I somewhere read once that actions speak louder than words but I actually think that silence is more powerful than anything else. So amending the statement, silence speaks louder than words. But there is a condition; someone must seriously lend ears to hear the voice of silence. It is usually and for sure rightly said that silence turns out to be the pre-start of some great disaster. That is why silence is important and needs to be heard.
Punjab is the land of rich cultures, fertile fields, ancient civilizations and most importantly five rivers. Rivers have always remained vital to the evolution, promotion and development of cultures and civilizations. Lahore has remained the capital of Mughal Empire. They cultivated gardens here hence the city turned out to be “the city of gardens”. The chief reason for the special importance of Lahore was the river Ravi whose waves always remained playful and its banks have witnessed the ups and downs of the Mughal empire as well as many other ancient rulers and developing civilizations. It was Ravi whose joyful waves playing the sweet rhythms and the lively music echoing in the environment has attracted the Emperors and caused them to leave behind such a great heritage like the Lahore Fort that is said to be located at the bank of Ravi at that time but now time has changed and Ravi gradually changed its course to the North. It was Ravi that irrigated the lands of suburbs of Lahore yielding many valuable food and cash crops thus upheaving the economy of the capital.
Now, after so many years, Ravi has been compelled to change a lot. This mighty river that was considered to be sacred because of the benefits it yielded has now been turned into a dumping site for domestic as well as industrial wastes. All that playfulness and rhythm of music has been lost somewhere in the sandstorm of time. Time is not only a mighty healer but a great destroyer as well. It has caused Ravi to be silent. Its silence speaks but in this modern era of development and racing of individuals to get higher positions have caused us to become deaf to the voice of the silence of Ravi. Nobody is capable enough to hear its silent screams or pay any attention to the unshed tears of this ruined heritage. Our industrial development and urbanization, although positive for growing economy, has cost us the most valuable thing of all the times. No incentives have yet practically been taken to restore Ravi to its previous natural state. I always have the feeling of some cries from somewhere very far away whenever I pass by.
By: Aimon Malghani