Arey ruk ja rey bandey…

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Over the past month the various media have been ‘flooded’ with grim images of the destruction caused by floods in the Northern parts of India, particularly Uttarakhand. I was deeply shocked to see images of houses, roads and entire villages being consumed by the mighty Mandakini river. Although it was initially called a natural disaster; a major one at that; it was later dubbed as a man-made disaster by environmentalists caused by unchecked construction activities in the fragile young Himalayan mountains. Just today I saw a documentary on one of the very few decent news channels which made it even clearer how far man had breached the limits set for him by nature. Villages constructed on river beds, countless under-construction hydro power projects that vastly change and restrict the natural flow of rivers, exponential rise in the number of tourists and eventually pollution and unchecked deforestation – all in the name of ‘development’. It seems as if man almost forgot there existed a force which is much beyond his reach; a force that could only wait and watch for some time as man played with his limits. And then it showed him how minuscule and powerless he really is.

Shiva Statue
One of the most appalling images I saw was that of the imposing 15 feet tall Shiva statue at Rishikesh being submerged in the waters of the Ganga – the same Ganga that according to Hindu mythology emerged from Shiva’s tresses. It is silently symbolic of how Man had drowned himself in the havoc created by his own greed.

Arey ruk ja rey bandey
Arey tham ja rey bandey
Ke kudrat has padegi..

Samay ki laal aandhi
Woh kabristaan ke raste
Arey lat-pat chalegi..

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