Once upon a time, she was fair, clear, bright, serene and tranquil. Lahore had spotless beauty full of mesmerizing and captivating persona. Lahore was the city of gardens. This is not a fairy tale – a fictitious and imaginary story rather the sad reality that unfortunately my city, your city and our city is no longer the same. Distorted, tortured, and abused, Lahore cries out and wails: “Who is responsible for my dilapidated state?” Does the responsibility of damaging this enchanting city rest with the government or its citizens? The beautiful River Ravi that flowed with power and strength has been squeezed to a mere string that is full of knots of garbage: plastic bags, straws and rags; distort its magnificence and grandeur. The river like the city has bowed down to the increasing demands of the people and is buried under the weight of the waste of its inhabitants. Ravi that was once surrounded by lush green terrain; now unfortunately is enveloped by slums, shanties, huts and mangled infrastructure. The river weeps and screams: “Who will make me pure again?” The city that was once surrounded by spacious fields, picturesque meadows and quaint pastures, that were habitats for a plethora of flora and fauna have now been swiped over by factories and housing estates. Urbanization and the demand of the ever-growing population have dramatically and adversely changed the landscape. The city groans, stretching beyond its capacity under the burden of the massive population.The mutilated and battered city whines and howls: “Who will reduce my pain and torture?” The mutilated and battered city whines and howls: “Who will reduce my pain?” Who has destroyed the air of this city? The air that was fresh and pollution-free, is now full of toxins. We breathe in toxins every second. Lahore, our city has been recently declared as the city with the most polluted air in the world according to the air pollution data released by the US Air Quality Index (AQI). Should we celebrate our achievement? After all, we have all worked diligently to get this award. The smog covers the city even before we wake up and before we go to bed thus, we are living in a perpetual state of pollution. Eyes burn, throats ache, heads throb and breathing becomes strenuous. Yet, we continue to pollute our city endlessly. The lanes that were once wide, open and welcoming; are now inundated with filth. Flies circulate in abundance around the garbage heaps randomly mushrooming around the city. To control the waste of the city has become a challenge for the administrators of the metropolis. Oblivious to the repercussions, we continue to burn, dump and bury. Once the pedestrians could enjoy a stroll around the city but now are bombarded with an array of vehicles that zigzag throughout the metropolis in a chaotic manner, leaving no space for walking or cycling. Nearly every road is a victim of a traffic jam with impatient drivers honking horns wildly and black fumes from the cars darkening the horizon. Every person in the family needs a car: five family members and five cars. Yes! Without a doubt, our status is more important than the city. Why walk when we can drive and show off our brand-new car. Why carpool? That is too much of a hassle. Let the city die, we need our luxuries, and we cannot change our lifestyle. The concrete jungle glares stares and mocks at us. The malicious laugh becomes a roar that shatters our eardrums. The trees, the gardens, the birds, where have they all gone? Will we mend our ways and save the city of gardens? The writer is a student.