Mother and selfish, can you ever envisage these words together? But that’s exactly what she decided one day. Just as an angry mother punishes her children to discipline them and mend their erring ways, mother earth was up to something stern.

‘I can’t tolerate this mess anymore, it’s high time you picked up after yourselves’, she declared.

Towering heaps of plastic, garbage, poisonous, fetid industrial waste piled up everywhere —outside homes, on the streets, on the beach, even the gardens weren’t spared.

An exodus of people from towns and cities reached the countryside, hoping to find some respite. A different scene awaited them there.

‘I take back your gifts, careless children don’t deserve them. I am tired of lavishing them on you’, she said in a sombre voice.

Barren, cracked land replaced whatever was left of the green woods and plundered forests. Not a tree, shrub or a blade of grass was in sight for miles. The scorching heat burnt their skin, their parched throats begged for a cool sip of water.

The wells ran dry, the brown river beds and the dry land merged as one for there was no water to distinguish one from the other.

Exhausted, debilitated they headed home plodding through the obnoxious heaps, twitching their noses to avoid the malodorous putrid air.

Their homes were swathed in darkness.
‘Stay in the dark room, serves you right for depleting my energy sources’, she rebuked.

They collapsed, weary and exhausted, having learnt the hard way that nothing should be taken for granted, not even a mother’s love and selflessness. They vowed to be good children, worthy of her generous and selfless love.

The next morning mother earth was her old magnanimous self again. Her naughty children had learnt their lesson.

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