I thirst for a few gulps of water on a bright sunny afternoon. I take my wallet off my jeans and run to the nearest grocery clutching a 10-Rupees note, discomforted with my parched throat. I could feel the water flowing down my throat, as I drank to my satisfaction. Then I chucked the plastic bottle in a bin kept near the store and head to my destination.
As I walked, I reflected on the weather. My mind swayed away to dwell on memory; a memory from childhood that I so vividly remembered. It was a winter morning, sometime in December. My father and I had come out of our house for a walk. There was a sense of freshness in the air. I could recollect how the breeze pampered my skin. I could see droplets formed by mist gleam on the reeds of grass as they reflected sunlight.
I continued walking on the narrow street, laid with round pebbles and was fascinated by a stone that looked like marble. I picked it up and admired the cold, moist stone for a while. Then my dad called out to me, “Son, drop that stone. You’ll get yourself dirty.” So I dropped the stone, went up to my dad and held his fingers with my small fist. We continued walking for a few minutes enjoying the pleasant abode of nature in all its beauty. We passed by a tea garden on an adjacent street and inhaled the freshness of the moist leaves which exhaled oxygen so abundantly into the unpolluted air. Then slowly the sun beamed its rays on us. I could feel mild warmth that made me cosy.
A grey SUV was right behind me, unable to go ahead as I had strayed away from the footpath, towards the road. I looked back and moved quickly onto the footpath. I was back – to reality, to now. The sun’s heat wasn’t mild, but unbearable and scorching. When I inhaled, I could smell the smoke that puffed out from the vehicles’ exhausts. There wasn’t a garden of any kind. Only tall, concrete buildings surrounded me. I pulled out a handkerchief from my pocket to wipe my sweaty and dusty forehead.
I cannot even remotely, ignore the fact of climate change. Yes, the world is moving to achieve something greater. But at what cost? We are more interested in making life more convenient and have forgotten the joys in living it fruitfully. We know that we are harming nature. We reduce our guilt by supporting environment campaigns too. But change will only come if ‘you’ do something and believe that it can be done – not once, not twice but every time you are bothered by it.