Yasho looked at the children playing in the stream which was right in front of her. They splashed about frivolously, making sure that not even a single drop of water around them was wasted. The water was kept in a state of continuous motion, never stagnating. If one child would take a dip, another would make enough splish-splosh for an elephant.
Yasho chuckled to herself. She would have loved to do the same as well- to get into the water and let it embrace her. She would then take a long dip and submerge herself in the cool water. When she would open her eyes, she would find herself in a different world altogether.
It was a world where the creatures didn't walk clumsily and slowly but glided gracefully. It was a world where the surroundings weren't dull and grey but calm and soothing. It was a world of motion, but at the same time, of relaxation. It moved around her, instead of her moving around in it.
She would then close her eyes again and resurface, returning to her reality. Good things never last long anyway- one minute they are there and the next they are gone.
But then again- she would have loved it. While she was viewing the jubilant kids in front of her, her attention was really not on them. It was on the stream itself. More importantly, it was on the water.
The kids swam and played in this clear stream which was a spectacle of absolute beauty, of this purity; of this truth. But right next to it, maybe a few feet away, was this stream which was dark, muddy; ignorant. It coveted what lay below its ugly surface.
Was this really the same stream?
Or were these two streams two separate entities? They, they must have been. After all, how could something beautiful and pure be so ugly and impure at the same time?
Her eyes scoured the area where the two streams met- a hazy line which divided the two streams, separating the impure from the pure. Yasho would have been satisfied with that observation; she would have been content. Sadly, she knew the truth. She walked and came closer to that particular point in the river. She stared at the hazy line again. Only, it wasn't an actual line, just the shadow of the stem of a plant which had grown slightly higher than the others.
She stared at the water again. She could see a bleak, unclear divide, even hazier than that formed by the shadow of the stick. For the others, it may not have even been there. But for Yasho it was real- clear as the purest crystal. Yes, she did notice how the water merged at this point, almost leaving no trace of a divide. But, if one paid closer attention, then he/she would see that thin line which was present, dividing the stream in two.
This sight always brought tears to her eyes. She couldn't help herself. They would spontaneously begin to drip from her eyes.
Just then a frog jumped out of the portion of the stream which was muddy. Yasho, startled by this, was brought out of her deep grief and rumination. She got herself to stand up. She looked at the kids once again.
She wondered if the kids had noticed how their site for playing and swimming around had shifted farther downstream due to how dirty the stream had become progressively.
She looked at the women from her village washing the clothes and utensils of their respective households in the stream. She watched as all the filth fell into the river, further contaminating it. If that wasn't enough, all the residents of her village also had a despicable habit of throwing all the filth and garbage they could find into the river.
They didn't know that "Ma Ganga", as they so fondly called her, was choking on all this filth which was being thrown into her. It was horrible yet ironic what these villagers did to the River. They would praise her, sing songs about her, and then, without even giving it a second thought, throw all the waste they had with them into the river.
She was worried. Not only for Ma Ganga but for these people who polluted it, abused it; murdered it. They thought that Mother Nature would sit idle, not caring for what happened to one of its daughters. But they forgot that this was Mother Nature after all.
Just then she heard her mother calling for her. She started walking towards her house which was situated not too far from the stream. It was quite a beautiful setting. It was the first house from the stream with an adjoining shed where her family's cows rested. The house itself was a comfortable haven for her petite family of only three members. They had two rooms, one for themselves and another for when any guests came over. They had a small living room and an equally small kitchen. It was nothing too huge or grand, but it was home; her home.
She entered her house. Her father was watching TV and her mother was in the kitchen.
She was going to enter the kitchen as well but she suddenly froze when her eyes fell on the television set and the news that was being broadcasted. Her eyes widened. She held her breath.
Her mother was calling her to make the rotis but she honestly couldn't care less. Her eyes were glued to the screen of the television set which showed the Headlines "100 people already dead as freak floods ravage Kedarnath".