Friday, June 28, 2013

Our Precious Mountains…

Last few days have been terribly humid. The overcast skies refusing to yield and the sun, when it is out, adding to the woes.
But I’ve been trying not to wish for rain, feeling guilty for our comfortable air-conditioned lives, the ease of home-delivered food and daily utilities. Guilty for carrying on with a normal daily life- weekend outings, mid year sales, movies, pizzas deals – and still complaining about a little heat and humidity while a tragedy of apocalyptic scale has overshadowed our country.
The Himalayas – precious, awe-inspiring, challenging, inviting, mesmerizing, soothing- our beloved mountain range is today devastated beyond words.
The first pictures and videos on the morning of 16th June were just
unbelievable – like someone had uploaded or printed glimpses of some ‘End of the world’ Hollywood flick !

It was just over 24 hours when we had returned home from our lovely Himalayan holiday. All the more reason why I was shocked and shaken to the core.



The extent of carnage staring at us is unbelievable. It is like nature burst at the seams one fine day when human atrocities proved too overwhelming. Screaming, shaking with fury, crying with abandon, destroying everything in her path relentlessly….
In a matter of hours hundreds of fancy hotels and summer homes fell like doll houses and were washed away without a trace. Scores of tourists, pilgrims (it is peak of the peak season here!) local villages, birds and animals, precious roads, electric cables disappeared beneath the raging waters of a furious Ganga and her tributaries.
One wishes one could avoid reading, watching the unfolding carnage but then one gets entirely mesmerized by the extent of it all…one is glued. What next? What now?
The words, the pictures…they make you cry, cringe, guilty, helpless…. what have we brought upon ourselves?
The beautiful hills, the peaceful singing rivers…why are they all so angry?
Tales of bravado, supreme sacrifice and relentless courage emerge. So also the shameless, callous face of politicians cashing in….
June of 2013 – a month India can never forget. Thousands homeless, more dead, over a lakh and a half rescued but forever shaken, scores of villages stripped of entire means of livelihood, heroic armed forces men and women defying terrifying weather helping in rescue work and finally many making the supreme sacrifice, mass funerals, entire eco-systems destroyed, uncountable animals, endangered birds and trees washed away and our sensitive border with China now exposed and unreachable.

It is time we wake up, truly and completely out of a slumber we have all sunk into as a nation.
Green norms, animal and eco-system conservation are not just topics of debate at UN forums. There are consequences for flouting these which are vividly evident and how so.
Real estate development, infrastructure and economic reforms can never be excuses for destroying certain things that are truly SACRED.
It is time we all realize that when we throw that plastic cup in the drain, cut down that tree for a parking space or do not repair that leaking tap in the bathroom we are in every way contributing to a carnage like the one that has shaken our nation.
We are all in many ways responsible for the death and devastation that is happening in Uttarakhand. So many families will never find closure, so much is lost which will never be recovered. For those alive, there is the daunting task of rehabilitation…
The world doesn’t just belong to us humans…we are just a small part of it.
When will we accept this?



jabblog said...

Geetu, I feel your pain and distress in every word. Somehow, recovery is achieved and all too soon people resume their usual, careless lives. It's too easy to claim that our small efforts make no difference. We have to believe they will.

Lovable Lily said...

What is happening in this world with all this devastation? The fires, the floods..... We hurt hearing about all this news.

Lily Belle & Muffin

Mariodacat said...

Oh dear friend, how horrible. If it ever did make our national news, I certainly missed it. I had no idea this was happening in your country. My heart goes out to you and to your countrymen!

scotsmad said...

You are so right, every little bit helps--or hurts. As well, we need to enjoy what we have and each day as it comes.

XXXOOO Daisy, bella& Roxy