Tuesday, January 31, 2012

of nature and things natural

Well, this time round, I am commited to not write about Cricket. There is too much of it already - I mean not in life - but in this virtual space. What else could it be? Hollywood? I simply havent seen enough movies as someof the peopleI know and do not follow the fraternity off the silverscreen at all. Bollywood? Guess I was a leading Bollywood viewer till mid-late 90s. The sporadic viewing bursts happen but they are mostly on TV. And admittedly, the latest output from the India tinsel town fails to capture my imagination. Tennis or F1 is still sport although I am almost tempted to write an essay on Sebi. Some other day maybe. Cars? May have commented better than few ten years back but I now find myself at mostly the hearing end whenever there is a discussion around those. Any electronic gadgetry and the same thing applies. Politics and culture are catching up but I am still learning from others there. Without much deliberation thus (as if it aint enough already), I would take my pick in Geography and Geology with a little bit of wildlife thrown in. So one may be forgiven to not count this one really as a blog entry, but more of an essay.
Geography is an interesting discipline, well really. How can it not be. It is totally and entirely about the vast and wild world we live in. And it is so in the most sublime manner. Its about things natural and things collective. The meandering rivers that inundate the face of the earth and script the rise of civilizations and now modern cities, the gargantuan mountain ranges that at once seem to mock the relatively tiny human existence and also challenge the human spirit to surmount them, the vastness and mystery of the unforgiving desert, the beauty of the snow capped altitudes and the quietly scenic fjords, the majestic volcanoes which spell the ruin of the nearby life and land with their own, the majestic seas concealing life and treasures in its unexplored bosom and the dark, deep rainforests full of life and vibrance, all
actually exhibit as shared wealth of the community both in the pragmatic and artistic or sentimental sense while still being entirely pristine in their purpose and existence without the least of impurity and perversion of intent in their genesis and existence.
The foremost case can be made of beauty. We really need and eye for a genuine and heartfelt appreciation of the beauty that is concealed and revealed in the mega structures and formations of our world. When the humor may grip us, they have a potential to numb our outwardly senses and engross us in feeling the complete range of emotions that elevate the spirit. It can be so liberating that it is only fleeting. But mostly reproducible. The beauty spoken of here is not just the physical formation but a deeper sense of harmony with the cosmic existence, the serenity it brings and a purpose which is more than anything else just being in a state of existence baring entirely one's natural condition, here that of the terrain or the landmass. Without further deliberation on the intangible, we can just catch hold of such a sight and try to understand if we get a connect of any kind with it.
Then there is the case of significance and practicality. The geography of a place one may argue is the single most important deciding factor in shaping its lifestyle and popular culture. The discipline of human geography is dedicated to such a study. It is not the purpose of this deliberation do delve deeper into the actual accounts of such a correlation - some are common knowledge in any case but some more subtle ones are the ones that mesmerise you. On deeper observation, cannot we decipher that the mild disposition and approach of a person from a place of scenic beauty like a hill can actually be attributed to the wholesomeness it brings to his life. What is more than the harsh realities of everyday survival in the tough and sharp mannerisms of a desert people. True to my fault, I bring in Cricket again. Even the pitches - which gain there nature from the soil they are composed of - of Asia are much milder than those of the rough lands of South Africa and Australia.
Geology begins just where physical Geography ends. It is that much more technical in nature and is more of a experimental science. Since this piece is written keeping in mind the everyday value these disciplines may bring for a person, let us see what Geology holds for us. Geology can tell us the categorization of a rock into sedimentary or igneous and thus the origin of that rock. This is more of an interest to an academic or a construction worker than a layman. But the layman can definitely learn into the basics of this discipline. The various rock faces that are cut into multiple layers across ages in a large Gorge like the "Great Canyon" depict and teach you the various timelines in their life. The volcanic ash, the sparse desert flora with peculiar characteristics, the ice deserts of Antarctica, the vast Limestone deposits, the huge ice sheets and glaciers, the dense rainforest flora and associated wildlife, the Gold or the Diamond mine, the faultlines that run through the seabeds and continents,the Geyers and the Volcanic remnant land or crater lake and the magma flowing out in the sea-bed have all their own unique story to tell. contd..