Goa- October 2018
The boat rocked softly from side to side. The only thing between us land-dwellers and the vast unknown of the Arabian Sea with its manually run motors to keep the noise at a bare minimum. It had been an early start for a lot of us. Waking at 5 am in order to be out by 6 am: with two kids under the age of 5.5, a couple of grandparents and a ‘couple without kids’ was a feat most would have given up on. But we made it. For the sake of the dolphins.
Those smooth, silvery, smiley, cacklers we all adore! But it had officially been a whole hour on the water. The grandmother was nauseous, the little one was cranky and sleepy and the older one god bless her was keeping her eyes peeled with the odd “when are they coming mama?"…What felt like every 10 seconds. “Patience!” I told her. “They’re wild dolphins! We have to wait.”
“Mamaaaaaa…look there…shadows under the water…!”
What we saw looked like almost a two-kilometre stretch of something right on the surface of the water!! My heart began to race..my first wild dolphin sighting…maybe if we were lucky we’d spot a whale?? My reverie was abruptly shattered for as we drew near, I saw something brightly coloured…and very familiar. Definitely NOT a dolphin.
But a squished juice box! ‘Frooti’ I believe it was.
And very quickly almost as if by magic…other images started to pop! Fishing line, disposable bottles, straws, fragments of plastic tubs, tubing….a disgusting deluge of plastic paraphernalia. Mixed in with this seaweed coconut husk, rubber bits and who knows what hapless little creatures were entangled within this mess. We had stumbled upon a floating garbage patch ..one that our boatman was kind enough to sail away from onto the thing we were REALLY meant to see.
At first, all we saw was a few runs along what was a calm sea surface and then like lightening the glistening silken form of a dolphin shot out of the water, did a 360 pirouette mid-air and better than the finest Olympic gold medalist swimmers, nosedived back into the grey mass of water ever so flamboyantly almost like the opening act of a Cirque Du Soleil spectacle! Free! Exuberant! Athletic !
And that was only the beginning of what ended up being a 45-minute long rally of these magnificent silver surfers, some came in groups, some in twos, some were lone rangers, a mum and her calf too! And then as if to say..so long…they all joined together and disappeared all at once, cackling and squealing as they receded into the horizon..appearing somewhat similar to the patch we had unfortunately spotted before them. So wild, so free! Untamed. Unscripted. And just so very beautiful! But that’s nature, isn’t it?
We came back enriched by the experience. But what are we doing to keep it pure and alive?
Sad but true:
Did you know that about 12% of the total population of this country is engaged in efforts (in whatever capacity) to reverse the damage we’ve caused by means of frivolous consumerism! This is the damage our parents began, we perpetuated, and our children will pay for.
So while most environmentalists will say. It’s too late. I’m going to hang onto the ‘never too late’ euphemism. I have to. For the sake of the two saucer-eyed beauties I’ve produced. And much like my parents..the undoing will start with me, they will perpetuate it. And in my utopian mind, their kids will live in a world free or on its way to being free ..of trash.
As much as I feel elated on winning the KSP Contributor of the year award, I also feel the need to contribute and share my thoughts on the ways and means to save the world around you. They may be small. But small changes lead to gargantuan movements. Remember the Butterfly effect?
There’s just one thing this world needs from you. Commitment. So if you have it in you dear friend..read on. These are TEN things I’ve committed to along with my kids and husband, to make change happen for the better. And to help me sleep at night. Scroll down to read them right away.