Post-Diwali Air

Dhawal Raturi
Nov 15, 2019 · 2 min read

(The below poem conveys the air quality in my city Kanpur after a week of Diwali celebrations. I do not blame the festival. Rather I blame the way we chose to celebrate it.)

The first and second images each show the colour of the sky from the same places but before and after the festival. The third image was taken after the festival.

I can smell the air, it smells of ash,
There’re soot and dust, left behind by the splash,
The boxes that were exciting are now in the trash,
And those crackers inside them first brought light and then…
Lashed the smoke, it hurts my throat,
It doesn’t clear out, it doesn’t go,
It’s been a week, early November feels like nuclear-winter-cold.
No sun, no stars, no plants can grow,
With sweets all served and the crackers all sold,
All business sharks paid in gold,
Crackers still burning around every night though,
We WILL stop, but the question is ‘after how much more?’
How much more of poison do we have to breathe?
How many more shadow days do we need?
How many more firecrackers to sell to quench the greed?
How many more fires and how many more trees?
It’s getting hard to breathe, the visibility is bleak,
The carbon goes in every time we speak,
And it keeps settling on grass and leaves.
The blue sky is rendered shades of grey,
Sunlight feels like via a translucent windowpane,
As if the sun has shifted far away,
But nobody listened there’ll be a price to pay.
The city’s AQI is all climbing new heights,
At 435 it’s an all-time high,
Every year it claims a vast number of lives,
Every year, by pollution, millions of people die.
How many more days will have to turn in nights?
How many more days before it can be discussed in the light?
How many more days before we start to act than try?
How many more days before we take the responsibility of our children’s lives.

Resistance Poetry

Verse as Commentary

Dhawal Raturi

Written by

Junior-year college student. Amateur writer and musician.

Resistance Poetry

Verse as Commentary

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