Participants were asked to submit short articles for the Creative Writing Competition hosted by Wildlife SOS, and the winners would get the chance of getting their articles published on our website!
Here are the winners of the contest!
1st Prize: Apurvaa Pandey
2nd Prize: Sarah Pickard
3rd Prize: Bhagyashree Mukund
by Apurvaa Pandey
It has been days, since I have been living in darkness. I can hear the sea waves, I can feel the sun rays but cannot see anything. My breath seems to be tangled in tight ropes, unbreakable velvety rubber-like ropes. I gasp for breath every now and then, hoping I can make through this dungeon.
There is light, but the sun seems to have become translucent. In my eighty years this is the first time when the sun refuses to meet me eye-to-eye. It seems to be shy, asking me to come chase it and remove its veil. When still a hatchling, I was introduced by him, to the earth and moon, to the sands and sea, to the flora and fauna, allowing me to surf and swim in tides— high and low.
Though today, it refuses to greet me and so does the sea. I try hard, opening my mouth as much as I can, walking as fast as my body can, and yet the sea waters evade me. I look around, and still the translucent velvety veil engulfs me. It tightens around my gut, and I gasp for breath yet again.
Often as a baby, I travelled in these waters with my bale. Swimming to the depths of the ocean, finding food and sometimes game. Our favorite being racing to the sun from the bottom of the sea. But today there are none to race with. I feel desolate, claustrophobic and helpless, not knowing what I should do. I try to reach the ends of the velvety material, but it seems to be stuck in my throat, tightening my gut, inside my shell, every time I swivel in the sea.
I had swiveled then too…
It was pitch dark and I was resting on the shore. It was time to dive and eat a morsel for a meal. In some distance, I could see a range of colors lighting up the dark sky, all coming from the boat— a prism, a steel eel. I remembered I was hungry and needed to get some sea jellies.
I dived in the cool waters, twirling, and swiveling, playing hide and seek with my sea compatriots, feeling the joy, living the freedom, absorbing the moon rays, surfing on the high tides and letting in the therapeutic waves heal my pains for the day. However, today was not the same.
The air and water were heavy with sound waves, vibrating to dense beats. Strangely the steel eel too hadn’t moved and on board were some other compatriots, although not much like us. They were similar to the one’s I met during the day onshore. Some, in my adolescent years, allowed me to cross the streets and shores, others would give me food.
They seemed to be nice…
Suddenly, one of them dropped something in the sea. It seemed white velvety, very much jelly like. I thought they were giving me food. I started to swim towards it, but in no time my fellow- Joule caught hold of it. There was no point in fighting over it, I let it go and turned around. I dived deeper into the sea, in hopes of finding a sea cucumber as jelly fishes seemed to be outnumbered.
I finished my meal under sea and surfaced up for breath, when suddenly something came flying down. It was rubber like shining much like a jelly fish would. While the shape seemed to be much different, much
more thin and long. Joule too had caught hold of this unique exotic species, although he is no-where to be seen now.
Never mind, I begin to eat my new meal…
I tried to eat it, though the jelly seems to be too coarse. May be it is like the crustaceous shell, that I have. I begin to swallow it, taking it in bit-by-bit. Even then, it does not get dissolved, rather it begins to tighten around my throat and mouth somehow.
I see something float in front of me…
It is Joule. I try to call out, but the food seems to have hijacked my voice. I go near him, trying to look in his eye but he remains motionless, floating away in water. I suddenly begin to choke! I try to throw the food out, but it seems to have stuck. Its velvety touch eroding my interiors. I try to call for help, but none comes out. I begin flapping to the shore, hoping it will give me some rest and allow me to take the rubber- like material out. I no longer can keep my eyes open, it is hurting me. I reach the shore and see some other boat compatriots. I know they will come and help me.
It has been two days, I need water, I need food, but I’m not able to move. I look around but can only see a flimsy material around my eyes. The sun is still veiled and yet hot. I feel like my shell has started to melt around me. The world appears smaller by the hour. No one seems to see me. My breath seems to have lowered down its pace. I try to open my mouth only to get more pain. I try to breathe, I gasp, and yet nothing comes. Everything seems to have been blocked. Everything seems to have come to an end. I remember Joule and say to myself — “I’m coming Joule…“
by Sarah Pickard
She stood in silence, her feet feeling a hug from the sand below and her eyes fixating on the moving clouds above. Watching the clouds move against the blue sky was like watching a painter with a brush. She closed her eyes and listened to the sounds around her and for a moment she was lost in the symphony of waves crashing and birds chirping. The warmth from the sun was like a warm bath that melted her muscles and washed away fears.
With each deep breath she smelled the salt from the water and the distant smells of ocean life. “This life is so precious,” she thought to herself, “this amazing choreography of water, air and earth that mingle with each other in perfect balance”. She wondered why more people weren’t standing in silence and taking in these magnificent sensations. People were scurrying around her like ants on a mission. She thought how lovely it would be if all these people just stopped for a moment and enjoyed this experience alongside her. Would everyone else feel the same explosion of emotions and gratitude toward nature? She felt a bit lonely in this moment, as she contemplated the intensity of joy and contentment radiating from her body.
Perhaps there are not many others that could sit and feel the power of the planet that they rely on day to day. Then, just as quickly as she felt the joy of nature, she felt tears well in her eyes. As the tears rolled down her face, one single tear dropped to the ground and quickly got lost in the water beneath her feet. She fell to her knees and prayed to the Earth, and to anyone or anything who would listen to her words. She knew the importance of preserving this beauty, and yet the magnitude that comes with such a large responsibility. Maybe it was too late, and the damage could not be undone. She felt overwhelmed with a sense of sorrow for this world. “We must release you from our grasp and set you free.”, she said out loud.
She knew that the world had been held hostage for far too long. “We’ve polluted your waters and taken your trees. We’ve drilled and burrowed our way into your flesh. We’ve saturated your air with chemicals and smoke. And yet, you still struggle to provide; Like a mother provides for her children.”, she thought. She could only ask for forgiveness for herself and on behalf of other humans who have lost touch with what truly provides them with life. She whispered to herself, “They do not understand what they are doing to you as they move freely through their life. While they are careless and free, they have forgotten there is no planet B.”.
What I stand for, is what I stand on: There is no Planet B!
by Bhagyashree Mukund
Our Curiosity has driven us all, far beyond what we could have possibly done. But as a result the entire human kind is stuck on exploiting everything that exists. We don’t stop at anything, first we started killing animals for food then we started taking away their skins for our luxuries, we even took away their right to coexist. Now the tables have turned.
Now we can see that nature revamping its beauty and the animals are reclaiming theirs spaces. Not in the wildest of our dreams we could have imagined this kind of bounce back. We say science is at its peak, but honestly we are all just stuck in a lockdown situation because mother nature is coming right back at us. People have started to recognize this retaliation from nature, showing that earth belongs to each and every living being. The sudden appearance of dolphins in marine drive, the clear water in river Ganga and the pollution free air which has made Himalayas visible from Jalandhar. It’s completely magical!
Earth is healing itself when we are locked inside of our homes. We have spent thousands of dollars to make man a part of the moon and planned to go to mars only to figure out how life would be on another planet. But what have we done to ourselves? People are ready to pull people down, animals are treated so badly, exploited to fulfill our selfish demands, while some people feel that they are contributing and working towards the betterment of animals and environment by being vegetarian and vegan, but we are the same people who need straws to drink our beverage comfortably, and we can’t live without polyethylene bags.
While some people genuinely care about the environment our world still needs to get better at understanding what we have and how we are losing everything and the way it cost us. So, every year 22nd April we celebrate Earth Day, to create awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment. I believe and trust that together we can pave the path in order to make everything right for our earth. We have to try hard to reach that goal, taking one step at a time together. Then each day would be better than the day before.