The scanty settlements lay scattered all over the desert, occupied by meager populations of dark-skinned, malnourished children and muscular, angry (,aged for their age) men. The climate was dry, void of any precipitation (as well as all hope), the contaminated air carried with it sooty dust and glutinous feathers and stung in the nose all those who inhaled it, the people were an unappealing blend of weary and determined.
The bright blue sky always remained a lighter, despised shade of blue, never did the clouds (even by mistake) stumble upon it. No lakes (shimmering with rays of striking sunlight) flew across the barren, wounded land and it’s inhabitants never rushed to meet the water’s crazed, undulating waves, in an attempt to escape the treacherous heat.
They only cursed and cussed at the sun with fury, eyed it with an expression that called into question it’s whole purpose. And rightly so, because they hadn’t known of a single reason why it ever existed. To create the insufferable heat that made the pores on their skin flood with sweat and their throats bare and grasped by unquenchable thirst, or to dry up their already deep, empty wells, to burn their mottled flesh and give it the bright red, itchy patches that made their hard, raw bodies pain so terribly in the night, (or to help grow the trees that weren’t even there.)
It wasn’t wrong to say that life in the sand dunes was hard, but it wasn’t right either. It was a happy life, and people willingly made the demanding efforts to survive. They had known all there lives, it was a lesson that had seeped into their hearts long before any other worldly knowledge had.
Less is more.
Less is more and more is less, they knew.
It was this belief that had kept them going through the decade-long droughts that ensued every few years. So they learnt to stay happy with the minimal and about gratitude, they knew all already. They thanked God for all they had (which was not a lot but enough).
It was a well-known metaphor, one that was handed down from generation to generation in hopes that they too would remain true to that philosophy. That more pots made more noise, killed the silence that helped summon sleep in the night.
Little did they know, though, that the world around them was changing at a pace they were incapable of keeping up with. That their surroundings were soon to be engulfed by a cloth into which were sewn the dreams of comfort, colored in the color of material and wanting. That an illusion was going to shatter there very real, very happy Eco-system. That a red carpet was laid for them to walk on, to lead them into a world that didn’t like them (back).