Autobiography of a River
“A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” ~ James N. Watkins
If you ask me what my age is, I’m sure I couldn’t give you an exact number. I am a river. I am the source of freshwater that starts high from the mountains and finally flows to merge into a sea or an ocean.
I have seen big and small dinosaurs, and I have seen short and long wars. I have seen humans worship me, and I have seen the same humans pollute me. Today I am opening up my heart to you. I am pouring my feelings and telling you my story.
I started my journey from a glacier in the mystical Himalayas. All around me was snow as far as the eye could see. I could spot the Himalayan Wild Yak, the Musk Deer and the Snow Leopard.
They were massive beasts with lots of furs and looked ferocious. I was scared when I saw them coming towards me, but I soon learnt that they needed me to live and did not mean to cause any harm to me.
Over the years, their population started dwindling. I wonder what the reason was. Maybe it is true what they say about animal hunters. What a nightmare! Going further, I took a drastic fall and flowed towards a downward path, thus giving rise to a waterfall.
I could notice certain humans near me. They were known as monks. They used to sit peacefully meditating, while my cold water fell on their heads and their whole body.
I flowed through mountains and valleys. I loved the scenic beauty. It felt so much like home. There were so many trees around me, and hundreds of various types of animals would come to me to quench their thirsts.
There were some people also who lived in the great mountains. It felt as if wherever I went, life started growing. The mountain people were so hardworking. They would walk long distances, collect my water in their big buckets and then walk back home.
I was very helpful to them. I would hit rocks and collect their debris. With pebbles, nutrients and aquatic life, I made my way further down towards the plains.
The ride was for sure bumpy, but I hadn’t realized that it would be utterly unpleasant as well. I was nothing but good to the city folk. I provided them with clean water to wash, bathe and drink. I invited them to swim in me and have fun with their friends.
I was even okay with it when they built hydroelectric power plants on me to supply electricity. But what did I get in return? How do I tell you about the way humans treated me? Or shall I say Mistreated me?
Instead of taking my water in buckets to their homes, they started bathing themselves as well as their cattle in me. The ladies would even wash their dirty clothes in my water. What was worse? I started getting polluted.
With each passing day, I was getting fuller with sewage waste, harmful chemicals of factories and many people even threw their house trash bags in me. Besides concrete houses and big industrial plants, there were a few temples that were located around me.
The people near the temple worshipped me. They joined their hands and bowed their heads towards me. What a respectful gesture! But you know what the irony was. Although they only wanted to get closer to god, they were destroying my pureness either knowingly or unknowingly. I was beginning to get impure with the presence of flower petals, mud lamps and most of all; plastic.
I couldn’t wait to get out of the plains. I had suffered enough, and I just wanted to reach my destination and merge with the sea. After reaching the sea, it was like I was lost.
You couldn’t identify me. It was so vast. But I loved being there. I was a companion to small boats, big ships and mighty submarines. Fascinating creatures, including the giant blue whale and the adorable dolphins, lived and swam in me. It was such a delight to watch them.
But I have now come to realize that even seas are getting polluted day by day. Men and Women around the world have to learn why harming us is ultimately harming themselves.
I would urge and request all of you who are reading my story to help me.