As kids, all of us loved to draw. To Shakespeare ‘all the world was a stage’, to us it was just a huge empty canvas waiting to be filled in with the bright colours of our imagination. Any piece of paper, be it dad’s important documents or elder sister’s homework or mom’s favourite novel or grandma’s prescription, served our purpose well enough and the reprimands and rebukes could in no way deter us from ruining it for them and creating a masterpiece for ourselves. Looking back though, I realise that despite having the freedom to draw anything imaginable under the sun, almost always we ended up drawing the sun rising from in between the mountains, a tiny house nearby with a red roof and a stream that passes from right in front of it. Why was it? Was it because they were the easiest to draw? Or because it was something that we had seen a lot, maybe in magazines, on television or elsewhere? Or was there some underlying reason or meaning to it that we learnt to overlook as we grew up?

I feel that somewhere deep down it is Mother Nature calling out to us, trying to connect with us. A child remains true to himself and his feelings. He doesn’t have to pretend to be something he is not, he doesn’t have to put up a facade for the approval of others. He expresses what comes to him naturally or from the core of his heart. That makes one wonder if those drawings are not manifestations of the truth that we were always meant to be one with the nature! What went wrong then? Did we forget something that we already knew or did we just choose to ignore it in the process of growing up? Did good education, high paying jobs, a big house, a big car, parties and responsibilities come in the way?  Whatever it might be, there is still need to address the truth staring us right in the face. We have to make time for ourselves, for the hills, the mountains, the rivers, the valleys, the forests, the rocks, the sea. We have to get lost in the wilderness and find ourselves.

Life is not all about the indoors despite man having spent a lot of time perfecting it. In a desperate attempt to bring the outdoors to us, we put up paintings and pictures of places of scenic beauty on our walls, set our wallpaper and screensaver into an image of a breathtakingly beautiful waterfall, decorate our homes and offices with potted plants. But is it really the same as experiencing all those things in person? What can possibly replace the euphoric feeling you get when you are on top of a mountain and the wind is tousling up your hair! What can be better than getting lost somewhere deep in the forest and reconnecting with your roots? What can be more refreshing than taking a dip in a waterfall making its way down from great heights? This doesn’t mean you quit your job, pack up your bags, renounce all worldly pleasures and migrate to the Himalayas. It can be something as simple as going to the park, going to a river nearby or climbing a hillock on the outskirts of your city. Nature is calling out to you. Embrace it, with arms wide open. It will be the best time you ever have!

Let the child who spent most of his childhood drawing hills and mountains get to spend some real time in them. Let him realise his dream of watching the sun rise from in between the mountains. Let him spend a night in the tiny house in the wilderness. Let him have a swim in the stream. So, get up, get moving and get beyond limits!

first painting , born for the mountains