By: Noushah Arshad
I was in a car with my friends. We had bought fruits and cold drinks to enjoy our journey while gossiping, eating and watching golden fields of wheat in our way. I had a shopper bag to collect waste instead of throwing it out of the car. One of my friends finished her cold drink and opened the window to throw the cane on road side. I asked her not to do it. Surprised by my interruption, she asked me, “Why?” I told her that I have a bag to collect waste. It’s better to keep all the waste in it than throwing out and destroying the beauty of nature. To my utter amazement, she laughed loudly and said, “Will whole country get cleaned if I don’t throw this cane outside?” … I wanted to say something, I wanted to explain … This is just a drop, drops make rivers, then ocean, then … but there was no one to listen my philosophies, no brain to understand them … I felt all alone in the car. I started watching people outside the car and what do I see now … A molvie sahib beating a child with a stick. The little boy was trying to escape but molvie sahib was not ready to spare him. It was a terrible sight.
Before starting this journey, we had thought that we will have a great time and we will enjoy it but every passing scene was making it more painful. Dried canals were giving a silent message that future holds some hard times for us. . . No water for cultivation, no place for fishing, no point for young villagers to get rid of summer heat in cold waters. What will happen with my homeland? We have polluted the waters, our ignorance has led us to the dark path where we breathe polluted air, we walk on polluted earth and we are doing it ourselves. Why do we forget that we have borrowed this homeland from our children? Will we have any answers to their questions?
What are butterflies? The beautiful colors and patterns they have. When did you see the butterfly last time? I rarely see one. We are killing these delicate creatures. We are killing thousands of species, who have been silently supporting our lives in green fields, fresh air, and flowing waters. Such a brutal nature humans have. We are hunters, and strangely enough, we are the hunters who never hesitate in hunting their own species even.
Have you ever planted a tree? Ever returned a fish to the pond? Or ever picked up a wrapper from the road? Most of us don’t. I hurt our egos to pick up a wrapper from a road. What if any of our relative would see us? It would be so insulting … But the thing we forget is that this country is our homeland. If we can keep our home clean without feeling insulted, then why can’t our country? If we can plant roses in our gardens, then why can’t in our homeland?
Every one of us is busy in developing his life and career. Our society has many individuals but we need collectivism. Why can’t the frustrated jobless youth get together and work for their town or city? I don’t say to spend thousands and develop infrastructures. I just say to plant a tree, to clean your ‘home’ and to be together. We CAN clean the earth we walk on, we CAN clean the air we breathe in, and we CAN even reduce the rising temperatures of our cities. We don’t need millions for doing this. What we need is just a power to say, “We CAN” and a power to do what we CAN.
The time is right here. Our home is waiting for its young ambitious rescuers who are holding degrees in their hands and searching for jobs where they would be highly paid for sitting in front of monitors in air conditioned rooms… It’s time to come out of our homes and self created burrows, and put some real effort in making our earth a true heaven to live in.