Ours is a unique “love” story, as one-sided as it gets. She is so good, all she has ever known is giving. And she gives without expecting anything in return. She gives without asking. She gives more than what I need. She gives more than what I deserve. She gives even if I hurt her, beat her up, or bruise her. She gives in joy. She gives in pain. She gives me whatever she has. She loves me!

Having used her mindlessly for all these years, having bruised her in unimaginable ways, having hurt her in worse ways than worst of my nightmares, I still found her by my side. And then, I realized that she is very very special. And… She’s the only one I got!

She’s the only one you got. And, she’s the only one we got.

Earth, yours, mine and each one of ours. Our “love” for her has been so cruel, we have done unimaginable things to her. We have always taken from her, more than our fair share, and without ever giving anything back, or giving back too little. In simple terms, we have raped her in every worst way possible.

There is no “humane” way of destroying our beloved little blue marble. Other lives on this once beautiful planet are suffering the repercussions of our actions. Ever imagined why we are acting the way we are? Because, we humans have a very wrong notion of “Oh, we are so entitled”. Because, we believe everything that exists on this planet belongs to us, and it exists to serve us. We can do anything we want to anything that exists on this planet.

We were capable of learning, we were capable of improvising. We learned, and we improvised. We also CHEATED! As intended, we did not use our learning and improvisation for betterment of other lives and that of our planet. Instead, we used them to take advantage of other lives, and to screw up our planet. And with time we have become so greedy, we do everything in excess. We eat more than needed, we use more than required and naturally, we waste more than we can have.

Do you remember those Hollywood sci-fi movies, in which an alien species invades Earth because it has exhausted the “resources” on its own planet? Do you like those aliens? No? Well, those alien characters are based on our greed! Having almost screwed up our planet successfully, we are now looking at other planets in the solar system and beyond, to implement our scheme of things and screw them up too.

All those cyclones, floods, unseasonal rains, droughts, rising temperatures and missing seasons of the recent times are a grim reminder that though she loves us unconditionally, our Earth can fall sick too. And when she does, all hell breaks lose! So, hoping that it is not too late, let’s do our bit to prevent her from falling sick. However small it may seem, but let’s start for once. Be it closing that tap, or switching off the engine at the traffic signal, or not using polythene, or reusing/recycling, or planting that one tree sapling. Let’s us do how much ever we can do. And let it not be restricted to mere symbolism.

As far as I am concerned, I do not use the AC in my car when I am travelling alone, not even in this hot summer. I had turned a vegetarian for some other reason, but I intend to stay a vegetarian for the rest of my life, because recently I came to know that animal agriculture for meat production generates more harmful greenhouse gases than all cars put together (read here). And with time, I intend to do more. Pitch in with my small little efforts, even if it sometimes results in discomfort for me.

Why am I doing this? For everything that I have put her through, I have realized that I can not live without her, quite literally! And I have fallen in love with her. Because, she’s the only one I got. She’s the only one you got. She’s the only one we got.

For her! Happy Earth Day, my love..

In frame: Sun rise at Naitala village, in Uttarakhand, India. This was the first morning I woke up in the laps of the Himalayas. The river in the bottom of the frame is Bhagirathi, “who” is called Ganga after Dev Prayag (Use of “who” is deliberate, because Ganga is now legally a living person. Read more about it here). All this serenity and tranquility in my mind were shattered, when I imagined the havoc floods of 2013 must have caused, scars of which were visible throughout my journey in the Himalayas.

VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Yes, you can share this work with proper attribution. But, please seek permission before using this work (not including the photo), partially or fully. YOU CAN NOT USE THE PHOTO. Believe me, asking is better than ending up in court or facing public shaming on social media. Thanks for understanding.

© Amrit Panigrahy. All rights reserved.

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Written by Amrit Panigrahy

Amrit is a freelance photographer and a storyteller.

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