The Urban Nemophilist

The Urban Nemophilist

If there exists a place on this earth that showcases an endless canvas of greenery, peace and mysticism, it has to be within the wilderness of a forest. 

How would it be if we could replicate the ambience and bring a piece of that forest into our urban living space? 

I grew up in a small town that was nestled amidst green abundance. Our school had dense forests within its vast compound and we would take short strolls in these woods during breaks. Sometimes while playing we will lose our cricket ball in the thick bushes on the edge of the woods. We would then organise a search to look for the missing cricket ball and eventually find it sitting on a patch of moss. 

Our townships were also very green and playing hide and seek behind the hedgerows was quite common. 

I remember, there was a big old Shorea Robusta (Sal) tree that grew so close to our balcony that one could almost touch it. Every year during the pre-monsoon storms strong winds would carry leaves, twigs and winged seeds onto our small balcony converting it into a tiny forest floor. 

There was hardly any distraction in our lives. We seemed to connect very well with everything around us. Most importantly nature. 

There was something about the forests bordering our little town. They changed with the seasons and the smell in the air changed too. The forest, though rooted, seemed to be free and happy. They grew, spread out and claimed every available space they could find to lay their branches and roots.

That was many years ago. Almost seems like another life. 

Today in this digital era of the Internet, social media and AI we lead busy lives and we never seem to have enough time for anything. Things around us are changing rapidly and so are we.

Amidst all the chaos of day-to-day life in the city, if I suddenly come upon a beautiful forest landscape on the way, there are things that spontaneously take up the space in between. Sometimes it is my ringing mobile phone and most often a long list of “things to do” that urges me to move on.

But I always stop briefly to take a whiff of that forest smell and quickly capture the scene in my mind’s eye which I will then recreate in a glass jar and place it on my bedside table some days later. I am an Urban Nemophilist and will always be.

Published 20th August, By The Urban Nemophilist