The Best Things in Life are Free

In pursuit of comforts, we modern beings live in cocoons, mostly disconnected from nature

Hello, Mr. Hornbill


Indian Hornbill - Image by Arvind Patole

Our home overlooks a designated forest, but over the years it had been neglected and abused and greatly denuded. It was a very sad state of affairs.

One of the hallmarks of successful communities is that, they do not wait for the government and others to do for them what they can do for themselves.

Some individuals and groups in the area felt very concerned. Tackling matters head on, they joined hands with all stakeholders and began to work together. Housing societies, government officials, forest department and many individuals pooled their talents, time and resources together to transform the barren forest area, into a thriving natural forest environment.

When people collaborate and work together sincerely towards a goal, results are inevitably positive.
Surprisingly, when we share our labours and energies for achieving something better, fatigue rarely occurs. Purpose fills our mind and body with inexplicable joy and a kinship with others.

In pursuit of comforts, we modern beings live in cocoons, mostly disconnected from nature. Is it any wonder that to just spot a Hornbill perched at the edge of our balcony, it should cause the heart to skip a beat?

The inexplicable joyful emotion and the contemplation that follows can be a spiritual experience, that is not easy to describe.


The growth in the forest and green cover has had many benefits, for us residents and even visitors to the vicinity. Some of the gains include,

There is much less dust in the air and in our homes.

The air feels fresher and more rejuvenating. The climate has become better, the weather cooler, even in summer and one rarely needs to turn on the air conditioning.

Where there is respect and worship for nature no policing and enforcement is necessary. People have almost completely stopped throwing garbage onto the forest land so the environment looks and feels healthier.

The rainwater that used to previously flow away now seeps and collects in underground aquifers, recharging the bore wells. The ground water levels have risen. The bore wells that we had drilled in our our housing society as a standby source to overcome water shortages in summer, now rarely ever run dry.

The noise levels are much lower as the forest absorbs noise and vibrations.

When we are respectful and welcoming, guests will flock to our home and enrich our lives. Butterflies and bees are more common. Sparrows, Mynas, Peacocks, Sunbirds, Parrots, Robins, along with many Squirrels are regular visitors all year long.

The ambience, the chirping of birds and the fluttering of butterflies makes one feel in harmony with oneself and existence.

Its true, the best things in life are free.


Sunbirds visiting my terrace


Peacock at dawn behind our home

Thanks to my friend: Arvind Patole for providing the image of the Indian Hornbill

Gurvinder Singh
October 2019

Gurvinder Singh

Gurvinder Singh is an engineer by education, Industrialist by professional experience. I have travelled and  conducted business both India and abroad (34 countries). 

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