Man from ancient times has been a social animal. But it is increasingly becoming clear that he is albeit a selfish one, typically giving no thought to any other species on the planet. Being a Punekar for more than three decades, I have seen the city as the pensioner’s paradise, to the education centre it has transformed into, and then an overwhelming IT hub. This has been quite a transformation, but the more drastic change has been how the greenery of the city has changed…literally! Where, once fans were rarely even installed in houses, let alone used, now air conditioners have almost become mandatory. The cause for this change in Pune’s ideal weather seems rather obvious, a city that had a thick green cover and hills that dotted the entire city have suddenly started disappearing. Yes, hills too have been gradually flattened for construction, huge banyan trees that once majestically lined the Ganeshkhind road, Fergusson College and most of the roads are now but a distant memory. In such a situation, Empress Garden has been one of the last places where one might still find solace of anything that can be seriously called plant life. The absolutely ruthless and impractical step of reducing the area of the garden to build buildings for bureaucrats, officials or even commoners is in line with the already intellectually challenged decisions that have taken Pune’s ecological system down a path of mindless and insensitive destruction. A city is not just its people; it is the earth, wind, air, water, flora and fauna. Problem is, we just don’t define a city like that any longer.