Atlantis Now


Atlantis Now

As children we are told tales,
Interwoven imagineerings of myth, history -
Fairytales too.
The first pangs of fascination,
Felt were from a story because it was more land
Than a cultural creation.
The legend of ATLANTIS.

So concrete yet fantastical a place,
That it could hold even the most rowdy child’s imagination,
In it’s pillars and domes submerged in the most mysterious of Oceans.
An architecture of wonder —-

Now, today.

As adults, ATLANTIS beckons fright in my child’s heart.
This could, can and will be us,
if we do not STOP and honour the ways in which humans were first conceived -
Of the Planet, From the Planet - Not against the Planet.
For when we are submerged in the heart of the ocean,
We will not thrive in a mythical mermaid world but be a planetary archeological graveyard.
An architecture of waste.
A downfall of ecological hubris.

All adages from childhood of a moral highground,
Are transforming in to words that reflect back our folly - slowly drowning all we built.
“You reap what you sow” … “little drops of water makes a mighty ocean”…
We have sown a plastic paradise of comfort and ease,
Reaping now - 7 layered hell of disease.
Even the most permanent frost,
Is melting away, lost.

ATLANTIS is coming for us, one inch, one meter, Celsius by Celsius.

The irony though remains that our ATLANTIS will be no utopia.
History had already sealed the fate of divisions,
When the first towering smoke-spewing industries were built,
In what we call “developed”.
They will not reap what they sow.

Today, the lands fastest submerging, disappearing, vanishing, starving…
Are the ones we call “developing”,
Paying the price of seeds they did not sow, of oceans they did not grow.

The ATLANTIS of our making, of our un-doing,
Will be layered, a reflection of our oppression - today.

The cities, the civilisations to drown first,
Will bear the burden of weight of the others to come later.
Even in oblivion, their bones being fossilised by the pressure of capitalism.

Cement and steel, the marvels of our architecture - today,
Will tomorrow be the anchors that hold us down,
Weighed down - simultaneously, burning and drowning.

ATLANTIS is now and everywhere.

Displacement and generational loss in flooded Karachi