A return to balance

December 2015

By Punya Srivatsava

Can we lead a life that walks lightly on Planet Earth? Can we shrug off the wants that bind us, and find a lifestyle that enables us to lead a rich happy life in harmony with nature? Punya Srivastava offers four inspiring examples of families who have made the curve, and regained Paradise


On a recent vacation in Goa, I happened to stay in Saraya, an eco-stay bed-and-breakfast place with its own organic café and holistic activities-based event calendar. The taste of their organic dishes refuses to leave my mouth – delectable wood-fired pizzas baked in a mud oven and served in a plate made of dried leaves, wholesome pumpkin soup made from home grown squashes, falafel wraps filled with the goodness of organically-made Tahini sauce.

The café nestled cosily amidst patches of green growing herbs and vegetables, and was furnished by stone benches set with bamboo and leaf cutlery. Upturned cane baskets hung down from the roof and decorated with strips of discarded glitter, made beautiful chandeliers. Used wine bottles filled with drinking water obtained from rain water harvesting, were placed elegantly on each table. Living in a mud and tree house with nature for company pumped my blood with a strange vigour. Waking up to naturally filtered cool breeze and bird chirpings, brushing teeth in the company of iridescent butterflies, showering in a baked-mud bathtub – everything about that place made me long for a similar eco-home for myself.

This world that we inhabit is a manifestation of love – that of the Creator towards its creation. A life which has at its core a feeling of love towards all creation and towards the planet that we live on is the only one worth living. When we make conscious as well as conscientious choices towards the welfare of the whole, we pay our gratitude to the Universe for its perennial providence. Nature herself is a matchless example of sustainable living. All her systems, whether it is the way all living matter crumbles into soil over time which then gives rise to life, or how water from the sea is condensed, taken up in the form of clouds, and descends as pure and life giving rain water every year, are miraculous cycles of sustainability that have been going on forever.

Can we also create sustainable life cycles? Can we plant a tree for each that we cut? Can we establish a balance between what we consume and what we produce? In earlier times this was a natural process because our work
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