She used to pluck ripe fruits from her neighbour’s yardmy grandmother tells me. She used to admire tiny butterflies, carelessly drifting through the wind, leaving behind a trail of colour and gentleness. She would wear a petunia behind her ear, which would perfectly compliment her olive skin. She recalls running through the golden wheat farms, her skin glowing in the Sun. She wasn’t afraid to tan.

The green tree seems odd

It looks like a flexible dancer now

Without any hair

Nature never made an effort to treat me the way she treated her. I have never felt the colours of nature as intensely as she did. I have never smelled the tranquillity running through the clear waters. I have never laid on the grass, amid the small clover flowers—the way they do in books. Why? What have I done wrong?

A thought crosses

Like the whoosh of a silent wind

It seems… unjust

“Nature is fighting back”, is what we say. It’s true. Fifty years ago, the air did not feel like bony hands gripping my lungs. The rivers wore a transparent sheet of blue, not the opaque veil of foamy white. The cars were not plenty. Summers felt like summer, not the mercury in a thermometer. Not everything used to be about money. Not all people wanted power. It was simple back then.

The water of pain

Has infiltrated the soil of our hearts

Too many metaphors

Social, environmental, racial, gender, economic, political. You name it—and it’s a problem we’re facing. There is no denying that humans are the root cause of all evil on this planet. It wasn’t supposed to be like that in the first place. This planet was made to nurture a species that would further it, not take it backwards in time. If you think about it, we have reached exactly where we started—as beings who were not smart enough to figure what is wrong, and what is right.  

Dark skies falling

The pond looks like a death river

I am frightened

Is this not, in a sense, injustice? The brutal injustice of man over the planet? The injustice, for which no judiciary can give apt punishment. It is disheartening to know that so many lives—not human, but of tiny plants, humongous trees, graceful animals and beautiful birds—are lost, without much acknowledgement, without much concern. This injustice will have severe consequences (a few of which we are witnessing right now). The Earth will fight back. This, according to me, is not the end.

It is 2020

Our foolishness has crossed the line

Be prepared

Mira Sehgal, Amity International School, Noida

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