By Saman Zahra
On a post-apocalyptic morning, what was once pleasant winter time, with cool and fresh air, now stings your nose, burns your eyes and leaves your hair disgusting like a smoker’s saloon. A blanket of poison over the city; it’s no better on the ground. Fridays are off to keep us inside now, in hopes that one day it will just clear off. One day everything will fix itself on its own.
We’re the best at things that are the worst. Smog takes 7 years off our lives and force-feeds us 30 cigarettes each day. Our only defense is facemasks, extended holidays and work-from-home, because this is the age of precautionary measures that you don’t follow, if you don’t want to. Why is there no real effort? How long do we hold on to our hopes of change?
In a country where we drink chai in Styrofoam cups in seminars against pollution, I am completely hopeless. The thing is, we don’t want to change in quest to see change. Conversations on climate crises only happen because it’s necessary to address something shoved in your face and of course, to seem progressive. In every fancy conference, all that happens is people with an important air about them, sit you down, sermon you to adopt a sustainable lifestyle and spread awareness. What does that mean though? They wouldn’t know – it’s just words they must use. And in the end, dear buddy, the world is in your hands. You have to plant trees, you have to stay indoors, you have to buy solar panels, you are the savior. Don’t bother the fossil-fuel guys, they’re irreplaceable, apparently. The collapsing economy is worse than lung cancer.
Ages ago, mother nature determined our survival. Now we take ourselves down with her. I conclude this writing with the most awful itch in my airways. The government told me to buy an air purifier or two, if the poison bothers me. Since I can’t afford it, I must simply deal with it.
Author: Saman Zahra A young writer, A-Level student and an aspiring journalist in Lahore, Pakistan. Apart from educational activities, She has been an enthusiastic activist for student and climate rights. She loves films, music, everything of that sort and good conversation.