A glance at this image may give you the impression that this is a large canal or drain. However, this is Mahanadi or atleast a pale shadow of what once was mighty Mahanadi. In my childhood days I used to look at Mahanadi with awe. Our train used to move at a snails pace over the Mahanadi bridge on the outskirts of Cuttack. It used to take about 40 odd minutes. The massive river used to evoke awe and reverence. Today, Mahanadi has been damned to death due to many dams and barrages built by Chattishgarh. While driving for a documentary shoot, I came across this pathetic sight of the Mahanadi river.
Our mighty rivers were integrated into our culture as Goddesses and Gods perhaps because they used to evoke awe, respect and fear. Today, the rivers have been throttled and strangulated to their death and have been reduced to a trickle by construction of many dams and barrages. It has killed off much of the riverine flora and fauna and the ecosystem. The downstream villages, cities and people have also been badly impacted. Our culture is also been changed for ever. Future generations will one day realise our folly.