ByÂ S. Nivedya:
Paddu was a smart girl. She was a keen listener, a sincere worker and scored well in her academics. Once the entire class wasÂ asked to do an assignment. Paddu picked up neat full scape papers from her stock, wrote her homework and submitted it. A week later, the papers were returned by the teacher who called out each one’s mistakes before handing it back to them. Paddu was expecting a good remark when the teacher went close to her and said-“Next time, I expect you to submit your work written on A4 sheets”.
Pause! Rewind and Replay!
Do you see something wrong here? The teacher seems more concerned about the paper quality than the content.
In the rush for perfection, we sometimes don’t see what we are putting at stake here. Walk into any big institution, company or school and you can see tons of paper going to waste, be it for unsigned assignments tossed into the trash, or the huge margin they demand be drawn on the side of each page to make your work look ‘neat’. What they don’t see along their way to creating the leaders of the nation is that they are reducing the chances of those young leaders to live in a green planet. Drawing a margin occupies one-fifth of a page. So by the time you finish your five page, A+ deserving assignment, you have already put an entire page to waste.
Everyday we see people going over the top to publicize a ‘green’ step to making things better. Pamphlets are distributed, signboards are made, posters are stuck. In the process, hundreds of sheets of paper are going to waste to spread one message-save the earth. Books are printed on how the earth is plundered and environmental subjects are being made compulsory in school curriculum. Is it having an impact? Do we do what we can? The smarter people get, trying to be integrated into the larger system, onto becoming the world leaders or top researchers ignore important things as little as organising their garbage or turning off the tap when not in use.
Countries of the world pride themselves in the number of subways they built or how high their skyscrapers can go into making a new world record. But as I read through these news articles all I can think of is, what are we doing to Mother Earth? Is it worth doing so much if we are making our own home dangerous for us to live in, progress at the cost of our own annihilation?
I live in a very clean neighbourhood. Everyday a lady comes to pick up the garbage that we dispose. It is very important for us to organise our waste into compost and recyclable. If we don’t do so, we will be fined. The system seemed strict at first but later we learnt that it was a good initiative by the government. A few weeks later, the lady stopped coming all the way to our houses, she asked us to leave it at the gate.
Knowing for certain that she will check what we have disposed, people started to slack, putting bottles with kitchen refuse. Any food left outside the gates would be devoured by the stray dogs on the streets. What welcomes our eyes will be scattered waste before our own houses.
A couple of weeks later, the lady stopped coming all together. Now what do we do with the waste? Simple, a man thought. He crossed the road and put his bag of waste before his neigbour’s house. Who would know? What started out as a system was ruined because one person failed to do her duty properly. Multiply this one deed into the huge population of the world. It is every person who fails to see the bigger picture that contributes to the current environmental problem that we face and complain about everyday.
In a very interesting article about past life regression, a psychiatrist wrote what his patient spoke in her sub-conscious state, possibly channeling the master souls of the universe-the earth will remain, plants and trees will remain, but humans will be gone. What we received is an insight into our futures. The least we can do is delay what is about to befall humankind.
Paddu threw away the papers she had collected for reuse over the days and headed to the store to get herself some fresh A4 sheets.
Man looted and plundered the earth. He sent smoke from factories into the atmosphere, he chopped down trees with his enormous electric chainsaw in minutes, he killed elephants for their ivory tusks and killed other men for land. Man is selfish. In stories, nature forgives, reverses time and restores ‘gaia’ to her normal self, giving man a second chance. Sadly, in reality, there are no second chances.