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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Greens to Greys

                                   Greens to Greys .........

       It’s been thirteen years since I have been dwelling on this wonderful earth, in this vast continent, in a cultural sub-continent, and a financially rich city-Mumbai. All I have seen is buildings, towers, highways, flyovers, expressways, crowds, vehicles, pollution, constructions, developments, re-developments and the gradually increasing technology(notwithstanding the regular and natural vacations I experience with my parents).
                       Although, living in a metropolitan city has spoiled me no end, I have a close bond with nature. I hear stories from my enthusiastic and adventurous parents about their childhood; sleeping a night with stray dogs, climbing mango, chickoo and peru trees, planting saplings, tilling the soil, running about in open fields, swimming in ponds and lying on rocks throughout the day.
                I’ve also read stories written by Ruskin Bond and am greatly impressed the way he portrays nature, in the most beautiful way, of course, along with his literary skills. I love potting plants. Whenever I begin planting one, nothing can stop me, no rain (this has happened truly!), no thunder, no heat, until I have got the natural essence of the soil to my heart’s content. Watering plants is something I enjoy doing. I pour the water in the soil and then sprinkle the leaves with water, tickling their surfaces.
                Only if I had the power of the Almighty, I would surely bring back those vast green fields, those tranquil environments, those ever-lasting stretches of mango and chickoo trees, those sweet smelling fertile soils, and those short, grassy hills. Oh! How I wish all of that would be the realities of today and not the memories of the past!
                       It is a shame that although man has evolved from nature, very few actually care for Mother Nature. In an attempt to make earth our habitat we are forgetting that we are not the only species. We aren’t even the first species on earth. It’s only that we have two legs to stand on and two shoulders that hold an intelligent and superior brain. No harm in creating, inventing, exploring, but we should remember that we aren’t the only ones. There are other creatures too. There are the bounties of mother- nature. It’s a step that a species, we, have to collectively take.
               We have the option to continue and get our privacy. Privacy. Without trees, flowers, animals, birds. Only then will we realize that we cannot live only on money. Mother earth has been very kind to us and has never caused us anything wrong. And she won’t. Nor will she complain. All she may do is decrease the suffering of the other animals. Although, some of the animals are well treated and taken care of, all aren’t lucky. Some places may still have growth and vegetation, but all don’t. Trees, how many ever they are they are getting nothing but CO, instead of CO2. I hope everyone knows what their cars are releasing (carbon monoxide).
                     Mother earth has an alternative for the oxygen that the trees are giving us. It’s just about the right time. The trees, with their pledge to help mankind in its survival, have suffered over the past hundred years. We cannot go beyond hundred years because any damage before that is irreparable. No possibilities visible. All we can do is slow down. Give back all that we have taken. I feel that there is no sense in taking clean river water and give back dirty gutter water. If gutter water has only organic, non-chemical wastes they can be let back.  
                  Forests are cut for setting up extravagant residences; fields are dug and concreted for building roads; huge hotels are set up over thickets and bushes, thriving of grasshoppers. Where, earlier there were freshwater lakes and clean sparkling flowing rivers, a drain of effluents flow now. Beautiful lush meadows are now the stinking garbage grounds. Butterflies are now a rare site. Colors are a rare site. There are only the blacks and greys and blues of chemicals and pollutants. The colors are seen only in the screeching metals of automobiles and painful advertisement lights. No more do we see the cows under any boughs. I don’t even see a cow nowadays. It may become a novelty to see cows and cats on the roads and streets. Seeing a cat then, would be as unique as seeing an elephant today. And this won’t happen tomorrow. This will take place over a time. Nature takes its time.
                    Imagine a day 100 years from now. The time before IT started. A day when no scrapers were visible and not many automobiles were seen. The air was purer and the water cleaner. With the first rays of the divine sun, my eyes would open. With dreams. Dreams to do nothing. Just slop and loll and lounge. No hurry.
               By an hour after sunrise, I would be out; out in the vast meadows with the harmless cows and sheep grazing, with utmost laziness and a relaxed sense of mind. And me, I would be on a half broken bicycle. Would have had my milk already and would be now off to the river bank. Until afternoon, I would be there.
             Sitting and gazing at the clean sparkling water and the clear sky. I could see a flock of birds, migrating to some place, warmer. I would be glued to the sky and lovely morning scenery just like I am glued to the computer at the moment. I would be unaware that; that water, divine and pure would be stinking and stale, only for the ambition of my species. The clear blue sky would be grey and the air would be choking. The rocks, on which I lazily lounged, would be a hydroelectric power station, 100 years from then. However, I would be unaware, oblivious to the future. And in that na├»ve feeling I would continue my day.
                I would then, just an hour before lunch would hop on to the lowest and thickest branch of a mango tree. The tree would have just got the first crop. I would then bite into a sour, green mango. No harm if I’d fall. I would be carefree. Careless! I knew I would fall on the lush green grass, or a muddy puddle, but not a concreted street. I would again, be oblivious to the fact that that mango tree, a 100 years from then would be just a street lamp, with a billion cars and bikes going to and fro,  underneath it. It wouldn’t bear mangoes. Just a yellow bulb!
                After lunch it would be a busy day. Staring at trees, skies, rivers, birds and lakes takes a long time if one does it accurately. The night would be staring at dark skies. Counting the stars again and again every night and try and calculate the total number of stars. Failing but enjoying.
        But then, this me. This human. So ambitious and determined. I go forward and develop a town. Than a city. Than a metropolitan. I destroyed the very thing that gave me pleasure in my own life. I build skyscrapers, cars. I am developing and progressing, no doubt in that but I forgot my childhood companions. In order to make my life comfortable and happy, I forget the definition of comfort and happiness for me.
               Then, I curse myself for my deeds. Every time I see a street lamp, a concreted road, a stinking garbage ground or a gutter or a damn dam; I curse myself for it. I didn’t realize then, I realize now.
     But what can I do? Break those scrapers and industries and set up rural villages? Shut down the hydroelectric stations and bring rocks? Go clean each river, lake, pond that is being killed by chemicals and effluents by the day? All I can do is regret.
          We can take small steps - one at a time but all together.
Throw away those plastics and replace them with more earthy materials. Let’s not just let water be wasted. Let the rain be harvested and each drop saved. Let’s set up solar stations and roads. The sun doesn’t mind it. The question is, are we ready to do it? Are humans willing to do it rather than a sect, community or country?
Are we willing to spend, to earn.
 To earn the trust back.

                                                                                                        Written By- A Nature Lover

                                                                                                                                      Shahen Pardiwala 

©Shahen Pardiwala. All Rights Reserved.


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