Nature, the nurturer

Vandana Gupta

16 May 2018

Vandana on one of her nature trips

Those of you who know me well enough - or even the slightest - would be aware of my raging love affair (a.k.a. borderline obsession) with nature. Right from the time I wrote my first poems as a child, she’s been nothing short of a muse. It wasn’t very long before Keats, Shelley and Wordsworth made their way into my life, and it dawned on me that they too, were her suitors. I had competition, and it didn’t help that I was late to the party by a couple centuries… But none of this would deter me from professing my admiration for her, for I was a New Romantic! (High five, Taylor Swift.)

It isn’t any surprise that nature captivates, mesmerises and inspires awe in us, like no other. Nor is it unusual that it serves as a recurring motif in countless works of art, representing life, change, reinvention, resilience and so much more.

For me, nature has been a great nurturer at a deep, spiritual level. It has taught me to be more 'present', appreciate, ponder, and internalise the positive from all living beings.

A little over a month ago, I came across a very moving quote by Insta poet, Tyler Kent White: “I promise if you keep searching for everything beautiful in this world, you will eventually become it”. It resonated so much with me, that I decided right then - as an exploratory exercise - to start penning down what I cherish the most about my personal experiences, what they taught me, how they made me who I am, and how they hopefully will shape me into a better person for the tomorrows to come.

It almost seemed inadequate to not draw parallels between all of these thoughts, and the glorious natural world around us. Words alone could not do justice to what I wanted to express. A lot was still being left unsaid. So for the very first time, I also take you along this journey through my camera lens.

*Drum rolls* I present to you my new Instagram account :) As you go through it, you will realise - quite literally - that stopping and smelling the flowers has made me more grateful… Not to mention braver, given I do it all, despite pollen allergies! ;)

What role does nature play in your life? I’d love to hear!

Vandana was recently at a special screening of Nat Geo-produced documentary Meet Machli, the World’s Most Famous Tiger that took place at the Culture Lab on World Endangered Species Day.