…که زمین چرکین است

i look and all i see is the dull dustiness of all around.

*
some afternoons when i go to those hills on the western outskirts, i see the dust forming a gradient on the horizon- going from a sooth-colored dark upwards to a weakish and half-hearted blue. the thick cloud hangs in place over the city incessantly, even with the winds. the mountains trap it inside. kabul is like a deep bowl with mountains all around the city, and a thick cloud of dust and dirt permanently hanging over it.

*
via kaaka-taighoon:

جز خاک در این کشور پر خاک نخوردیم
خوردیم مگر این همه بی باک نخوردیم
کاکه تیغون-

*
the pressing question seems to be whether all of it is just dust and dirt. recently i heard someone from the environmental protection agency venting about how foul the air was, and how about 30% of all that everyone breathed in was dried up faecal material from open-air sewages and latrines that was swept up into the air by winds and passing traffic. i could not determine who was he criticizing, as his own organization is tasked with the job of keeping the environment clean and healthy. but there he was: indignantly telling the rest of us the guilty news that one third of the air we breathe in is dehydrated human waste particles. he was so forceful and indignant in his complaint that i felt guilty and was about to apologize to him for our indiscriminate respiration.

*
the news got me worried and a little upset in my stomach too. i can avoid fresh fruits and vegetables and stick to bottled water, but to my knowledge the technology for portable respiration-safe air has not been mass-produced yet. and so i had to look around to verify the claim. it turns out there is a number 30 and some shit involved, but it is 30 ppm (parts per million) and not 30 percent. i was relieved, but still there was the nagging feeling that we regularly breathe in about 30 particles of that stuff in a million. does anybody know what is the permissible amount of shit for breathing in?

*
there are those hardy ones who get over their throat ailments here in a matter of days, but i also know those who constantly struggle with their throat and breathing for as long as they are in this city.

*
used to be a time when the following was true of kabul:

مشک تازه می بارد ابرِ بهمنِ کابل
موج سبزه می کارد کوی و برزنِ کابل
ضیا قاریزاده-

nowadays though, another verse seems more fitting:

آخرین برگِ سفر نامه ی باران این است
که زمین چرکین است
شفیعی کدکنی-

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~ by safrang on June 3, 2008.

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