Finally, Ganges took a bath… let’s celebrate and care for Earth

Essays > Health lockdown

The eco-benefits of the current coronavirus lockdown for cleaner, greener and vibrant nature need to be preserved, writes Ma Lavlin (Dr. Lavlin Thadani).

Ganges at Phool Chatti, Rishikesh

A few weeks into corona pandemic and nature is rejoicing in its long neglected, own existence. The sky is blue. Stars are gazing at the all beautiful earth. Once again recognising it. No layers of pollution to block the view. Waters have turned clear. Birds have come alive, replacing the shrill alarm clocks. The unity of nature produces a musical cacophony that can beat any Mozart and Rehman.

Animals, big and small, have begun to reclaim what was originally theirs.

And man in turn, has gone into hiding, having caused shameful damage and destruction! Bravo!

Does one cut the very hand that feeds us? Think.

Gang-raped Earth

Is mankind bereft of basic intelligence? The term, ‘Mother Earth’ sounds so romantic but have we not repeatedly gang-raped it? Chopping trees, destroying mountains, polluting rivers… who are we? Human beings or greedy, blood-thirsty monsters? The only species with gluttony hunger… more is less for most of us.

Our pious river, the Ganges, has finally come alive. It finally got a chance to bathe itself. To clean itself of all the muck ruthlessly thrown into it by us, the so-called civilised species!

Why must we want to spend endless amounts of money on cleaning our otherwise clean, vibrant rivers? Wonder how nature managed to take so much cruelty from us? Finally, the universe conspired to step in and say, ‘Enough is enough!’

Knowing man’s evil mind, it transported an invisible enemy and failed the combined might of the armies, air forces and navies. The virus is not racial or religious by nature, nor does it favour the rich and powerful!

It cannot be bribed. It has no ambition. It is a courier sent from the skies carrying a clear message, ‘Stop in your tracks, man, and wake up before it is too late! Or continue to pay the heavy price you are paying now!’

Overkill suicidal

While I deeply mourn the precious human lives lost, must we continue to chop flourishing forests of lush green trees to cause landslides and further devastation?

In the race to outdo each other, we adorn our homes with the most expensive wood, items of ivory, tiger skin, all at the cost of universe that wants to maintain its delicate balance and protect our planet from dying a slow, poisonous death. Man is essentially a hunter, enjoys a good kill. In the process of overkill, he becomes suicidal.

Mahatma Gandhi was so right when he said, “The earth had enough for everyone’s need but not enough for everyone’s greed!”

I, for one, am very happy for the exhausted mother nature to have got a breather after a long spell and is finally celebrating its own wonderful existence, if not its unparalleled, unique, exotic identity.

Thank God, during the lockdown period, we dare not interfere! No wonder, to remain safe, we have been advised to maintain distance, a clear message to maintain the same distance from all our life givers, be it trees or rivers.

Applaud them without messing around with them. We should be thankful to coronavirus for teaching us the most valuable lesson of respecting nature. Give respect and get respect – that is what our ancestors had taught us. In order to become smart, let us please not outsmart ourselves.

“The earth is beautiful. If you start living its beauty, enjoying its joys with no guilt in your heart, you are in paradise. If you condemn everything, every small joy, if you become a condemner, a poisoner, then the same earth turns into a hell – only for you.”

Quote by Osho from The Book of Wisdom, Ch 11, Q 4

Image of Ganges at Phool Chatti, Rishikesh, by Bhagawati

Dr Lavlin Thadani

Lavlin is a film-maker, dramatist and poet. She lives in New Delhi.

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