To all those who celebrated New year this fortnight..
A few thoughts more to ponder on. On this special occasion of Earth Day.
Ugadi, Telugu New Year and the Tamil New Year all follow each other. Celebrations and merry making mark this joyous occasion, but what do we do for the New Year? Well, get up early, have a bath and then seek the Lord`s blessings. Most of us wear new clothes and celebrate the day by eating specially prepared food and a lot of sweets. It is an occasion to be happy and joyous. Of course we know that we can be happy only if our home is happy, our family is happy, and our peer is happy.
Why do we stop with it? Is there not something more, which the Lord, who created us, has kept us in? We take care of the small home we have built using brick and mortar; and in the process forget the big-dome; the most beautiful mansion the Lord gave us all to live in. Yes, I mean the earth. God gave us a beautiful land with fertile soil having all the mann vasanai (mitti ki kushboo or soil aroma) in it. He gave us crystalline pure water, sweet and cold, to drink and to clean ourselves. He also gave for us the lovely breeze subtle with the aroma of beautiful plants accompanied by an orchestra of lovely notes ranging from the chirrups of crickets to the songs of the birds.
What did we do in return? We dump chemicals in the soil and have already killed it. There is no more aroma in the soil. We flush untreated effluents and sewage into the rivers and have destroyed the purity of water. After 50 years of independence we have to buy water to drink. Visit your relatives or friends at their house and when the host offers you a glass of water.. "Well I don`t feel thirsty", is the ready answer while swallowing saliva at that time to quench your parched throat. A Pepsi or a Coke or the now "not-so-honest" bottled water is however welcome, as you feel it is of dependable quality.
Why are we so indifferent? Why are we ignoring our real home, the earth, in favour of the four walls we call our home? Where are we heading? Will this beautiful planet bear the burden of all these pollutants? The earth has already started giving us sounds and signals. The sounds are well heard in the form of natural calamities like volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, torpedoes, increased temperatures, inconsistent rainfall, ozone hole, etc, etc. Signals are too mild and not audible, and when they boomerang it`s going to be too late and terrible. It is too bleak a picture to be dreamt of. Can we leave our children behind in such a clumsy future? Do we have a right to destroy? It is just another euthanasia.. mercy killing of the earth and with the earth its rich biodiversity and along with that our children and their children.
Yes we must do something from this New Year. What can I do? We will also wage a war and call it WOW! Yes a War On Wastes.
We will use plastic sparingly and judiciously. We will avoid carry bags. We will segregate our garbage at source. We will recycle compostables. We will save on paper. Think about the tree that was cut down to make paper. "Trees are poems that the earth writes on the sky, we fell them down and convert them to paper to record our emptiness" said Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet.
A very Happy and Ecofriendly Earth Day.
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Ismail