yamuna-garbage.jpgWhat do you feel for your mother? Stupid question, right? Love of course …what else can you feel towards someone who gave you life, and continued to protect and nurture throughout her life. Well if that’s so then tell me in which culture throwing garbage at your provider and nurturer a way of showing love and respect. Not ours; you may answer with an appropriately stunned expression at such an absurd idea. But what if I were to tell you, that you are doing exactly that, along with some equally unsuspecting garbage throwers. Want proof? We interviewed the lady concerned…here are excerpts:

If you don’t mind Yamuna ji could you describe yourself physically?

Yamunaji: (smiles) Sure child, no problem I am so old it would be hard to take interest that way in me…unfortunately it seems nobody takes any interest in me anymore. I feel like I have aged a million years in the last few decades. .. ah so as I was saying, I am 1370km long* . My birthplace is yamunotri…yes yes named after me, People did recognize my importance then, I believe.

Where do you live ?

Yamunaji: I live in Uttaranchal, UP, Haryana and Delhi. My life in Delhi is the most wretched. Don’t mind if I sound like an old hag complaining of her errant sons, but what to do? In the 22 kms I spent in Delhi, I can hardly recognize myself. I am telling you 80% of my ill health is because of being in Delhi. Delhi takes everything for granted !

You seem to hold a grudge against Delhi, why?

Yamunaji: You ask me why? Ask Delhi! (agitated) what have I not done for it. Showered all my love on it, 70% of its drinking water requirement is met by me, and what do I get in return??3538 million litres of waste everyday! There are even those 19 dreadful drains they put into me, with only 5% treated water. Tchi tchi..what has the world come to?

Hasn’t anyone come to help you?

Yamunaji: If you could call it help, they got me a Dr. Govt. More of a quack if you ask me…Delhi spent rs1000 crores from its own pockets on the treatment. Hah and do I look any better to you? . The worst part is that Delhi doesn’t care what the doctor does. Dr. Govt. takes the liberty of doing what it wants, prescribing unnecessary tests, bad medicines, ..Its called the YAP treatment. God knows….sometimes I feel like booking them for medical negligence. But what to blame the Doctor. If he was under proper supervision, dare he do such nonsense? If only Delhi realized that what I really needed was its care and attention.

Delhi is hosting a Commonwealth party soon…doesn’t that mean any change in you condition?

Yamunaji: My dear ignorant fellows, every development comes with a cost, unfortunately those who cannot protest are bullied into paying the cost. Again I shall pay the cost, bear the brunt. How fragile my ecosystem is, does not concern anybody, they are hell bent on sucking the life out of me. What does the commonwealth party mean to me. My already small room is going to become even smaller with the coming of Mr Commonwealth Games Village. They had so much room elsewhere but what do they do throw him on my riverbed… they will encroach upon it and destroy the ecosystem I built with so much care.

Already the Akshardham temple and those metro stations have been built on my floodplains. They will be taught a lesson when the decadal flood comes along and drowns them this time. And that’s not all, Delhi’s first Formula one track is coming here too.. Can you believe it overlooking the needs of your living family for a pleasure of yours which costs $1 billion. What can I say? I am speechless, as I have always been. It’s not fair to take so much and then take some more. Is this how you treat a mother? …

(Yamunaji broke into tears at this point, so the interview had to stop…)

You realize by now that this interview never took place, and even if it was possible it would have never made it to the front page of any daily worth its sensationalism. Afterall Mrs Yamuna isn’t exactly Aishwarya Rai, is she? So what if she makes a bigger difference in your life, than Mrs. Bachchan could ever hope to make…So what if you can make more difference to it than you ever thought you could. Did you even think? Or is it just convenient not to think about such things. As long as the water flows in your tap, as long as your waste is not stinking in your home it hardly matters does it? Even if the life blood of your city is toxic, and the arteries blocked. Let the NGOs talk, let silly interview articles be written, why should you care? They are just doing it because they have nothing better to do…Do you really believe this, that these issues are discussed for want of better issues. If you think this is an intellectual debate, an excuse to use big words. You are sadly and gravely mistaken. It is a debate of SURVIVAL. Killing our natural resources will destroy us slowly and more painfully than any bomb explosion. It’s like cancer, which requires a heart attack to get people to notice. Are you waiting for a heart attack?