We just moved to a new office and through the 2m/2m glass window on my right on the third floor of the building, I see nature, civilization, how they coexist and how short lived this co-existence seems when you can also see the atrocities civilization commits on nature…
I can see the black Bagmati river polluted perpetually by the garbage and the gutters of the inhabitants of Patan and Kathmandu (twin cities like my hometown Hyderabad and Secunderabad separated by a river). Carrying plastic bags of different colours, hundreds of them, the holy river seems to be trying to take them away to a place where they would magically disappear… I see on the left bank – the Patan side of the river, the garbage dump of the city, some men, women and children dig through the thrash for plastic bags, glass and plastic bottles and cartons to sell and earn their daily meal… On the right bank across the river on the Kathmandu side, I see a temple and in front of the temple facing the river is one of the many ghats of Kathmandu where Hindus cremate their near and dears.. I see a man/woman wrapped in white and saffron lying on one of the steps leading to the river, family and friends wash his/her feet and place flowers on his/her forehead while his/her pyre is being prepared by an old man in a dhoti… I see eagles, maybe a hundred sitting on the electric wires that run across the river from one pole to another, on the left bank they are seated, amidst the garbage and the children picking plastic, waiting for their prey burning on the other side.
My vision is disturbed by a 4 wheel drive marked UN, passing on the road on the left bank, followed by a truck carrying Maoists screaming slogans and waving their red flags certainly going to Singh Durbar where the action usually happens… When I get a view of the right bank again, I see a small whirlwind forming carrying plastic covers, paper, dry leaves, flowers and dust, twirling slowly towards the river upwards as though carrying the souls of the people cremated in the ghats up to the skies… I see two women covering their faces walking, carrying their babies tied to their backs with a shawl… I see the whirlwind moving towards Kalopul and disappear suddenly, all the dust and garbage it was carrying fall flat as though by some sudden force…I had not noticed Kalopul jammed with pick-ups, tempos, taxis, bikes, cycles and panicked cows, as I saw it I heard the screaming of the horns and the sound of the motors that my ears had been deaf to till that moment.
Fed up I look over to the right and take a deep breath as I see the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas spreading over 180 degrees and looking down upon us miserable humans who have let Mother Earth rot. The mountains bring me peace, they make me feel calm, don’t the Gods live up there?!?! When in winters I can see the mountains, though hazy through the city’s pollution, I feel reassured, like they are protecting us, the mighty mountains, surely they can engulf all our sins and restore Mother Nature to her original state! The holy Himalayas!! Protect us!!