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Let's Listen To The Dead Whale On Juhu Beach

29/01/2016 9:46 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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Harpreet Singh

A few days ago, everything seemed as it should be. I enjoyed a walk on Juhu Beach after a long gap, and was fortunate enough to witness a rare "starling murmuration" where thousands and thousands of beautiful starlings fly together forming incredible patterns in the sky. Just a week before, some lucky people had witnessed enchanting bioluminescent waves on Juhu beach too. I remember thinking to myself, "Wow! This life is nothing but a gift from nature..."

And then late last night reality hit me hard when I got a message from a friend about a beached whale. I am used to swimming with whales and sharks in the oceans on the dive experiences I organise around the world - the reason I do this is simple: I love marine life. When I heard about the whale, I rushed to Juhu, only to find out it was already dead when the body washed up ashore. The police had cordoned off the entire area so I couldn't find out more about the situation then.

A recent report clearly stated that with current trends plastic will outweigh fish in the oceans by 2050!

Early the next morning, I returned to the beach to discover a 30-40ft Bryde's whale, the most beautiful and gentle of souls, lying there in a mangled mess with a strange horn-like object sticking out of its belly. This beautiful animal was the latest addition to the hundreds of whales that have been washing up ashore on beaches around the world at an alarming rate, especially in the last one year.

This is not what the morning walkers on Juhu beach would have wished to start their day with but you know what, I am glad this was the first sight we saw that morning.

It will serve as a reminder for what we as a race are becoming and how our selfish, greedy ways are now showing up washed ashore, a symbol of shame. Our shame.

Maybe I am rushing to conclusions since the autopsy report is yet to come but let's be honest, is it really a stretch to realise and recognise what we are doing to our environment and our fellow beings by dumping toxic garbage into the oceans? The problem is magnified greatly due to our stupid dependence on plastic on a daily basis. A very recent report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and World Economic Forum clearly stated that with current trends plastic will outweigh fish in the oceans by 2050!

Every initiative we take to reduce our own burden on the environment will help change the world.

You may argue that it might be the seismic shifts in the ocean beds which interferes with the animal's sonar and disorients it, or from the sonar from a ship (Republic Day naval practice?) or perhaps even a natural cause in this particular case.

But there is no denying that we are responsible for many such instances. We are messing with our environment so shamelessly and on such a deep scale that maybe we just don't care anymore. Maybe we just turn a blind eye, with the classic excuse: what can one person do?

Let's wake up world. Every small effort counts and will add up. Every initiative we take to reduce our own burden on the environment will help change the world. Every time we don't allow someone else to be careless with our planet will be a small victory. You can change the world, so start with yourself.

#StartWith1Thing.

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