A climate change yarn
A new novel invites younger readers to get involved in the struggle against climate change
As we get closer to 2021, the year when the sixth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be released, climate-related protests are intensifying across the world. The most visible one is led by a teenager, Greta Thunberg, and the thousands of children who have responded with great enthusiasm to her call for a school strike to force the hand of dithering adults.
To this end, Bijal Vachharajani’s sparkling novel for young adults, A Cloud Called Bhura, is a great introduction to both climate change and the importance of collective action to force recalcitrant governments to act on global warming. Set in Mumbai, the novel opens with a toxic brown cloud made up of particulate matter and carbon emissions colonizing the city’s sky. As temperatures rise, floods devastate the countryside, crops fail and the air gets more lethal, four young friends decide to find out what’s happening.
What they learn horrifies them, and, with the help of a scientist and a lawyer, they go about trying to get rid of the cloud by putting political and legal pressure on the government. In this inspiring tale that’s also a great read, Vachharajani manages to weave in other strands of progressive politics, from queer rights to Ambedkarite politics, into the narrative without any of it feeling forced. A must-read.