The Chupwala's, living in darkness, are polluting the sea of stories at it's Source/Wellspring while the Guppies live lavishly in a controlled state of perpetual light, taking the Stories for granted, even defiling them by rewriting themselves into the center of every story.
In one of my favorite excerpts; Iff, a Guppie, has a shocking revelation of the damage that has been done to the Sea of Stories:
Iff broke in. "Look down at the Ocean".The thick, dark poison was everywhere now, obliterating the colours of the Streams of Story, which Haroun could no longer tell apart. A cold, clammy feeling rose up from the water, which was near freezing point, 'as cold as death', Haroun found himself thinking. Iff's grief began to overflow. It's our own fault,' he wept. 'We are the Guardians of the Ocean, and we didn't guard it. Look at the Ocean, look at it! The oldest stories ever made, and look at them now. We let them rot, we abandoned them, long before this poisoning. We lost touch with our beginnings, with our roots, our Wellspring, our Source. Boring, we said, not in demand, surplus to requirements. And now, look, just look! No colour, no life, no nothing. Spoilt! (Page 146)I can't help but think Salman Rushdie is pointing to an ever growing crack in our foundation. We've lost touch with our roots, distracted by an endless pursuit for lavish comfort, making the Story all about us.
This is one childrens story every adult should read.