Introduction

This chapter is about a letter from Nehru to Indira Gandhi when he was in Allahabad. Nehru wrote her a series of letters in which he told her the story of how and when the earth was made, how human and animal life began, and how civilizations and societies evolved all over the world.

Summary

The story of the earth

Jawaharlal Nehru explained the lessons from nature and the amount of knowledge one can learn from nature. Before human beings started their life on earth, there were lots of things that happened on the earth. He writes in his letter that he can write very little but whatever he writes will be enough for people to find more interesting than other stories or novels that one may have read.

One reads history but in old times when men didn’t exist surely no books could have been written. One might sit down and imagine everything; it is interesting as one can imagine whatever they want and make the most beautiful fairy tales. But since there were no books written during those days, the rocks and mountains and seas and stars and rivers and deserts and fossils of old animals are there to tell the earth’s early stories. The real way to understand this story is not merely to read about it in other people’s books but go to the great Book of Nature itself.

Every little pebble has its story

One will soon learn how to read the stories from the rocks and mountains. Every little stone that is on the road or mountainside may be a little page in nature’s book and may be able to tell something if only one knew how to read it. One must learn the alphabet of nature before one can read the story of stone and rocks.

If one sees a little round shiny pebble, one will try to figure out how it got round and smooth and shiny without having any corners or rough edges. If one breaks a big rock into small bits, each bit is rough and has corners and rough edges. The pebble will tell its story if one has good eyes to see it and ears to hear it. It tells that long ago it was a bit of rock with plenty of edges and corners and probably it rested on some mountain. Then came the rain and washed it down to the little valley where it found a mountain stream, which pushed it on and on till it reached a little river. Then the little river took it to the big river. All the while it rolled at the bottom of the river and its edges were worn away.

Thus, the rough surface was made smooth and shiny. So, it became the pebble that one sees. Somehow the river left it behind, if the river had carried it on, it would become smaller and smaller till it became the grain of sand. If a pebble can reveal so much how much more could one learn from all the rocks and mountains and many other things that we see around.

Conclusion

This Book of Nature will help us to understand our own history. Although the way Jawaharlal Nehru explained so many topics and discussed them, after reading the book, one may wonder if there was anyone better than Nehru as the first Prime Minister of India. He has a vast knowledge of different things, different people, and different countries. He has a deep understanding of the diversity of India. Also, this book will help one to understand what to teach his son or daughter.