river- before and after

The scorching sun has no pity for me. Every day I travel seventy two kilometres without resting, sleeping, or doming to a standstill. Yet it heats up my water into vapour.

My journey with a good push from the wind. I flow in fast currents, helping people on my way, no matter how the weather is. I like it best when the cotton-like clouds part and a cool shower soothes me from the scorching sun.

In my powerful currents, I carry fish, worms, some dust and very rarely boats too. My mind runs back to an ‘era’ where people used to fish, and swim in my waters. Now, these humans have other ‘so-called gadgets’ to keep them busy.

I am lonely most of the time; so I visit my friends – Adayar and Buckingham, who are as alike two peas in a pod. Then my brother – Chembarambakkam, who has a whole city all to himself.

About fifty kilometres of my journey is pleasant and filled with new things to see every day, but the rest twenty is as stinky as a pig’s trough! The humans misuse me a lot; they spit at me, throw unwanted objects into the depth of my previously virgin body. I try to ignore it, but how can be at peace when you are surrounded by so much pollution?

I end my journey, meeting my friend Marina. This inky blue sea is mesmerising to look at from a bird’s eye view but gets even better when you look at all the creatures it is a boon to. Colourful fish dart across the corals, waving as they pass by one another. At the bottom, smooth-edged stones glowed amber with a witchery uncommon to the mortal world. Turtles – majestic and graceful – swim to the surface, their bejewelled shells glinting back at the sun. A single yacht bobbed lolled in the incoming tide, like a toy in a bath. Its lights winked saucily as the wave-crests rose gently.

Unfortunately, I pollute him too. I bring along all the plastic with me as I join my friend for justice.

We will wait here until justice is served. We will retaliate when these puny Humans least expect it – cyclones, storms… you name it. One day all my brethren will be forced to pledge their troops against the humans.

When I think about the future, grief, despair and the death of our loved ones is all the creatures will know.

We will unite for JUSTICE.

One day. . . One day, someone will help us.

Image: Before / After – an imagination

Shalini Ramesh blogs at https://protagonistinme.wordpress.com/