When my father told us stories about his childhood he was a bit guilty. He lived in a place where he could enjoy nature at its best. We could never understand why he felt so guilty.

We have only lived in a concrete jungle and hence could not understand his love for nature.

However, I had a life-changing experience when I went on a school sponsored trip to Yelagiri with 43 of my school mates who were selected by the school for excellence in sports and academics.

At the week-long programme, we learnt the nuances of rock climbing and rappelling, river crossing, trekking, bouldering and traverse crossing, tent making. We learnt to identify rare herbal plants, did some bird watching, and understood the importance of environment protection.

We also had sessions in yoga, meditation, personality development and more.

On the last day when I had to bid goodbye to the tribal people I was sad.

When my father came to receive me at the railway station, like a lost-found-child from the fair, I rushed to him and hugged him tight. “But for my school I wouldn't have understood why you feel guilty and what we have lost.