Thursday, March 14, 2019

Updates time


The last post was very solemn. The fallout from there on was grim as well. Every time I came upon my space to post something, I would see the last post and retreat.

I was hugely impacted by the state of events in India in February. I have always felt very strongly about defence and defence personnel. In fact I was very keen to join the army short service commission back in the day. But I spoke to a very distant relative of ours who was in the armed forces. He gave me a good reality check. He did not dissuade me, but gave an overview from an employment and employability perspective. I had my well meaning parents who also gently nudged me towards a more traditional career. But the dogfight in February made me think about it and I decided to start a change.org signature campaign to get justice for a martyred soldier. I was skeptical about signature campaigns, and I read up a lot online. The verdict was still out there. I thought it was better to take steps and know rather than not know. I went ahead and raised a campaign. I got a slow trickle of signatures. The initial aim was to reach 100. As soon as there were 20 signatures, I received an email to make a contribution of £20 to get the campaign publicized. It would get more views and its chances of going through would be more. Now this seemed like a proper scam to me. I was not averse to paying the £20, but the whole raison d'ĂȘtre of such campaigns was being violated by asking for money. Wasn’t the whole purpose of such campaigns was to bring in such issues to the forefront about which people had a certain opinion about. Linking money to it, made it seem very trivial. There was also the very real threat of accounts being hacked. I would be putting my payment details into yet another site! And with the current spew of hacks, I was not so comfortable doing that. So in case you have thought of online signature campaigns, you know a bit more now.


While I was trying to make this impact (and failed), I was also motivated to make another change. Again historically I have been quite an environmentally aware person. I used to carry plastic bags with me as a teenager in India. I tried to continue as far as possible. In the western world it is quite easy to be flippant about nature since for the sake of convenience a lot of things are  disposable. I feel in that respect a lot of Indian values are far better. The way many street side foods are served in plates made of leaves, snacks are served in paper and in fact my sis and I were reminiscing that in Indian railways, the eggs used to be cut with thread and given. The Indian lifestyle is far more harmonious with the environment. Our wedding decorations are reused, we use so much bamboo and environment friendly artifacts. Any bad habits that are creeping in are more due to the mindless emulation of economically developed countries.  In the west, there is a manic obsession for plastic packaging. I was reading an article which questioned the rationale behind packaging something as transient as fruits in something as undegradable as plastic. The fruit rots away in days while the plastic remains for centuries. It is hard to eliminate plastic – they are all pervasive. As I was setting up our house last year, I tried to get stuff made of natural products like rubber, fiber or recycled plastic. I have also opted for cleaning products such as vinegar and baking soda which can be bought in huge bulk and thus abstain from using a lot of bottles. I read up on making natural body scrubs and for the past 3 months have stuck to using a sugar scrub (sugar + olive oil /any oil of preference + few drops of essential oil for fragrance), thus avoiding the shower gels. It also helps me avoid the body lotions and the bottles there of. There are few other changes too, such as doing away with disposable wipes for cleaning surfaces. Last month after toddling with the idea for a long time, I went full throttle. I started using menstrual cups. I was completely cynical of them at one time, but then without dilly dallying I went full on in one month. And I would recommend to anyone who has been thinking about them. With my environment friendly ways, I feel better. I don’t feel like a hippie, but I can imagine how they might be feeling being so one with nature. It’s a good way to live though in all honesty it is time consuming. Everything natural takes time. Again in all this I think how much has the west got to learn from India. I remember how my mom used to apply turmeric and yogurt on our face, wash our hair with egg and yoghurt, the mandatory oil massage, the natural way of living. I just hope and wish we keep going back to them, because for the sake of convenience of a few minutes, we do end up doing a lot of damage to ourselves and to the world around us.

Speaking of the world around us, to anyone and everyone who likes to pick a book – I am recommending The Spellman Files!! It is an amaaaaaaaazing book! Please read it. It’s a book about a family of PIs (Personal Investigators). They are a quirky family and the way the book has been written is quite quirky as well. There are so many instances in the book that just make me chuckle aloud in the bus. It is a fantastic book. I see a few regular people who take the bus from my neighbourhood. And the book makes me want to find out more ;) (Recreational Investigation as book calls it! ) Don’t worry I am not going to go around following others, nor am I going to keep looking over my shoulder. But well, it’s a very interesting book and well worth a read. This is one book I will ensure my daughters read when they are ready. This along with Summertime by J M Coetzee. Thankfully both my girls like reading. I hope this is one habit they retain as they grow up. Because this is the only habit I have managed to retain. I think I am old enough to find TV boring!!

Well my old fingers have run out of strength to type any more. So till next time, be well :) 


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