Categories
Health n Fitness Incidents Thought and Reason

The fuss about going Green

Pic courtesy: http://www.metrolic.com/going-green-121170/

The fuss about ‘going green’

Honestly, I don’t understand what all this ‘go green’ fuss is about. There has been an explosion of TV shows, green marathons, walks, talks – you name it! But, how does it matter to me – if the earth runs out of oxygen or water after 1000 years? I won’t even be alive then!

It simply makes no difference to my life. Or does it?

Thar desert - pic courtesy: Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Thar_Desert.JPG

A long time ago, when I was still a pig-tailed-school-kid, we learnt about the soaring temperatures (40+ degrees centigrade) in the Thar desert in Rajasthan, and were utterly shocked. How anyone could survive in such hot conditions baffled us! Two decades down the line, today, almost every other city in India crosses this temperature with ease. That too, even before summer strikes the nation! Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat apparently topped 48 degrees in 2010. Hundreds died due to the heat wave. A hill station like Shimla touched 32 degrees C. Monsoons get delayed, people die of hunger and thirst. We could be one of them. It does make a difference.

Winters are getting colder and harsher. Where once snow was a Christmas-time pretty scene, it is now dreaded in many parts of the world. Incessant snow, coupled with rain that makes roads slippery and dangerous, are a bane.

We do not need to wait for 1000 years for the earth to perish. While that might not even happen, chances are that you and I could be stranded in that crazy, unprecedented snow today!

We don’t often realise, that we do not lead isolated lives. A toy manufactured in China from materials that simply cannot be recycled end up in the home of a child in India. Cucumbers imported from Spain may be the source of an E. coli outbreak that Germany claims, killed four people and affected 200 more. Relentless gas emissions from certain countries results in a global-level weather change, in simple terms global-warming!

You see, in this truly global village that we live in, our lives are interconnected!!

The more careless a person is about his/her local environment, the more disastrous it becomes for the earth as a whole.

The thing is, we often don’t realise what all this fuss is about.

Going green. What does it even mean?

Well, to put it very simply, ‘going green’ means doing little things, taking baby steps, to preserve and help the environment from perishing. A yahoo answer says: ‘To “go green” means to live a lifestyle that is more harmonious with one another and the earth. Energy efficiency, keeping things maintained, using cleaners that will not remain in the earth and poison wildlife, reducing trash, reusing and recycling.’  Quite a good definition, that.

Now we come to the difficult part. How do we GO green? What can a layman do, to help the environment? Sounds really tough, does it not? Here are some really simple steps that you and I can take – every day – to go green.

1)      Recycle – I cannot stress enough on this topic. Recycle. Recycle. Don’t just trash your non-perishable goods. Take a good plastic bottle for example. Instead of just throwing it into the bin, see if you could use it for something else. Or worst case, make a recycling bag. Trash all your glass, plastic and metal into it, so it gets to be recycled and made into something else. In UK, the government provides free recycling sacks to every household, and even insists on separate bins for perishable garbage and recyclable goods. Though, a couple of years back, there was a scandal about UK shipping a phenomenal amount of recyclable waste to ‘China’ and ‘India’ instead of actually recycling it. But that is another discussion, for another day. The point is, we simply must learn to recycle anything that is not perishable.

Pic courtesy: http://www.simonlluma.eu/wp-content/plastic_bag_3.jpg

2)      Say No to plastic – I know we have this soft-corner for anything plastic. Plastic bags, plastic storage containers, plastic toys.

All smiles!

Even plastic smiles 😉

But please, try to say NO to plastic. Let us not clutter our homes and lives with plastic – simply because it cannot be recycled.

Once cheap plastic has been trashed, it simply adds to the rubbish dump and cannot be used to make anything else. It is not bio-degradable, takes between 45-1000 years to degrade at sea, and did you know (I certainly didn’t) – it takes oil to produce them and it takes more oil to recycle them than it does to produce.

Pic courtesy: http://www.urbanrail.net/as/delh/delhi.htm

3)      Shake that ass – Don’t get me wrong. I just mean, instead of driving your vehicle to cover the smallest distance, try to get moving. Walk, if time permits. Or ride a bike. Cycle all the way to work, if possible. Or use public transport. Buses, trains, car-pool. It is well worth a shot, at trying to reduce fuel consumption. Saves not just the environment, but your hard-earned money too.

4)      Save money – Reduce electricity bill – Who does not love TV? As long as one can avoid Ekta’s soaps, TV is an awesome pastime. In this weather, we need fans, lights, air-conditioners all the time. but let us analyse our lifestyle, and think, for a moment, if there is any way we can reduce our electricity consumption. For example, instead of running the drying cycle in your washing machine for an hour (thereby even damaging your machine!), can you just turn off the drier after say 15 minutes, and then hang the clothes out to dry in hot sun? Given our soaring temperatures, this should not be a challenge! Again, instead of sitting on that comfortable couch, watching TV all day, go out for a walk with friends instead. You not only cut down on electricity and fuel consumption, but also help yourself achieve a healthier lifestyle.

5)      Be blatantly Kanjoos (stingy) – My 4-year old simply does not understand ‘WHY’ we have to save water. To him, water flows freely in every tap, in every house. So, why bother?

You see, a lot of work goes on in making water potable for you and me. That apart, being water efficient leads naturally to a reduction in carbon, energy and utility costs. Pumping treating and distributing water from reservoirs, rivers and groundwater sources produces approximately 50kg of CO2 per household per year – and a further 250kg of CO2 is produced when you heat water at home. Did you know that: 25% of you energy bill goes on heating water to shower, bathe and clean? Being water efficient can half your hot water use, saving you 12% off your energy bill?

For those of you who are not yawning out of boredom yet, I stumbled upon this excellent website that lists out various ways to go green. (click the link). Do read it, and see what is applicable to you.

So, after reading what all the fuss is about, should you choose to ‘go green’, do drop in a line and let us know.

And if you don’t, then only remember, you do not need to wait 1000 years for the earth to perish. It is happening right here, right now. You and I cannot do anything drastic about it. But we sure can take baby steps towards help the environment we live in.

(P.S: That was not a threat. Seriously.)

(P.P.S: Who are we kidding? Go shake that ass, kanjoos!!)

** This article was originally written for Ek Titli. If you wish to contribute, kindly contact the Ek Title team via their website.

Categories
Thurs Challenge - picture

Thursday Challenge – Wooden

So Ash’s comment made me so enthusiastic about doing the Thursday Challenge, that I clicked a picture of something really cute, and scheduled it for next week (which is , ‘today’).

Every time we apply for a Schengen visa, we queue up at this VFS office, which is just off Soho Square. While the little alley where the office is located looks rather seedy, the Soho square itself is just so pretty. See for yourself!!!

Soho square park

Isn’t that the prettiest wooden house EVER?

🙂 🙂 🙂

Categories
Incidents Wordless Wed

Wordy Wday – Desi girls and some non-sense

To all the ‘innocent folks’ who landed on this page, googling ‘desi girls’ or ‘nonsense’ – you’d be disappointed, so close the window right away.

So my friends, a very boring wordy Wednesday, this.

Spotted this ‘appertisement‘ on a local bus last week, and thought the model looked really really familiar!

And hey! It was our very own Genelia 🙂 I loved the cute characters she played in the Sachin and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. Seen it? Seen it?

Isn’t that sweet? Wouldn’t we love to see more Indian actors and actresses in advertisements abroad, even if it was only for  Dabur Vatika!!!

Except Shilpa Shitty Shetty. And Lara Dutta. And the entire Bacchan clan. Pretty please!

And, just when I was thinking how peaceful reel life has been without the presence of the Bacchan family, here comes the announcement that the whole of India  (and apparently, Reuters too) has waited for, with bated breath.

Methinks the only other news that will be a cause of national celebration would be Rahul baba’s wedding. You know, like we could then have our very own ‘Royal Wedding!’

Anyway, its time to celebrate. Ash Rai is pregnant. (Wiki says 1.9 million women get pregnant in India every year). Whatever!!

Now for some more bits of non-sense.

1) The gorgeous LCD Tv-screens at my local Gym continuously air cookery shows at the time people are slogging their a$$ off to burn some calories. Tell me, how can anybody lose weight, when all they see in front of them, is a delicious pie being baked in the oven, or a giant-sized cream cake being readied for a party?!! Ridiculous, if you ask me!!

2) Apparently, actor Abbas’s recent acting venture is.. guess what.. a Harpic ad!! Yaar, he was one of those cool-dudes that every teenage girl in Chennai used to droooool over. Once upon a time. Look how he has fallen! Vaat-ey-pity 😦 And on that note, do read this brilliant blog that I’ve been hooked onto all evening! And for those of you don’t know who Abbas is/was, check this video. That used to be our ideal of ‘being hip and cool‘! (*Shakes head wisely, without knowing whether to laugh or cry – in retrospect, that is!)

3) Watched Karate Kid. Loved it. Absolutely loved it. Every character was brilliant. Realised that Kung Fu is not about ‘fighting’. It is an art. Ahem. But Jackie Chan has grown so old 😦 Didn’t expect that!! And 12-year-olds kissing??? That makes no sense. Not to an old fogie like me!

4) Ah, but that, you see, is what happens in foreign countries. Not in India. Never. We are a culturally rich country. What happens here is this and this. Quite sadly, though, one is not surprised. It makes complete non-sense. But it happens more often that we imagine.

Ok, before I make you feel any more depressed, I shall sign-out with a post scheduled for tomorrow’s Thursday challenge!!

Ta ta!

Categories
Thurs Challenge - picture

Thursday challenge – Ripples within Ripples

Its been ages since I took up a Thursday Challenge post. Thanks to Ash (of Krishnaleela fame), who kindly mentioned it on FB (actually, ahem, she said she found my blog thrown up on Google when she looked up Thursday challenge .. He he 🙂 talk about ‘cheap thrills’ :lol:), I was motivated to try it again.

So, this week’s theme is ‘LIQUID’. I just took these pictures the other day, because I found it fascinating to see – Ripples WITHIN ripples 🙂

Ripples within ripples! - A shot of the river Thames

On closer look, I found that the ripples were being caused by rain water leaking from the train tracks that ran overground, just above the river 🙂 How beautiful is that!!!!

The whole picture!

And on that note, Happy Thursday folks. Can’t wait for Friday evening, as this week has been manic, with the weather touching 24 degrees, which is ‘HOT’ by London standards!

Categories
Humour Incidents Thought and Reason

Bits, Bobs and Sexy legs

Ok, if you are one of those few people who re-read the title just now, for your kind information, it is ‘bIts, bObs and sexy legs’. Perverts… 🙄

I miss blogging! I miss reading posts by my blog-buddies, I miss commenting, I miss replying to the very kind comments on my own blog! 24-hours a day is simply not enough! There is so much to do, so much to not do… and hardly any time to write. So here are a few bits and bobs….

1) Just read this yesterday: It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. How very true. You simply have to run faster than ever before, just to remain in the same place. I thought this was by Kotler, however, Wiki told me otherwise. To read the source of this brilliant line, do click this link.

2) We were browsing the ‘Father’s Day‘ Cards at Tesco today, and the young security boy commented about how ‘people are marketing every single thing!‘ and how ‘there is a day for every thing and every one’. I agreed , nodding wisely, until he blurted, ‘There’s a fathers day, a mother’s day… at this rate, they will introduce a Child’s day!‘ I guess this boy hadn’t heard of ‘Children’s Day’ 😆 😆 😆

3) On sexy legs… (Ah…. finally!)

I actually went to the gym last month. Twice so far! And I actually enjoyed it. Now having sweated out for two hours (one hour each session), I instantly felt ‘fitter’ than ever before.

So, there is this pedestrian crossing that I have to cross every day, to drop the Brat off at school. There is a glass wall on the opposite side of the road.

Now, the Brat and I were standing on this side of the road, waiting for the traffic signal to change, so we could cross over to the other side. And voila!! In the glass wall, I saw the most amazing reflection of my legs. Looking lean and long in those dark blue denim jeans. I was amazed at the results of my two hours of gym-ing. I gazed at the reflection for a couple of seconds, sighing, wondering why I didn’t begin exercising earlier. And then – guess what happened next….

.

..

….

…..

……

…….

……..

………

……….

And then.. the pair of legs turned around and started to walk away!!! 🙄

Despite my average levels of sanity, I could not – for the life of me – figure out (pun unintended) how my sexy legs could do that … Until I realised those belonged to someone else. .. to a real girl who was actually standing behind the glass wall and whose upper half was hidden by a board that contained the tube map 😦

🙄 🙄 😆 😆

It was all I could do, to stop myself from clicking a picture. Saks would have done a great job, but hey, I am not her.

On that note, where the hell is she????? And that reminds me, where the hell is every one else? Where are Vimmu, Solilo, Indyeah? Where are Pixie, Swar, Mon and Uma? And why are Hitchy and Brat not commenting in their usual style? I miss all of you people.

(I also miss all those whose names I have forgotten remembered but just not written down ;-))

Itna sannata kyun hai bhai???

(4) P.S: I watched ‘Ready‘ yesterday. Total time-pass!! The first half of the movie was funny and had quite a few laughs, and great catchy numbers. The second half was entirely boring. So any of you planning to watch it, have fun 🙂 My Brat cannot stop singing Dhinka Chika and trying to copy Sallu’s moves 😉

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Y1V5up6ljw

(5) Edited to add: Just read this line on a fan-page on facebook. Lines of appreciation for a very popular male person, from his female fan…

‘….Its been a pleasure sharing with you as to my recent interest which had grown oversize…’ 🙄 🙄 :mrgreen: 🙄

I seriously wonder what she was referring to… any guesses?!!!!!

P.S: For the non-perverted mind: The male was Vah Chef  😉

Btw, I am a huge fan of Vah Chef myself… I enjoy his recipies on Youtube… and most importantly, I looooooooooooove his expression when he tastes his own food 🙂 Priceless and totally enviable 🙂

Happy rest of the week, folks. I am not sure when I will be able to reply to your lovely comments. But please keep writing ….

Categories
Uncategorized

On English and snake-charmers

Three events in a row, have been rankling in my mind for some time now.

A birthday party earlier this year. The birthday-boy was English, and his grandma and I were making P.C (as my dear friend Sowmya refers to ‘polite conversation‘). She enquired about our plans to ‘settle down abroad’ and I replied that we intended to ‘head back home‘. When she said, ‘Well, good for your son that he is ‘here’ now, he can learn his language (English) here’. I laughed it off. Inwardly, I was SEETHING.

A chance encounter with a friendly Mum-Kid duo at a play-area. The mother was Indian, born and brought up in Africa, and now settled in the UK. In the course of our conversation, she happened to say – with evident surprise – ‘Your English is beautiful!‘ and wanted to know how I managed to speak English, coming from India.

Amsterdam

A little conversation on a canal boat in Amsterdam. The American couple seated in front of us, struck up a conversation, and happened to mention that they were surprised to hear my son’s ‘British/American accent’. Naturally, the question that followed was how he managed to converse with our relatives/friends back in India, and IF people in India could speak English.

Three incidents. They were friendly and innocent remarks, not meant to cause any harm or insult. However, the unspoken words set me thinking.

So, why is it that foreigners ASSUME that people in India do not understand/speak English?

It is not just foreigners. Even second generation British Indians (i.e. whose parents or grand-parents settled in UK and these folks were born and brought up here), seem to think the same way. I was asked by an ‘Indian’ colleague, if people in India could speak English, and if everybody was still very poor! I remember being quite shocked at the ignorance and stereotyped image she carried of her country!!

So, does India still project this image of being a third-world country, where people wear saris or dhotis, chew paan, speak only their regional language, and watch snake-charmers perform tricks by the side of the road?!

Pic courtesy: thedeafblog dot co dot uk

Does the word ‘India’ conjure up a picture of beggars and snake-charmers or monkeys performing tricks and people throwing coins onto a ragged cloth spread on the dusty road?

Does the western world not know how developed we are, on various grounds? We have miles to go, that is certain, but we aren’t exactly an undeveloped, tribal land today!!

Do they see us as Slumdog-non-millonaires? (On another note, I remember being angry at the producers of Slumdog Millionaire for projecting such a pathetic, stereotyped image of our country!)

Chennai city centre mall

Does ‘India’ not represent a modern and growing nation at all? What of all the IT parks and banks that have sprung up in the last couple of decades? And the dreaded call-centres that cater to western countries? What of the high-rise buildings and roads crowded with cars and bikes? I do understand that our villages are a far cry from cities. But they too, are developed in more ways than we can imagine!

Courtesy: Google images

If nothing else, what about our adorable Kalmadi, Radia, Raja and Kanimozhi :roll:? If nothing else, atleast these esteemed folks should give them a better idea of the state of affairs in our country 😆 😆

On an interesting note, I googled ‘India’ on Google Images, and this is what came up: Our flag, the Taj, maps, even a picture of Shahrukh Khan posing for Chak De 😆

Sadly, there was no Anna, and heavens be blessed, no Ramdev 😉

Courtesy: Google images

Now coming back to the question of ‘understanding/speaking English’, from my limited experience, most Indians can understand the language, and can communicate fairly reasonably, if one can ignore the grammar/pronunciation. Even the simple vegetable vendor can understand a few words. So if a foreigner were to visit an Indian city (I am not sure about remote villages), he can manage to get across a few basic words. Just as he/she would, in, say, Russia or Germany! Don’t you think?

Courtesy: Asiaforum dot co dot uk

On a lighter note, we can “…talk English, walk English and even laugh English because English is a very phunny language.”

Well, to the friendly American tourist on that boat – I strongly recommended that she make a visit, cover the grand palaces in Rajasthan, and go all the way down South to marvel at the exquisite temples. She genuinely seemed quite interested. Just before we left the boat, this is what I said to her:

‘I do hope you visit India some day, its a beautiful country. Only, don’t expect to see any snake-charmers!!’

She replied, with a smile, ‘Damn!! I was hoping to see some!’

So people, how do non-Indians perceive India? Any ideas?