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     Volume 7 Issue 34 | August 22, 2008 |

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View from the Bottom

A World full of Contradictions?

Shahnoor Wahid

Why do I find so many reasons to lament when I try to envision the ambience prevailing in the same world back in time, when there were no humans around, when fruits ripened in the trees for birds to eat, when flowers blossomed to scatter fragrance in the pure air, when fishes swam aplenty in crystal clear waters of rivers without any fear, when exotic birds sang on tree tops without stepping on a hunter's trap, when trees attempted to caress the clouds above with their branches, knowing not of the pain inflicted by a chain-saw, when gazelles grazed the Masai land under the watchful eyes of lions in the distance, and when lions killed only when necessary. I try hard to envisage that pristine world and make attempts to compare that with the world after the advent of another species of animal humans.

Now let us look at the structure, countenance, colour, food, temperament, characteristics and language of the humans living in various parts of the globe. The revelation is so incredibly inconsistent. Humans are so dangerously diverse, so maliciously many-sided and so cruelly cunning. Each human has a distinctly different taste for food, sleeping style, voice tone, hairstyle, feet shape and temperament. Humans kill all kinds of animals and birds, and of its own kind too. Humans kill another human, not to eat its flesh but for many different reasons. Humans have killed millions of humans for those many different reasons.

On the other hand, tigers of a particular variety, anywhere in the world, look the same and roar the same; elephants anywhere eat the same food and make the same kind of sound. Ants look the same everywhere and crows do not look any different in the US compared with their cousins in our village; and they are just as naughty. And sparrows chirp as sweetly anywhere.

Now the reasons why I lament looking at the present condition of the world and imagining the world before the advent of humans. Look what we have done only within a few thousand years! Good grief! We have eaten many species of fish, cow, goat, deer, heron and fowl to extinction. We eat life forms that live on the surface, under water and even those in the sky. We eat three to four times a day - most voracious of all animals in the world.

Because of rapid urbanisation we have felled trillions of trees in million square meters of forests and thus forced many species of insects, reptiles, birds and animals to go extinct. For millions of years, trillions of humans have polluted the soil, water and air of the earth with their body waste and chemical waste created in their factories. For thousands of years humans have extracted crude oil, iron ore, coal, minerals, gold and diamond from the depth of the earth thereby creating great void inside.

Today we talk of human progress, scientific advancement, landing on Mars, but at the cost of what? There is a colossal cost involved behind every achievement of the humans and it is dear earth that is paying for it at the risk of its own destruction. It is said euphemistically that we have only one earth to live. It is so true. But what are we doing to this only earth? If humans continue to exploit the resources of mother earth they will eventually create severe imbalance in earth's internal and surface structure, which will only hasten the process of total doom. The earth will strike back one day and the last species of animal that will be extinct is the - humans.

Sounds too idealistic? Yes, but please contemplate a while and you will have your own answer.

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