When Mother Nature wants to talk to Kuvempu

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Does Mother Nature step in and take up the task of protecting her environs when human beings willfully start playing around with it?

I have been thinking about this after a two-metre-long crocodile emerged out of the Kukkarahalli Lake in Mysore on Thursday, shocking early morning strollers and joggers.

After the intervention of the vice-chancellor of the University of Mysore, in whose campus the lake lies, and the director of the zoo, the public were kept at a distance and the crocodile safely reentered the waters of the lake without causing any injury to or being harmed by onlookers.

Is this nature’s own self-protection mechanism at work, I wondered.

Reason: The artistes of the theatre repository, Rangayana, located in the vicinity of the lake, have been preparing to stage Kuvempu’s play Malenadina Madhumagalu, and part of the eight-hour, dusk-to-dawn play was to be enacted on temporary structures to be set up at three locations around the lake.

Sensing disturbance to the ecology at large, and to the flora and fauna—fish, crocodiles, birds, snakes, etc—several people had taken up this matter with the deputy commissioner of Mysore and the VC.

The varsity head who at first had refused to consider the Rangayana request had later acceded provided they followed some guidelines with respect to the safety of animals. The VC had also raised questions with regard to the safety of public who would come to watch the play at night in such surroundings.

As it always happens, when human beings dither, Mother Nature takes up the matter herself, and the crocodile’s appearance, to my mind, is a sure even if scientifically unprovable indication.

Before a crowd could collect and kill the animal (remember last year’s killing of a baby cheetah near Karanji Lake?), the VC alerted the zoo authorities and before any mishap could occur, the crocodile, having proved a point, just slid back to Kukkarahalli Lake.

Now forget the play, even the public will think twice before they jog/ walk around the lake, at least for the time being. Nature’s ways to save other species are really remarkable. If only man can imbibe a bit of that humility and not arrogantly intrude their space?

Photograph: courtesy M.A. Sriram/ The Hindu