Sunday, October 05, 2008

Blooming to Beauty

I read Times of India.

One of these days after reading all about serial blasts, terrorism, vote bank politics, nuke deal, a couple of suicides, death of drag racers and some bit about celebrities and all the useless things they do with their lives, I came across this really pleasant article on flowers that gave me another reason to feel proud of Karnataka.

‘From the cradle to the grave, human beings use flowers on all occasions – of celebration or mourning’.
And Namma Karnataka stands first in floriculture in India and accounts for 60-70% of India’s floriculture industry. The cool climate around Bangalore lends itself to floriculture. In Karnataka, there are 18000 hectares under floriculture cultivation. There is also a history of 300 years of floriculture in the state.

Even as I felt proud, for a minute, just for a minute I wondered if this was really needed. Would not people rather grow wheat or rice on the same soil when there is such a shortage of food, instead of growing flowers that will only serve to please the senses and then wither away into dust?

That’s how terrible human mentality is!
Harnessing every resource – from soil to water to cattle to plants to trees to everything – for the sole purpose of catering to man’s needs is an established correct. Using resources in any other way – that does not serve mankind – at once becomes wrongful and even cruel!

The word is utility. In course of time, utility has been associated with necessity, with purpose, usefulness, fruitfulness, worth and with value. Utility dictates what will live and what will perish on the surface of this earth.
Beauty? What is the use of beauty? (Once again the word ‘use’!) Clever men have even created phrases that have brainwashed an entire generation. ‘Beauty is only skin deep’. ‘Beauty is a quality of the exterior’. The meaning of beauty has been reduced to ornamentation that merely pleases the senses and has no greater significance in the affairs of the world.

Utility dictates man to interfere in the lives of all children of this universe. The story of cruelty, ravaging and destruction is known to everyone.
Even when he treats some beings with generosity it is not without an ulterior motive.
All the hens in a poultry farm perhaps pray day and night for the well being of man as they feed on grains to grow big and fat. Until they reach the clutches of the slaughterer.

Horses are fed, taken care of, pampered and spoilt. Until they reach old age. And then they are shot.

Certain weeds receive special attention and nourishing. They are granted accommodation on acres and acres of soil even when so many ‘children of men’ are homeless. These are tobacco and marijuana that are ‘cash’ crops.
As I read about men growing flowers, it’s nice to realize that for a change, man interferes with vegetation to create beauty though the motive still remains the same – profit.

Everything in this world need not justify its existence by proving its usefulness to mankind; whether a lump of soil, or a plant or an animal or an element.
A thing can simply be because it is a child of the universe and it has every right to be.

If you look around you, real beauty and harmony prevail because of those that exist simply for the sake of existing. Mountains, rivers, trees, cuckoos, butterflies, grass, sand and man himself!
All ugliness and violence against nature (of which man is a part) prevail because of all those things that exist solely because of their usefulness to mankind. Cluttered office buildings, air conditioners, lorries with their exhausts and plastic covers.

As Tagore said, ‘The fragmentariness of utility should never forget its subordinate position to the wholesomeness of beauty in the affairs of the world’. There could not be a truer statement in the whole world of metaphysics.

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