There is a caravan of ants
running along this edge of a wall
in my house.
They look so intense
moving along briskly in one line.
They seem to have a motive!
Do they have a motive?
None of them seem to waiver.
Are they meant to do something
in their life that is part of
something consequential or
something larger than their tiny existence?
They seem very focused.
Do they have families and friends and
the fear of leaving someone behind in that line?
They are not around always;
I have forever seen them moving.
Do they have anything in their life
that is permanent?
Standing and staring I realize some of them
asking me as to what is my purpose?
What is permanent in my life?
If nothing is permanent
then what is it that is
making them run perpetually?
Is it food? Is it the community or the family?
Is it the fear of being left behind? Is it love?
Or is it the search for answers
to these very questions in permanence?
Just as the changes in the climate are getting starker by every passing season, the landscape and so the habits of the people living on it are also shifting dramatically. These changes require us to adapt to new surroundings, inventions, lifestyles, habits, relationships and realities. This shift in realities means change in our very notions of everyday objects and behaviours.
This scene outside the Emporio Mall at Vasant Kunj is a stark example of the irony of our urban landscape and possible shift in the notion of things we have held since ages. It presents a more scary message from our future as to what could nature mean to us after some years.
The authorities have supposedly got permissions to cut down more than a thousand trees around the India Habitat Centre and the reason given is for Commonwealth Games. The Buffer zone near the Gargi College was mercilessly razed to a bald scare to build facilities for the Games which could have been shifted to another location, as suggested by a panel of senior architects and urban planners recently. Even the recent row over the illegal minings at the Aravalis has brought to light a considerable damage done to the natural bounty around the Capital.
With rampant, nonchalant urbanization we can already see so much change in the last two to three decades in the landscape of our cities. A lot of it is inevitable as we are always growing as a nation and people from all over the country keep flushing into the cities due to irregular development and lack of opportunities back home/native towns or villages. Now irregular social and economic development is another issue that needs a separate column.
Essentially, there is a lack of vision, sense of responsibility and attachment to the place we are living in. The race to make money by just doing things without realizing the need for it or its effects on the surroundings, the climate and our lives overall is really taking its toll. The situation seems quite a catch 22 but somewhere there has to be a realization.
Till then we might have to take these modern urban trees as a reminder of the changing landscape and possibly push ourselves to see the light on the other side.