few local farmers and gardeners and then restarted her mission with full vigour.

And members, let me tell you till today she has planted more than 350 plants that varies from small flower plants to big dense trees. I don’t know many names but some of the large number of trees in her compound consists of – Toona (redcedar), Golden Surai, Bamboo, Ficus, mulberry (Morus Alba), orange, litchi, lemon, willow, Araucaria and so many flowers and small herbs and vegetables.

Her husband and son are very supportive of her and I too was inspired.

Therefore, I got some plants of green chillies and brinjal and planted them in my kitchen garden and it feels amazing to pluck fresh veggies and cook them.

When I met her recently, I asked her how you feel now, she replied, “I feel very delighted about it because I can breathe well and I feel content that I am doing my part for mother earth. Hopefully my child will continue with this legacy”.

Why I chose to share her story is because I want each one of us to repay our debt, in the smallest way possible, to Mother Nature and pass on this to our future generation too.

Even if one person gets inspired to plant one tree after this post, Narayani’s purpose will be served.

Thanks for reading.

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Shalini Pandey

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