By Mushtaq Hurra
The auditorium was jam-packed and all of a sudden, Dal Lake stood up from its seat asked for the permission to speak its heart out. The permission was granted and Dal lake exclaimed emotionally: “O Ibne-Adam ! Allah (SWT) had descended you as his deputy and his caliph. He (SWT) had made you the crown of all creation. He(SWT) had assigned you with the duty to look after His beautiful resources, endowments, treasures and bounties but you took to plundering and ransacking instead. You had to rule like a generous king but you behaved like a murderer. Allah (SWT) had created every creature for your comfort, and had made them to obey you. You had to live with angelic endowments but you preferred and prioritized demonic endowments. All the creatures and different resources of nature are complaining about your cruelty and barbarism. You have subjected me and other things to different atrocities”.
The Zabarvan mountain range around my waters is witness to your cruelties inflicted upon me and my sisters vis-a-vis the Wular and the Manasbal. The Chinars in my lap are testimony to your callousness and insensitivity. My waters used to be very pure and crystal clear. People would take it home and there was no need to filter or treat it with chemicals. A particular community used to worship my water and consider it sacred. There were no weeds on my bosom. My sweet and transparent water was no lesser than an antidote.
Visitors across the globe were fond of my sparkling water but now sewerage water from your hotels, houseboats and homes has turned my water black and stinking. Hundreds of houseboats on my chest are discharging tons of excreta into my belly. My water has turned poisonous. Polythene bags and different wrappers have caused ulceration in my belly. My fish and lotus stem ( Nadru ) was famous across the world famous its taste, but, alas , the fish are dying( almost reduced to zero), the production of Nadru decreased considerably. The migratory waterfowl hardly dares to visit me during winter.
The stinking waters of mine irritate onlookers and visitors. You have bestowed me with this fetor. People consider my water impure and unhygienic even for cleaning their animals. Your callousness has reduced my area considerably. My body has shrunk. The encroachments around my brims have reduced me to a mere pond. I curse my fate for being your slave. Your patronization has suffocated me. Big buildings around have deprived me of adequate sunshine. Nishat, Shalimar and Chashma-Shahi are mourning my fate.
Your ancestors were illiterate and simple but wise enough to the value of different natural resources. They would never ever use polythene bags. They would never ever throw wrappers and other harmful things into water bodies. They would never encroach around rivers, lakes, ponds and so on. They would never ever drain sewerage water into water resources .They would never turn water bodies into dustbins. No doubt, you stand at the top of the hierarchy of education, big degrees and diplomas bear your name and address, you have set feet on the moon and the Mars, stars move according to your directions, your kingship has conquered the oceans but greed and avarice has extinguished the very important lamp of your brain. Your vision is blurred , you are not able to see your own axe on your own feet. Your education has closed your real eyes. Greed has ignited your demonic endowments, and the Satan is laughing at your buffoonic gestures. You are hell bent to destroy your own existence.
I am neither your enemy nor jealous of your progress rather my bosom expands to see you prospering. I am not against the construction of majestic buildings. But, see, you have treacherously encroached my land and banks which has put me on ventilator. Dismantle these encroachments around my banks so that I can take a sigh of relief, Stop this sewerage water entering my veins and arteries, so that my suffocation will end. Perish these towering buildings around me so that I can enjoy a sufficient sunshine. Stop throwing polythene bags and wrappers into my waters so that I can breathe easily. Make alternate arrangements for houseboat excreta so that my fish and Nadru can live again.
My cousin, the Vitasta is complaining about your il treatment. I saw her crying from Khanabal to Khadanyar. You have enraged her. She has been your jugular vein since your inception. She is your heritage and legacy. You are not treating her well. You have probably forgotten her recent rage of 2014.Excessive sand extraction has weakened her banks. People living around her have been maltreating and exploiting her. They throw their different wastes into her waters. Sewerage water and other excreta has congested its chest.
You have turned your forests barren. Jungle smugglers are making merry. The plundered green gold is cursing you for your indifference. You have become a looter who, sans vision, to see his own home burning. Cedar, pine and other trees are weeping. You can’t escape my revenge. Global warming has snatched your calmness. Heat waves, frequent cloudbursts, floods, scanty rainfalls, erratic snowfalls, early springs and other extreme weather events have caught you very badly. Your own existence is at stake. Your awareness is your hangover. Why don’t you make use of your senses? You can’t be so complacent, O Ibne-Adam?
Kolahai and other glaciers of your state are receding at an alarming rate. You may face a drastic water crisis in the near future. Your intervention has strangulated these mountainous treasures of water. If you won’t take immediate and necessary steps to stop this qualitative and quantitative recession of these glaciers and other water bodies, you may end up barren and thirsty.
Being the custodian of the world’s high quality water resources, you may beg for drops given your insensitivity and callousness. Stop this excessive use of polythene bags and other plastic products, check the exploitation of jungles and take strong measures to curb the menace of deforestation, plant more and more trees, minimize the use of fossil fuels as much as possible, stop making use of excessive chemical fertilizers, pesticides and weedicides in your fields and orchards, make jungles and other eco-sensitive areas free of human intervention, don’t throw garbage and sewerage into water bodies.
If you won’t take my words seriously, then something serious is seriously waiting for you. Your existence is subservient to my advices. Don’t be unserious! I am your mother. My water is running through your veins and arteries. I am anxiously worried about you and your progeny “.
—The writer is a teacher and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org