The Black Pond

The Black Pond

4 mins 10.3K 4 mins 10.3K

Deep, deep in the countryside, there was a village named Chikla. It was situated on fertile plains, surrounded by verdant forests. The village was home to a great number of farmlands, with crops varying from corn, wheat, mustard etc. it was a prosperous village.

In the centre of the village, there stood a temple with a pond. This particular pond was considered to be the secret of the village's prosperity. The water in the pond never dried out. The pond was teaming with fish and other small marine animals. The banks of the pond provided lush green grass for the grazing cattle. The villagers were also dependent on the pond for their drinking water. It was thought that the pond's water table was also supplemented by some underground reservoir of spring water augmenting its water supply along with adequate rainfall during the monsoon season.

Bordering the temple and the pond was the village market. The market comprised of many small shops selling their wares. One shop among them was Shyamu's tea stall. His tea stall was quite popular amongst the villagers. Shyamu was a strong lad of twenty and was always ready for an adventure. His adventurous attitude towards life worried his parents. They were just the opposite of Shyamu.

Days passed peacefully in the village. One day, the villagers were alerted by the screams of an old shepherdess whose goats and sheep were grazing on the banks of the pond.

The villagers approached her, "What is wrong? What Happened?"

The woman shrieked, "The Water in the pond has turned Black !"

On hearing the old woman's wails, the people went to look at the pond. The pond's water had indeed turned black.

The villagers were shell-struck and crestfallen. They simply could not fathom how this could happen to their beloved pond. They had no answers nor could think of any solutions. Gradually, all of them returned to their homes and convey the sad news to their family members. Everybody were shocked and numbed at this sudden misfortune.

The villagers soon found out that the black water of the pond was unfit for consumption. Fishes and the other creatures of the pond began to die. Death and decay began to overwhelm the pond. The sarpanch or the village headman ordered the villagers to abandon the pond and look for alternate sources.

As the days passed, slowly, the village started losing its sheen. No longer, one could see any happy face in the village. Laughter and happiness had vanished. People became miserable and grumpy. The simple folk however had no solution to the problem that was engulfing them. The village prosperity was on a steady decline.

Shyamu too was suffering like the villagers. He decided that something must be done immediately to put an end to the miseries of the villagers. One day, he decided to investigate the cause of the sudden blackish color of the pond water. He went to the pond and jumped in the water. He began to swim towards the center of the pond, where the underground spring was believed to be present. After reaching the center, he dived underwater. As he went few feet downwards, he began feeling sick. He was feeling nauseated by the stench of garbage. He continued valiantly downwards. Presently he reached the bottom and to his amazement, he had located the spring.

His amazement soon turned to despair, as he realized that the underground spring was now spewing dirt and filth instead of pure water. He came up and recounted the villagers all that he had seen.

The villagers now comprehended that somehow, the sewer of the nearby city which passed near the village, on its way to the ocean had leaked its filth to the underground spring and polluted the pond.

The village elders immediately contacted the city authorities. The city authorities took prompt action. The entire village actively took part in cleansing the pond. Soon the waters of the pond became clean and potable again.

The villagers had learnt a very good lesson. They realized the importance of cleanliness and hygiene. They decided that not only the pond and its surroundings, but the entire village be kept clean. The call of Swach Bharat had hit home in the village of Chikla. Prosperity soon returned to the village of Chikla. During the Republic Day celebrations in the following year, the villagers of Chikla felicitated Shyamu for his bravery and selfless love for his village. Shyamu's parents were very proud of him.

All was well in the village of Chikla

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