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The Financial Express

Changes people in this city rarely notice


Changes  people in  this city  rarely  notice

What a contrasting weather Dhaka, one of the world's top unliveable cities, is now going through! Scorching heat today, tomorrow the sky is overcast with clouds and even there may be drizzles. Or, it can happen within a day or hours. Maybe, the sun is resplendent in the morning and the surrounding is awash with bright rays but before long clouds start gathering to cover the entire space one's eyes can behold. The temperature is atrociously up rising as high as 37 degree Celsius. It may be unrelenting for a day or two but then suddenly drops down to 32 degree Celsius with the welcome conspiracy of clouds doing their rounds.
Globally it is one of the driest seasons in history. Dhaka city or for that matter Bangladesh is no exception to this. Even then what has made a difference in the monsoon this year is the colour of clouds. In Ashar and Shraban, clouds are supposed to be black and dusky just before raining. There were scrambling clouds as if they were playfully running helter-skelter like uncaring children. At times, one could make a mistake if the blue sky and the white patches of clouds like spilled cotton balls were not from the autumn.
Now that the autumn is here already, the lingering ambience of the monsoon continues with the clouds now reversing their colours. If anyone had thought that the seasonal change brought the autumnal symptoms ahead, the dark patches of clouds now hovering above leave one wonder-struck. The clouds, however, are not only dark but there are white ones as well which shoulder to shoulder lazily sail on but not in a merrymaking fashion.
Have you ever spotted both sun and the moon in the sky at the same time? If you were an early riser, you could do so for a few days in the last week. The sun was shining bright on the low horizon beginning at 6.00 am and on the high on the western horizon the pale moon was still visible. It could be seen right after 7.00 am. Such things are uncommon but not altogether unique. Yet one who beholds this for the first time, it appears as a puzzle or a mystery. Superstitious people may read many things in it but it happens as part of an arrangement of constellation.
That the sun is in its middle age, as a new study by the European Space Agency informs, and will be dead within a few billion years may make many people wary of the future of mankind. It is 4.57 billion years old and if it is in its middle age, it is on its decline. This means there may be readjustment in the arrangement of the planets moving around the star.
Yet this is a long way off. What the inhabitants of the only known planet to have hosted life are doing now may be enough to invite their end long before the sun ceases to be. The fact is that people are turning against Nature so much so that they have little love for all those sustain biodiversity. When on a sight-seeing trip, the new generation tourists are more interested in selfies than the beauty, the enchanting sights and sounds of a place. Some even are hooked to the small screen.
There are young people who still passionately fall in love with animals, birds, trees, rivers, oceans, hills and mountains. But their number is increasingly dropping. What is particularly worrying is that the majority of young people today do not wake up to see the breaking of dawn in the eastern sky and its setting in the dusk with all its glory poured in vermillion colour. It is great to be able to wonder at the smallest changes in the surrounding.
How the plants grow into trees or the buds shape into flowers. The seasonal transformation of trees with their leaves falling and sprouting and the young leaves assuming different shades as they mature should make one wonder at. As the first rains come sweeping on trees, they seem to welcome with their open arms and at times lower their heads in gratitude. Who says trees have no response to the external activities---natural and human?
Make no mistake people are distancing themselves from Nature and the latter does not like it. It is coming hard upon the most 'rational' animal on the planet Earth. A big question mark now stands before the rationality because they are furthering the limit of their dominance and exploiting resources well beyond sustainability. Nature is hitting back. The question is can human race survive the backlash. Dhaka city is a representative of that hostile place and the search for an answer should begin from here for its inhabitants ---in fact, for all the people of this land.

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