The ride home from office to hotel was a route I had taken before. It has never been a pleasant commute. But for some reason this evening, draped with a dusky, corrosion-hued toxic sky, the scene was reminiscent of Bosch’s morbid The Last Judgment as the panorama of suffering slid past my car’s window.
Clustered around the 150 foot high, 1,000 foot wide garbage mountain at Ghazipur with 1,000’s of vultures circling above like a halo of death lives a society of despair; a civilization of ten thousand living things enduring hell on Earth. Villages of sticks and tarps encamped in a mile-long drainage ditch, children playing, men urinating, women crying. Rotting, randomly layered carcasses of discarded vehicles like one would see at the bottom of the sea encrusted with mollusks and coral as an artificial reef, instead are rendered monochromatic by a thick layer of poison dust. Herds of cattle graze in fields of garbage and drink from murky septic puddles. Emaciated packs of dogs forage for any scrap.
I read every day that India is rising. I am not fooled. India will remain the parent who caresses you with one arm while beating you with the other until those with the will, the knowledge, and the money – the men in the billion dollar skyscraper homes – take action.