When our Village used to be Healthy…

I am a very observant teenager. I live with my parents and siblings in the core of Sawabi . Our father feeds us by working on his lands. He grows rice crops in the summer, and we help him with it.

Our whole life is surrounded by greenery. We wake up to the fresh breeze that soothes us inside out. The atmosphere and this heavenly weather is the reason why we live.

It was the summer of 2013,  when we had worked really hard in sowing seeds for the upcoming rice crop. We celebrated with the sweetmeat. It usually used to be fish from the stream across the mountain, which used to be my mother’s specialty, but they stopped coming.

The rich people built factories nearby. We tried to stop them, but we all know that ‘the rich people want what the rich people want’.

Ant then came the bad time for us; no rain in rainy season. We waited and waited forever. My mother went to priests and religious scholars for prayers and blessings because if there was no rain, even for another month, the whole crop would die of dehydration and rice needs a lot of water.

My mom tells me about those glorious days in her childhood, when it used to rain at least once in two weeks. When the village used to be healthy. When almost no one used to be sick. When the winter season would prolong for five to six months.

At first, my siblings and I used to think it was some kind of an environmental fairy tale, but time makes you realize and see things clearly. After months of waiting, we felt the long awaited droplets of water falling from the sky. It rained and the wing blew making us happy.

But the happiness was not to last as the rain that we thought was a blessing, didn’t stop, and ended up becoming a curse for us. Our whole house, our crops, our village drowned and was swept away by the flood.

My conscious cannot help but tell me that it’s all our fault that we are going through this. I am not saying it’s personally ‘my’ fault, but we all humans in general. We love to criticize, yet we don’t stop littering when nobody is watching. Where science has made life so easy for us, it has made our environment a virtual hell.

I go to school in the blazing heat of the sun, thinking about the time, in the near future, when our village will turn into a desert due to this weather. When the glaciers will melt, and make our oceans and sea overflown, flooding our cities and villages.

We should stop, yet we don’t. With each passing minute, we observe, we mourn, we criticize and we move on. Instead of stopping, we have learnt to adapt. Adaptation can only take us too far before it gets out of control. We are leaving a worse planet for our kids. I pray to the Creator, to stop this curse upon us. Make our climate better. Make our future better.

“Where there is a will, there is a way…”

(Abeerah Biaji Mehreen)

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