Whenever you will pollute you, I will drown you
I am polluted river Jhelum. I am yesteryears Vyeth or Vitas. Today I will tell you what makes me roar the moment it rains in Kashmir.
I know Srinagarites and the people of the adjoining districts living on my banks must be very unhappy and annoyed with me because they believe I worry them unnecessarily, but it’s not so. You rather provoke me. Your grandparents can well explain you what I used to be and what I am.
Last year I shouted until September that I need dredging but ouch! I was not consoled or comforted. My beauty was getting faded, my pristine water was polluted, fish in me died, my littered banks were encroached, piles of trash were heaped on my brink under bridges in towns, I was found the best option to dump the garbage that comes out from your royal houses, nobody bothered my yelling out but then like a patient on the death bed I bawled in order to make myself heard and created flood fury. Oh, come on don’t be selfish! Reality can not be concealed.
You threw garbage in to me. By cleaning your own houses you made me dirty. I too did the same. I cleaned myself and dirtied your houses. Quite simple, tit for tat. My dear bank dwellers as you sow so shall you reap. Some of you are still to be rehabilitated, some are still washing off the dirt from their houses, much of your property got damaged, your near and dear ones died but then you have not changed.
Post my September fury I thought you’ll never pollute me anymore, take rather pity on me but I realized that you’ve not changed. Still you are littering my bank with trash and unlawfully, filling me with huge amount of filthy garbage producing poisonous chemicals that harm the life of creatures, living inside me. You are pitiless, my bank dwellers!
If you, just for a while, close your eyes and ask yourselves, ‘who is responsible for creating floods and degrading my age old beauty’, the answer will identify you only the culprits. Yes, it’s you who have polluted me till today. No foreigner polluted me. I’ve found them decent. They cherish me as a fond memory. But gosh, you pitiless people only care about your personal hygiene by trashing my banks quite easily.
You don’t realize what harm you are imposing on someone else. You only think about self. You never think about small changes in your habits that could produce big results. See how brazen you have become my dear Kashmiris; you are cutting the same branch on which you are perched on. You throw out garbage into me without caring about what it does to me. But remember, every time you will pollute me, every time I’ll create a flood like situation to haunt you.
You are very unfortunate if you will not change your attitude towards me. In fact, if you don’t wake up from the slumber, the day is not far away when you will find all of you drowning and crying in my muddy waters.
I am sorry, dear Srinagarites. Last Wednesday, June 24, my up-surging again haunted and gave you a sleepless night. But I assure you not to create flood fury provided you stop filling me with garbage, littering and encroaching my banks. Wake up, it is never too late.
(The author teaches at Government Boys’ Middle School, Shangergund, Dandusa, Rafiabad)