I Can't Breathe!

I Can't Breathe!

I Can't Breathe!

-By Nilanjana Sen

The air around is yellow - neither can I see anything nor can I breathe. Every direction I turn to, I see disembodied hands reaching out of the haze and clawing at me. The air is so heavy that I am not sure if I am running away or towards the predator. Am I just running in circles? I have no answer.

Suddenly, out of the yellow, it appears a hand that grasps my throat and starts choking me. I try fighting it, but - to my shock - there is nothing but thick, yellow smoke around my throat. My eyes start burning and my lungs catch fire. In an instant, I fall to the slimy floor with a thud.

"Am I dead?" I ask myself. Then I realize I am not, for my living hell is worse than the lakes of fire up in the sky. I live in Delhi.

As long as I am breathing, I am dying. The air pollution is so bad that the sun, too, is wearing a mask and hiding his face. Schools are closed, constructions have been suspended and life has come to a standstill. Present Delhi looks a lot like the post-apocalyptic world. How do we tackle this?

I peek out the window to capture the Delhi sky, for I am a photographer and also an adventurer. In all the numerous risks that I've taken throughout my life, those few minutes with my head out of the window were the scariest.

"How did it come to such a point?" This is what everyone asks at the end of the world, I always presumed. I was not wrong. All of us have been asking the same question, except it's not too late. We can still go back. We can still save our planet.