Illustration by Sumbul
Illustration by Sumbul

Dear Mother Earth,

I really hope — against all odds and not neglecting the callousness your inhabitants have shown towards you — that you must be in good spirit, if not in good health. While I must confess that many people have shown parasitic behaviour towards you, taking the benefits you offer while, simultaneously, leaving no stone unturned to harm you, some of your kind-hearted dwellers care for you just like you care for us all. And, I believe that, sooner or later, more people will enter the latter category when they realise the terrible consequences of harming you.

Mother Earth, I presume that you weep each day, you weep over the depleting lush-green forest cover, you weep over the ever-increasing desertification, and you weep over numerous species that once dwelled on your surface, but are now long extinct! However, some stone-hearted people continue to lend a deaf ear to all your hues and cries. They endeavour day and night to replace the carpet of greenery and vegetation with tall chimneys and skyscrapers; they suck the freshwater from your rivers and oceans, and replace it with toxic wastewater.

Amid all these injustices, I do understand that you can do nothing to stop them from battering and shattering you. You see water gushing down slopes washing away the fertile soil, recurrent floods destroying shanty cottages and indiscriminately drowning cattle and innocent people. The canopy of the ozone layer that you once boasted of has now been punctured like rats nibbling a piece of cheese. And while all this happens, you remain a silent, distressed spectator.

However, Mother Earth, stay strong, because every cloud has a silver lining. Many of your sincere inhabitants are working tirelessly to restore your forest cover by reforestation and afforestation. They are so determined that instead of throwing away seeds of the fruits they eat, they plant them. These people try to ensure that the toxic, polluted and waste water doesn’t escape into your water bodies before being purified, and that the chimneys don’t emit obnoxious fumes into the atmosphere. Moreover, the ‘climate change laws’ and ‘climate activism’ have no other purpose other than your safety.

Mother Earth, all these activities may be a drop in the ocean and are certainly too little to reduce the damage that is being done but, as I mentioned before, more people will join hands and campaign to save Mother Earth when they gasp for breath and long for pure, smoke-free air; when they’ll sweat profusely under the scorching sun of the sweltering summers, but find no shade when they’ll walk on a barren, deserted land and find no signs of vegetation; and when they’ll look for water but that water will be undrinkable due to its toxicity!

They will no longer visit spots of natural beauty for recreation because there will be no use for it; those areas will have lost the once mighty trees and lush green grass by then. Many cities would have become like Venice, Italy, by then, but the water in their streets would be flood water derived from the melting of glaciers, and not ordinary seawater!

Till then, Mother Earth, I, on behalf of your inhabitants, apologise for the inconvenience our activities are causing you. Simultaneously, I am optimistic that you’ll continue to take care of us and benefit us just as you have been doing all these years and decades. Looking forward to enjoying the bounties you have in store for us.

Published in Dawn, Young World, April 20th, 2024

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