Earth Day?

Where did Earth Day go this year?

Earth day this year, for me, was over shadowed by the Easter Massacres in Sri Lanka and the National Elections in India. However, I’ll never forget that first disastrous Earth Day celebration over 20 years ago when I took my little girls walking up to Hanging Gardens to learn all about conservation and saving the environment. Though we were the only people there along with a white-bearded Parsi gent, it seems that I did sow the seeds of Environmental Protection in my girls.

Thirty years later, I can see their children pointing out garbage piles, asking us to stop using plastic and asking us to recycle and reuse. 

Gulls or gathias

This became all the more apparent when my Little Po shouted out to his cousin Ms. Papaya that the sky was filled with ‘gathias’.

I couldn’t see a single ‘gathia’ in the sky. It was filled with seagulls though. Both the kids were enthusiastically counting the ‘gathia’ when the penny suddenly dropped.

It seemed that Wow Dinga’s class had to spend one Sunday afternoon on Chowpatty beach and stop ardent bird ‘lovers’ from feeding the seagulls ‘gathias”.

Every winter the migratory gulls stopover in Mumbai like many of our own ‘snowbirds’. When the summer comes they fly back to cooler climes.

Unfortunately, these birds have become so fat and lazy feeding on the ‘gathia’ that they stay back only to die once temperatures rise.

 Why Earth Day is important

Oftentimes I wonder at the significance of observing Earth Day.  After all, despite the brouhaha this day generates,  the climate seems to change regardless.

Stricter norms on effluent treatment, garbage disposal and even responsible use of plastic, has not stopped climate change. For instance this year we Mumbaikars actually had a long winter till early March!

But while we in Mumbai may welcome an extended or colder winter, this is completely against Nature’s plan. Ultimately a change in the environment affects all living creatures and some of them even become extinct.

I wonder how many of you remember the years after cell phones became rampant in Mumbai, the common house sparrow simply vanished. People said that it was because of the cell tower waves that beamed at the flight height of the sparrows. Luckily now they have come back and I can see them chirruping in my garden.

However more needs to be done than just curtailing indiscriminate cell tower proliferation.

Climate change affects and endangers animal species like bees, elephants, giraffes, insects, whales. 

It affects natural environments like coral reefs that are in danger too.

So while Earth Day has slipped by unnoticed and unsung, we shouldn’t forget that we need to look after our planet and NOW.

Little steps to save the earth

You need not participate in a parade or an event to save the earth. Small steps will do.

  • Use water judiciously
  • Walk whenever possible
  • Eliminate waste in your everyday life – use gift wraps, ribbons etc prudently
  • Make the  Three R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle – your new mantra

Do share with me in the comments, your favourite tip on Environmental conservation.


Image for Unishta


Author: Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!


  1. That brought a smile to my face but then I realised the peril of feeding them this junk. Even in Varanasi this was being done when you go out in the boats. Vendors come and sell you namkeen sev and the birds go ballistic at them.

    You are right about how we are abusing our planet and it’s resources… Earth day comes and goes but we are oblivious to the dangers in our consumerist greed.

    I don’t see many people changing as they are too used to their comforts.

  2. I well remember the first Earth Day in the United States-1970. There’s been a lot of improvement-New York City no longer gets the killer smog of years ago. But climate change is here and too many Americans won’t admit it or won’t lift a finger to do anything about it.

  3. Oh, that’s sad about the sea-gulls. Glad that the kids are made aware of this threat to their lives and they are helping spread awareness. I do follow the 3Rs and walk a lot. Need to work on conserving water! Thanks for the nudge, Sunita!

  4. Timely post with some excellent tips! People are killing off wildlife with kindness. I just read an article about how feeding bread to waterfowl is having disastrous effects as well. And the amount of trash in the world is startling! Those “islands” of plastic in the oceans, and on and on… The world is such a mess! 🙁

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