‘Grandpa! Look, It’s snowing!’

Five-year-old Emily jumped in glee, her little hands coming together in a joyous clap.

I smile at her and run my hands over her hairless scalp. The doctors had given her only three more months to live.

‘Grandpa! Is it Christmas again?’ Her smile drove stakes through my heart. Emily’s generation’s struggles were because of the decadent behavior of my generation.

‘Can I play in the snow, Grandpa?’

‘Not in this snow, sweetheart!’

Outside, the poisonous foam that resembled snow kept falling.

This story was inspired by the contamination of two lakes in my city, Bangalore, which created the aforementioned poisonous foams. The lakes, once sources of drinking water, became ground zero for dumping of unprocessed industrial effluents and sewage contaminating them permanently. There have been efforts undertaken by the Government along with eco-conscious organizations, but progress has been extremely slow. While we, thankfully, live far away from the lakes, there are tens of thousands who still live around the vicinity and are exposed to the potentially carcinogenic environment. Our generation does have a lot to answer to the future. Let’s be responsible as much as possible. Thank you. 


Actual picture of the poisonous foams from Bellendur lake, Bangalore. 

Written in response to Roger Bultot’s picture prompt for Friday Fictioneers, hosted by our beloved host, Rochelle. Please head over here for more stories.



  1. Heart wrenching. High time we should act as responsible citizens and make this world a better place for our generations to come. I had seen this lake in a bad state 10 yrs back when I was in Bangalore. Can’t even imagine the current situation. It’s alarming.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Our rivers are polluted, now our air is polluted. Pollution is falling from the sky like snow. Little children are dying of deadly disease. We call this development. Gandhi said, “there is enough for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed.”

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  3. This story is a study in the power of contrast. Because she is so gleeful, so alive we feel the punch of the diagnosis, the contamination, the rudderless abdication of lawmakers, all the more. Nice work!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. By describing the little girl’s glee and the grandpa’s remorse, you draw the reader in where we experience the horror of this catastrophe. The fact that it is a real situation only makes it worse. We are all guilty to one degree or another, the authors of our own destruction. Well crafted, Vared!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A horrific story, set about a diabolical lack of control by industry and government, heaven help humanity. Well done

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Words fail me. As a child going to school I used to cross a river (yes we walked to school in those days) that would some days be pink, other days blue, and still other days green. In those days I like to think they were just simple fabric dyes from the mills nearby, but who knows what people have been carelessly discharging for years. Frightening. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That was quite a twist at the end and your picture only adds to it. Hopefully they can get it cleaned up fast. It snowed here a couple days ago and my toddler niece thought it was Christmas again. 🙂


  8. An illuminating take Varad, and thanks for the picture – an incredible sight to see. Embodying the fate of us all in a small innocent hammers home the point well.

    Liked by 1 person

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