Arefa Tehsin through her book, The Globetrotters, makes a case for reconnecting with nature
What pains the author’s heart is that we are dirtying the pristine nature with our filth and animals are losing their homes to a point of no return due to our thoughtless ways
Did you know that in the winters, male caribou shed their antlers? Or that Arctic terns often opt to glide rather than flap their wings while migrating, so that they can sleep while gliding? Also, are you aware that a leatherback sea turtle often eats plastic bags, mistaking it for jellyfish and that this is a threat to their kind? All this and a whole lot more information about the greatest migratory animals ever have been weaved into the narrative of Arefa Tehsin‘s latest book The Globetrotters. The book is essentially the story of two naughty bullies, Hudhud and Kilkila. Their mischief earns them a curse and they transform into animals like the blue whale, Arctic tern, caribou and a leatherback turtle in a quest to find answers to all the wrongs in the world. It also talks about the aristocracies of man meted out on the environment and aims to connect both children and adults to nature. “My father always told me that the best way to connect children (and adults) with nature is not through preaching and teaching, but through stories. Stories, like music, have the power to move, to change,” says the author and boy, are we glad that she chose this route to tell this story.
First glimpse: It took the author around two months of research about these animals to write this book
Arefa, who was raised in Rajasthan, has always been in tandem with nature thanks to her wildlife conservationist grandfather and father. She was also appointed the Honorary Wildlife Warden of Udaipur and through the book, she talks about man and his relationship with nature. “The biggest injustice we do to nature is to think that Earth belongs to humans. Every little and big atrocity we do to the planet and its denizens stems from this amusingly egocentric belief,” she believes. What then is the easiest way to sensitise children towards the environment and its wildlife? Tehsin quotes Baba Dioum, a famous Senegalese forestry engineer to answer our question In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught.
So, “Parents with the inclination to take children outdoors, to forests, well-maintained zoos and biological parks where they can see wild animals at close quarters and read interesting books on nature remain a few of the last resorts to reestablish that connect,” advises Tehsin. One of the causes that the author herself is most passionate about is how people don’t understand the real issues of conservation. “This is evident from the way most of us get agitated when any misconduct against a dog or a cat or any domestic animal is mentioned. You don’t see the same compassion as we go about destroying the habitat and lives of wild animals, irrevocably,” she says and suggests that “Let’s provide forested corridors connecting the jungles for migration of animals whose ancient routes have been cruelly cut off by our cities and highways. That perhaps would be a worthy start towards our fight for cruelty against animals.”
She is currently writing the 6th and final novel of Iora, a rainforest-based fantasy series. It is close to her heart and she plans to launch the series once she finishes the concluding part