Dear Readers, you may notice the dates of the Blog do not match the Flash Post dates which are in real time. The blog was written in 2009 and saw the light of day 6 months back when my younger daughter discovered it and decided to bring it to you here.
All Things Bright And Beautiful | Flash Post 412

All Things Bright And Beautiful | Flash Post 412

Button, this is a hymn we sang in school and it goes thus:

All things bright and beautiful
All creatures great and small
All things wise and wonderful
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens
Each little bird that sings
He made their glowing colours
He made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountains
The river running by
The sunset and the morning
That brightens up the sky.

and it goes on to talk about the seasons, the sun, the moon, the stars and much much more.

The lyrics are so magical.

When I sang the hymn in school I sang it loud and clear and I too saw magic in those words but they paint a not so magical picture anymore.

Why is that?

In my head, I see this universe as a massive jigsaw puzzle where every piece—big or small—has a role in putting this jigsaw together as a whole where we should ideally be living in peace and harmony. When the pandemic first broke, the story that did the rounds was that a laboratory in Wuhan in China manufactured and released the virus. Then came the story about how America manufactured the virus in a laboratory in China that escaped during its transit back to America. Next came the story about how the virus first spread from a wet market in Wuhan. Then came the news that it is rampant among domestic animals and gets transmitted to humans. The next story was that dogs and cats have no role in the transmission of this virus. The other story I heard was that bats were the actual carriers. Another story was that the novel coronavirus is an air virus that spreads from person to person if there is an infected person in a closed space with them. There were many others. A couple of days back, the World Health Organisation confirmed that the virus spreads from animals. When I read this, all this data inside my head made me anxious and very insecure because I didn’t know what to believe and what not to. Since I love animals, my first and foremost worry was that they would make this an excuse to kill animals that would lead to a few pieces in that jigsaw puzzle fall off and leave gaps.

And what would be the consequence of such an action?

This massive jigsaw puzzle that is the universe in my head is made up of humans, animals, the birds and the bees, reptiles, rivers, seas and the mighty oceans, the mountains and hills, trees, plants as well as the smallest blade of grass. That jigsaw is also made up of butterflies, moths, dragon flies and every other pest painstakingly placed in its spot to serve a purpose as well as aesthetically look beautiful. Likewise, the sun, the moon and the twinkling stars and rainbows all come together to form the perfect jigsaw. That perfectness that is getting eroded as the gaps grow wider and wider as pieces in that jigsaw fall off when humans don’t live in tandem, when raging fires—like the one in California last year—burned more than 200 million acres of land, the most on record for a single wildfire season, due to a heat wave and strong winds. Can you even imagine how many living creatures got wiped out? How many trees, hundreds of years old, got cindered? When water levels in seas rise, it is because of human-caused climate change that will lead to more frequent and intense coastal storms like hurricanes and typhoons. The 2021 Uttarakhand floods that was believed to have been caused by a landslide, an avalanche or a glacial lake outburst, has killed—as per the last count— 38 people with 168 still missing. Our actions are bound to wipe out all forms of life that are crucial for our ecosystem and, thereby, our existence and turn the climate topsy-turvy giving rise to deadly epidemics and pandemics—deadlier than the one we are still struggling to come out from.

Does that mean that every piece of the jigsaw puzzle will fall off the map some day not too far away?

They will eventually because I think we are too far gone and there is no likelihood of the universe being restored to its original state. The jigsaw puzzle in my head of this universe seems extremely difficult for me to reassemble.

Scary stuff. I also hear that glaciers in the Antarctic are thinning at an alarming rate because of climate warming and I wonder what will happen to polar bears who cannot live in warm climes.

Talking about pandemics, while it is true that we have dealt with other pandemics like SARS and MERS and HIV AIDS, the new strain of viruses—to start with the novel coronavirus—are far more potent than the ones we’ve already dealt with. And they are only bound to get stronger as time goes by and more and more pieces fall out from the jigsaw causing even more hardship and destruction. Like the Kent virus which they say is going to sweep this universe.

Maybe there is hope yet. With young environmentalists like Greta Thunberg, arguably one of the most well-known figure in the climate action movement, fighting for the planet and demanding that people in positions of power stop chasing money and actually combat the burning issue, things could change. That will be the biggest victory ever.

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