I have lived in Uttarakhand since my childhood. Uttarakhand is blessed with plethora of flora and fauna. Birds of all shades and melodies give music to our mountains and plains. Trees of innumerable health benefits as well as fragrances fill this state with a unique aroma. Tourist flock around in our towns round the year, sometime to see snow, othertimes to see trees laden with flowers in Spring or to see their naked beauty in Autumn. We are blessed people. But will we remain blessed forever?
I started birding since March this year. Considering to where I live, I think I started very late. Had I started earlier in my childhood I may have been a much more aware and conscious birder by now. But as they say, better late than never. Being late has its own problems though. Birds make their nests and also rest on trees. Trees like any other natural resource are becoming rare with every passing year. Infrastructure development has come at a huge costs. This has lead to less frequent visits and sighting of birds in urban areas. However I consider myself blessed to have a number of trees around my home. It was these trees on which I sighted almost 80 bird species from my roof.
But alas the fate of these birds and the fate of my roof birding has met a tragic end today. The mighty Sagon trees have been fell down today morning. Nothing illegal there as it was done after taking due permission from the concerned department. The tree was a menace to sunshine inside the houses around, the owner on whose plot the trees were, wants to make a biogas plant there instead, the huge dry leaves of the tree created a ruckus on the fields and roofs. There is no one to shed a single tear for the trees, no one other than these birds and maybe a bird lover like me.
We humans make idols of persons we consider as God based on our scriptures. These Gods have protected us, have given home to us, and thus we respect and idolize them. Today I feel if only animals and birds could make a similar idol for themselves, the idol would be that of a football-sized pimple-laden COVID-19 virus. It was the lockdown owing to coronavirus when these animals celebrated, came out of the hiding, walked on the streets like the free animals and birds that they should be. But every story has its own share of heroes and villains. And we know who is the villain when it is the tale of nature.