Friday, 20 April 2018

R is for Rally for Rivers #AtoZChallenge #RallyforRivers

Everything I am is thanks to a river. 
Indus Valley Civilization.
Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati.
My grandmother's stories.
The holy dips.
The picnics.
The films and even the shows on TV.
India's national anthem has them listed.
Rivers are mothers of civilizations.
Our mothers?
You call these polluted, dirty, shrinking trickles of stinking water my mother?
Are you out of your mind?
#Rally for Rivers was an initiative started in India last year to nurture and replenish the rivers who've nurtured and replenished us for ever and ever.

 Sharing pictures of plenty today, 
of the bounty of 
these mothers of human civilizations.
First stop: Umngot River, Dawki, Meghalaya
(November 2017)

You'll find far better pictures of Umngot river if you google. When the time of the year is right and the light is good and you're good at taking pictures, you can end up with:
Photo courtesy: Google Imgaes
Yes, that's how transparent the river gets.
But ooing and aahing at photos is not the point of today's post.
Are we paying attention? Is the question.
Are we?

Sungudi Sarees drying on the parched River Vaigai, Madurai
(August 2017)
So full of colour, so full of sarees and yet this scene made me sad.
Greed at all levels: corporate, individual, community and country coupled with irresponsible consumption and lack of planning is making sure more and more of these rivers are assigned to the realms of legend.
 We may talk about them, write about them, dream about them, 
wish they were flowing among us
 when we face droughts and dry spells,
 but it may be (or will be) too late by then.

I understand that the planet has its cycles like everything else. 
Yes, rivers have changed courses all through human history.
Some like the Saraswati ended up underground even before humans built factories.
And today she flows only in myths and the Mahabharatha:
(Sepetember 2015, Mana Village)
But, when did the rivers of this planet ask to be turned into dumping grounds?
When did our mother ask us to defile her?

The Sun sets on the mighty Brahmaputra
(November 2017)


  1. Hari OM
    Raw sewage, chemical leavings, carcasses... no, the rivers never asked for, and humankind never asked to do. Just assumed, as always. Mother Nature has tolerated until the numbers have started to outweigh her ability to Renew and Refresh... but given the chance, she will Restore it all. Given the chance... YAM xx

    1. She will restore and rejuvenate for sure Yamini. Homo Sapiens may or may not be around to witness that.

  2. It is sickening what we've done to rivers - and mind-boggling that we could bring ourselves to do it, when you look at how marvelous they are.
    Wonderful words, my friend.

  3. Awesome pictures! I am a sucker for sunsets, so this is my favorite!

    Happy Friday :-)

  4. Wonderful pictures, and a timely reminder of the wrong we are doing.

    My Friend Rosey - R is for Run!

  5. Gorgeous pictures. About time we started looking after them better.

  6. How relevant the questions you have posed here Arti - we humans have defiled mother nature to such an extent that now our extinction is but certain. Nature will heal after we are all gone and thats where we are headed with depleting water tables, garbage in clean water sources, defforestation. What ever is necessary for our survival is what we are destroying ourselves.

    R is for From Russia wih love #atozchallenge

  7. Its said that the next world war will be about water. And whenever, I read news, such as what you have shared here, I feel it is so true. Hope there's a positive change for the coming generations.

  8. It is unbelievably tragic that we despoil the waters so Arti - here in my country also. It's an uphill battle to get companies to stop dumping their waste. I hope the Rally for Rivers initiative from last year has turned the tide? I agree with Seema that it is possible that the next WW will be about water. There are plenty of murmurings ..

    1. SA and India are both witnessing the results of water shortages. The future does look drastic.

  9. Beautiful photos Arti, and a poignant reminder of the tragic state of affairs of our rivers across the globe. I've heard about the Rally for Rivers initiative.

    Years ago, a friend who was a member of a number of ecopsychology groups, encouraged everyone to think of themselves in relationship to the watershed they belong to.  That thinking had a profound impact on me.

    At the urging of my friend we began identifying ourselves with the description of our watershed.  And so I am Deborah, of the DesPlaines River – Kankakee River – Illinois River – Mississippi River – Gulf of Mexico.

    1. Wow! That is such a simple yet powerful way to connect with our environment. I think this idea should be shared more. If I link my identity with a river, I'll make sure I look after it as I would look after myself.
      I really like this.
      Thank you for sharing Deborah.

  10. What a contrast between the beauty we see in your breathtaking scenes and the tragedy we see in our earth's waters. Glad you are promoting awareness of the need to bring back healthy waters which will improve all habitats. Thank you.
    JQ Rose

  11. True, our rivers are dying and it's all because of us. There's so much pollution, contamination that these mighty rivers have now been reduced to dumping grounds for waste. I was at Agra earlier this year and it was sad to see the state of Yamuna behind the Taj Mahal.
    We must truly get our act together and protect our rivers. Rally for Rivers is a fab initiative and hope it works. You have clicked some amazing pictures, Arti!!

  12. Very beautiful and poignant...I love what Deborah said.

    I am Beth of Round Creek of the Connecticut River of Long Island Sound of the Atlantic Ocean

  13. Excellent message and photos, Arti! We treat rivers, as well as any piece of earth or water, as our own personal waste basket. We reap what we sew. We eat the food grown from the earth and nurtured with that water. What are we doing to our future selves? It is self sabotage on a grand scale!

    I was so excited to use cerulean! Thank you for paving the way!

    Emily In Ecuador

    1. It is self sabotage. Why more people don't see it is beyond comprehension. Perhaps, this is nature's way to get rid of us--to make us so blind to the consequences of our actions that we become the reason for our own extinction.

  14. I am happy you shared about "Rally for Rivers" despite all the mess we have made by polluting our own rivers, awareness in our country is still low. On one side we see people suffering because of water shortage, sometimes travelling long distances and on the other side we see so much of wastage of water.

    1. Thank you for visiting Genevive. You're absolutely right. We have made a mess.


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