Food, thirst, reproduction and survival are the basic instincts around which this entire world and all its living organisms function. The food chain and the food web help explore and explain the who eats whom gradient. It is extremely interesting for me at Selim Hill to actually see and enjoy the different dining habits of different organisms.
The leopard, the cats, the owls have a way of watching and waiting for their prey. Once in sight, with a brief and explosive strike, they secure their kill with a bite on the prey’s neck. There is no malice, nor guilt. Food has been acquired for nourishment. I may sympathise with the person whose small dog went missing, but deep down we all know it is a way of life.
Some animals like the porcupine and the wild boar love the smaller insects and vegetation that grow below the ground. They go around sniffing and then dig the earth to satiate their hunger. There is no mala fide intent when they dig up my beautiful lawn or garden. Once their dinner is done, they disappear into thin air as if they had never come.
I like to plant flowers that are nectar laden. The relationship between the bees and the flowers, their dance and passion elevate the simple act of eating to an extremely stylish and exotic show and ceremony. However, if your show of flowers is chemical fertilizer and pesticide laden, the bees will simply transfer their ‘buzzziness’ to some other less poisonous place.
Big and small birds feed on the big and small insects that feed on the big and small leaves of my garden. Who is the hunter? Who is the hunted? As I ponder on this question, I realise a leech has attached itself to my leg and is sucking blood. I detach it and kill it. Who is the hero and who the villain?
Often, we vie for the same edible things. The snake in the grass and my family love the eggs laid by the hens while the frisky squirrel samples our strawberries before us. The monkey tribe shares our corn, brinjals, pumpkin, bananas, sweet potatoes….we seem to share the same tastes, I wonder if we are related!
The child is connected to the parent until he/she is the primary source of food. Our world has become a place of great contrasting elements – while our children have forgotten the meaning of hunger, there are some who are always hungry.
The beauty of Dorje Teas, Selim Hill Tea Estate and Second Chance House is that there is always so much food for thought.
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