When the very air we breathe conspires to kills us, there is no way out.
When I got my first ever cell-phone back in 2014, a Nokia Lumia 525, the app that I was utterly obsessed with since the very first boot was the default weather app.
I’m not joking. I would check the weather app every 15-20 minutes, poring over the detailed breakdowns of every relevant statistic.
From wind direction to how humid the air was and admire the animated backgrounds showing just how cloudy or clear the skies are outside.
For some reason partly cloudy would always make me crack a smile.
And it’s an obsession that continues to this day, except for far more morbid reasons.
The clear, cloudy, and partly cloudy skies of 2014 have long since passed, giving way to a hitherto unknown new condition: Haze.
Just what the hell is this haze anyway?
Since I no longer have to abide by the constraints of university life, let me just quickly cite Wikipedia for this.
Haze often occurs when dust and smoke particles accumulate in relatively dry air.
When weather conditions block the dispersal of smoke and other pollutants they concentrate.
And form a usually low-hanging shroud that impairs visibility and may become a respiratory health threat.
Just a decade ago, if you lived in Dhaka, you could crane your head out the window and expect to see blue skies with rolling clouds in the distance.
In the last five or so years (and I’m being entirely un-scientific and strictly anecdotal here) that trademark baby blue tint turned.
Quite rapidly, into something that I can vaguely describe as shimmery opal dust, which looks as if the skies were comprised entirely of multi-coloured sequins.
And other tiny objects which have no place in the human respiratory system.
But how did we get here?
“Urban development” would be the obvious answer, exacerbated by worsening weather conditions as a byproduct of the worldwide climate crisis.
The continued industrialization of our planet and our lives is once again at the centre of the future downfall of civilization.
And we are all hopelessly resigned to an early grave in the name of profit.