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Troubled waters
Photo by Sreedeep

Text: Aparna Mudiam The Yamuna, Delhi’s only river, runs through the city’s heart, and it has been around long enough to have witnessed grand historical shifts — the rise and fall of empires, the changing face of Delhi. But alas, it has also been Yamuna’s fate, its curse, to die in Delhi. The river is choked on most stretches in an overgrowth of plantation. And everywhere, only scattered pools of water remain. This water is often a mix of industrial sludge, grime and other pollutants like organic waste and the ever-present bits of polythene bags. Still, the dead river has a life of its own: you can see and hear the gushing stream; the fishing nets, aflutter like sails; frothing puddles connecting to the giant stream of the river; and always, you see kids playing in the waters, splashing, diving and somersaulting over its surface. It’s only during the monsoon season that you witness such scenes, which, full of life, provide a living spark of their own to the otherwise decaying river.

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