Screenshot 20190510 232532

Pavi Thangaraj



Message from Writer

The world is small, papers are limited, and my hands even smaller. However, words remain forever. Being an amateur young writer, using words as a sword to transform the world for the better. For the saying goes, a pen is mightier than a sword.

The Planet Fallen Between the Cracks - A call for salvage

May 5, 2019

34°c, 36°c, 39°c, 41°c, 43° phone’s weather  notifications are always on the increase. Summer has not yet descended, but the heat and humidity have escalated. My textbooks say leaves wither only in autumn, but my eyes see leaves dry and fall off earlier on. Heat waves are frying all the micros and macros. Farmers are even scared to ask for rains, because it is either drought or floods; either dying of thirst or destruction by tsunami. With pathogen-carrying vectors proliferating, hospitals are reaping. Zooming cars and large factories spouting smoke have made folk cover their beautiful faces with long green masks. Was the world always like this? Is this evolution or elimination?
My home, the incredible India, is a country filled with culture, tradition, colors, festivals and happiness. A country with lush green plains and dry deserts, resourceful plateaus and high-snowy mountains and a variety of flora and fauna. That’s the ideal photo in the frame, clicked a long time ago. Contemporary human lifestyle has changed this scene a lot. Is this for the good or the worse? Is this transient or permanent?

With roots in the rural area, family values have always taught me the importance of the nature. My first footprints were made on the green meadows, where I have fallen many a times, trying to catch lovely butterflies. I lost count of the number of hours I spent lying on the grassland, face buried among the vibrant and fragrant flowers. I had once been to my village for a festival. Seeing the exquisite festivities and rituals, the tinier me, sitting on my grandmother’s lap, asked her why we celebrated the harvest of crops. She smiled gently and said, “We use minerals and water from the soil and the sun’s energy, throughout the year, for growing the crops. When our efforts have borne fruit, it is very important to thank the nature and also give time to replenish herself. Remember child, the whole universe depends on balance. When you take something from the Earth, you should try and give maximum back. If one side of this balance is disrupted, consequences are often unbearable.” Though her serious words didn’t make much sense to me that day, they had been sculpted into my heart.
Stereotype says that rural folks are illiterate and uncivilized and hence “harm” the society out of ignorance. Do we, as literates then, live up to the expectations?
I soon became the urban worker bee who kept buzzing about, with no time to contemplate and reflect. Urban life is like an intoxicant; once one gets used to it, there’s no turning back.  So many years passed away in following this leading-edge trend and a single prick brought me down to earth. I still remember the huge cloud-cover overhead that day, unlike the previously bright and hot weather. I was getting ready for the daily run when the sky suddenly twisted and turned and it started raining heavily. The usually rain-scant city now experienced a cyclone break out. Reporters on the TV were ranting on and on about how 40% of the city was completely flooded and submerged because of the heavy and non-stop rain. Bridges broke down and streets couldn’t be used. Rain water stagnated up to 10 m, thus flooding houses. People were desperately trying to get back into their safe havens. Electricity connection was cut out, with no access to shops or food. People had to be rescued using boats.  The rain didn’t cease for about 15 days, the precipitation ranging from 340 mm to 1189 mm. Even after subsiding, the after-effects were difficult to manage. With more than 700 people dead, 1.8 million people displaced and the cosmopolitan’s landmarks destructed, the government had incurred a huge setback. The most implausible factor of all was that this catastrophe was totally due to human ignorance and hence termed “man-made disaster”. With increasing population and higher life standards, comes the need to reclaim maximum land, thus resulting in illegal construction over agricultural land and even rivers and lakes. Improper urban planning with poor drainage system rendered all relief efforts useless. But there was a bigger force behind this calamity, as coined by experts – “Climate Change”. Climate change brings such disasters more frequently. Studies have reported an increase in frequency and intensity of untimely and extreme rainfall, along with erratic monsoons, droughts and floods, during the past 40–50 years, with their attribution to global warming. Scientists reckon that extreme rainfall events will likely increase in frequency by the end of the 21st century.
Though localized, this water-effect was experienced globally, whether as tornadoes or earthquakes or landslides or mega-droughts, etc.
I still relive those daunted days when I was stuck at home, without light or power or food or news or even assurance that I could see the next sunrise. What was the use of all the gadgets and technology which snapped during the hour of need and couldn’t provide any assistance to mankind? What purpose did all our money serve when it was reduced to mere wet paper? What was the use of all those high and mighty buildings which could be easily washed away and not provide shelter during crisis?
Human beings, though the most advanced and complex of the Earth’s diverse species, are the ones lacking acumen. Even animals know to protect their habitats and loved ones from wreck, while dear men with all the science and technology in their pockets are wreaking havoc over our home. Climate change is not something which decided to sprout up one fine day; it has been prevalent and growing over decades, while we do nothing except attend campaigns and international conferences, where talks are not supported by hands. Sea levels are rising, oceans are warming up, lakes are drying up, animals perish due to depleting habitats, glaciers are melting, freshwater is decreasing, unpredictable disasters occur, virus and diseases are spreading and I can no longer enjoy the dancing grass. If not now, then when?
It is highly unlikely that the Earth can withhold this most hazardous experiment of checking how much carbon dioxide our atmosphere can handle.

The task of rescuing a world of 7 billion people can’t be entrusted to a handful. We have always been mining Mother Earth without any payback. Bringing back balance in the ecosystem is imperative. There is a need to make a collective and united effort to stop further degradation as soon as possible, before our consumption leads to us getting consumed.
Hungry, and the trees will serve; thirty, and the seas will water. Is our nonchalance worth cutting them all out?


See History
  • May 5, 2019 - 1:38pm (Now Viewing)

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

1 Comment
  • mrcolinredwards

    I totally agree with you that we're destroying this planet and people are selfish not to care! I do my best to be environmentally considerate! Nice work and feel free to check out a piece written by newcomer, LI XI ZUAN HCI, about how a species of turtle went extinct, and the importance of being environmentally considerate. If you like, you can spread the world about it! Liking your piece!

    5 months ago