On Parched Grounds

In Search of the Lost Springs

On Parched Grounds

The heart lifting memory of Sukhna Lake was still fresh and vivid in my mind after so many long years since I first visited it. Muffling the surrounding cacophony with Ed Sheeran striking his notes within my Bose earphones, I luxuriously sank back into my seat in the bus and recalled to my dreamy mind that awesome scenery one more time.

I still couldn’t believe how quiet and serene it was. Walk in to a deserted cathedral that abruptly opens into a vast green meadow that merges with sparkling water and silver sky – you can understand how it feels.

But listen carefully; the whisper of nature is still there! Faraway chirping of birds and quacking of ducks was sweet symphony. I could barely wait to get there and satiate myself by the remarkable beauty of Sukhana Lake – one more time.

But when I alighted from the bus - oh my God, what had happened here?

I was left in a daze. Where's the meadow, the whisper of nature and - god in heaven – the beautiful Lake Sukhana itself? Did the Earth swallow it whole? Or the sky sucked it - till the last tiny drop of water vanished and disappeared, leaving behind a perfectly flat disc of flour white soil!

Sukhana Lake is no more. It had dried up. No cathedral. Silence, graveyard stillness and it was unnervingly dismal and desolate. I felt as if my heart was being shredded apart.

The only sounds were ticking of mites and the empty air blowing me dry silent kisses.

*

Anyone who is reading this, please join hands with me to bring Lake Sukhana back to life. The truth is, the Lake met its tragic end due to heedless human activities. We humans exploit nature's bounties to leave behind nothing, but patches of barren land.

Revival of Sukhana Lake was essential. Commemorating the World Water Day this March, I plan to introduce several Nature based Solutions (NbS) in doing this! Inhabitants in Lake Sukhana listen to me!

First of all let us reduce the heat in this man-made desert! Each family in the area please come forward to grow trees in the shores of the dead lake! There are trees that are drought tolerant and grow up fast in hot regions. They have open branching structure so they cast widespread shade and trap the humidity below them. Environmentalists please wake up and select the best trees!

Then our talented geologists too! Here comes your role! Please use your superb knowledge to study the dry earth and re-discover the lost springs of Lake Sukhana. Let us go for the lowest regions and dig the parched lake bed in search of them. Let us make it muddy and wet again!

I know my prayers will be answered. Lake Sukhana will rise again from its ashes. Mankind, please listen to me and march forward with me to support me in this noble cause!