Dawn had come and gone. An inch is all I wished to move. Bottles in every hue neatly boxed me in. Large cylindrical boxes, tiny cubed boxes completed my cage. My attire was a never ending roll of plastic covers, patched up end to end, wrapped around enough times to not make me feel naked ever again. Binding me, suffocating me. Diapers teamed up with menstrual pads to weigh my legs down. A sea of innumerable perfumes and shampoos engulfed me and overloaded my olfactory system, making me gasp for breath. An assembly of thin flimsy spoons hammered my eyes shut.
I tried to scream; I couldn’t even move my toes. I figured judgment day had arrived, justice served to us by nature. Treated like how we had treated her all this while. According to random stats I had chanced upon, it could take 800 years or more for these compounds to break down and free me, but I did not think I would last more than a few hours in this enclosure. So I resigned to my fate of forever lying in this plastic coffin. My one consolation was my neighbor’s plight, who had never recycled a day in his life.
Now, what was that I felt? A small hope? There was something pushing at my back. It was the dear mango sapling we had planted many years ago on our son’s first birthday, trying to push me up, unburden me. My tulsi plant breathed in oxygen to my struggling lungs. A few drops moistened my parched throat from the lake I had volunteered to clean when I was young. The climbers on my balcony wall were trying to pull me up.
I sent a fervent prayer to the world. I made promises to fight for her like she was fighting for me. But had I done enough in this lifetime to see the light again?