Dear fellow Delhiite
I heard in one of the news channels that you are leaving this city that is now sadly called “The Gas Chamber”. It is even sadder because till a few years ago, it had become the “Rape Capital” and that too hurt a lot. So I heard you are exhausted, tired and with compromised lungs and a worried family. I wanted to hear more but I couldn’t because my ailing toddler had a bout of cough and I had to attend to him. I am sorry. I am sorry for a lot of things but most importantly I am sorry because tomorrow morning, when we meet in the lift again, I will still behave like I don’t know you nor would I acknowledge this letter. Anyway that is just one of the first apologies! Here is my list of apologies for you and your family.
I am sorry because I kept feeling nostalgic about my small city Diwali, I revisited and retold those stories so many times that my children had to demand for crackers. I happily gave in to their demands. One more year.
I am sorry because while I was bursting these “green” crackers more than my kids, I was still posting “save environment” messages on my social media handles. Over dinner, we discussed smog and its problems too.
I am sorry because last year when the parking area seemed less, I was one of the signatures that gave consent for clearing up the trees for more space.
Parking reminds me something else. We are a family of four (two kids including) and we have three SUVs. Yes I know. A lot of these “three SUVs” are now parked where we once had trees and greenery. I am sorry but will my apology help reduce the emissions?
I am sorry for all the times I switched on the AC in the bedroom and went to watch a 20/20 match in the living room (switching on the AC there too!).
I am sorry because while I was always upbeat about forwarding political messages and festive greetings, I never bothered to google about these seemingly unimportant things.
I just remembered that I did forward some intelligent messages too but I am sorry because I hardly wasted any time reading them myself.
I am sorry for all the poly bags I threw from my car window, all the waste A4 sheets I threw in the dustbin and all the pollution checks I cleared with bribes.
I am sorry because while I have always known these issues, I didn’t really understand them. They were the Hyms, the Azans and Gayatri Mantra we all memorize and yet do not know.
I am sorry because while I always talked about vanishing coral reef or receding groundwater levels, I stayed safe and said, “But what can we do?”.
The list is long but my eyes are burning and my chest feels heavy. Part because of the guilt and part because of all the smog in the air.
I will wrap it up but in case you want to forward it to your neighbor without signing it, go ahead and do it. I heard he is leaving too.
One guilty citizen to another
Dear fellow Delhiite