A Daring Grandpa

Kamal Kanta Dhungel

We live in a digital age where internet and social media have become a part of our life. There is hardly any place that escapes from social media. Rivers, forests, wetlands, cliffs, hills, plains, meadow, desert everything is in its womb.

While I was scrolling across Facebook, I happen to encounter a wetland I had never seen before. then I made a plan to unearth the gems hidden inside it. It could have two fold benefits. Firstly its greenery could give me a pleasant sensation and secondly my vlog could enthrall people to visit the place.

With this in mind, I reached my dream destination. I was entirely submerged in its beauty. The panoramic view of landscape was breathtaking. Really pulchritudinous! Various species of flora and fauna was adding more beauty to this place. The mesmerizing view of aquatic plants and animals enthralled me while I was shooting my vlog.

I was busy exploring the place when there came an old man on crutches, he should be in his eighties, who requested me to take his picture. I took few saps as he had asked. Soon we exchanged our few introductory details. He was Shiva Prasad from a nearby village. He, who had grown up around the wetland, was a frequent visitor to this beautiful place. He also narrated some stories connected to the wetland. He said,” Earlier this wasn’t as beautiful as it is now. People were very scared to visit this place after a boy was found hung on a tree. A rumor spread that the soul of that boy is still circumnavigating around the forest in search of his beloved girlfriend.”

People had stopped visiting the place after hearing the scary story of the boy. Nobody dared to go inside the forest thinking it homicide. It was also known after ‘Haunted Wetland’. Taking advantage of this situation they used to sell terrestrial as well as aquatic products illegally. Once this grandpa dared to visit across the forest and witnessed the malpractices there. The grandpa had to confront with those involved in illegal activities, and thus during a conflict he was stabbed badly in his leg in which he had to lost one of his legs . Thereafter he started running a campaign for its conservation. The youngsters there are also working on his slogan.

Nowadays, local government, villagers and many other national and international donors are jointly working for its protection. Fencing wires, Dustbins, tree plantation programs, restriction in poaching, hunting and wood extraction and rampant grazing among others are the major efforts for its conservation. Now the place has a park, pond boating, forest safari, endangered wild animals, rare plants that enthrall visitors very much. Now, its name has been changed. It is now knows as a ‘Heaven Wetland’. The crowd of visiting this place is increasing every day. They visit here to enjoy with its greenery and peaceful ambience.

A huge respect grew in me after hearing the grandpa. I couldn’t find any word to express this daring struggle of the grandpa for its conservation. Impromptu, I hugged him and said, “You are great grandpa.” I He became emotional and couldn’t say anything. He just put his hand on my head and said,” God bless you my child” and left away. I gazed him until he became off my sight.