Monthly Archives: March 2008

Eco anxiety

I am not kidding, it is actually a state of mind where people think the world is spiralling towards an environmental doom and nothing they do will ever stop it. I had a minor case of it last Saturday on the well published Earth Hour.. As the hour neared I was in a wee bit of panic. I mean there are so many electrical outlets that I was not sure which ones I had to pull the plug on. Are the fridge, Internet and phone connections meant to be switched off? What if somebody calls me and I have no idea they are calling? What if the frozen many-things rot? I would be committing a bigger crime by throwing away perfectly good food. It got to me. I am not a person who stresses about things, neither am I callously ignorant about them. I would like to think I have a perfectly balanced opinion of the world and yet I am not sure how balanced I can be when it comes to greening the planet. I am a political Science student. I am aware of the politics of being green. Everyday we are bombarded with views so contradictory and alarming, it is but natural to get anxious of what is right and what is wrong. I try to do things that I can in small ways to reduce the waste I generate, in being sensible about my needs and taking steps like recycling, using recycled papers and plastics, bulbs and lights, saving water, electricity, gas and everything. I realise now that those small steps are the best way to start.
The more I do these things, the more I realize how green we were in India even under normal circumstances. Eating on banana leaves in big festivals – banana plant is a fast growing and one of the only plants in which every part is used up. The stem, leaf, flower, fruit, everything. Waste water from the kitchen and baths were diverted to coconut trees. Amma always had a bag when she went to market. Glass bottles were washed and recycled for groceries. Corner shops gave groceries in recycled newspapers, vendors went around town in bicycle and taking the public transportation was a fun chore. People made attempts to sit in the same room, if not for saving electricity atleast for chatting and playing and doing things together. Everyone ate together and washed their dishes. And the electricity board cut power every week for two hours atleast ūüėČ This is not a comparison exercise. It is just a small act of realization that in small town India, where people don’t understand the loaded concepts of global warming and environmentally friendly ways of life, life is still green because of the natural respect that they have for environment. Anything above means and westernized in some ways was considered wasteful and unnecessary. I still get it from my grandparents. There needs to be a collective effort in reminding people that in some little ways, being normal and Indian is not bad. Having this argument with someone who comes from the city, I found that their view is different. I mean he wants to be amongst the people who are jumping on the bandwagon of capitalized, fast developing India, where hummers, land rovers and Jaguars will soon make a show. I am not one to condemn the development of my country, all I want in return is a responsible development. This is the best time that India has to show how being one of the fastest growing countries on the planet doesn’t mean that we also have to top the biggest polluter list. I do not know how the balance can be achieved and it is a complicated situation. Rajendra Pachauri of the Climate change commission has mentioned that India will need a different treatment given the diversity and cultural differences within the country. It will take time, and yet I cannot but feel anxious whenever the topic comes up. I know that my step in the right direction will make a difference, but my need to see results now personality is finding it difficult to stop, breathe, cough and say the change will come.


Books hai Wonderful!

It is a Book Tag….Yey!! I am so eager to write this that the first few words came out in a blur of random assorted letters typed on the keyboard. And I am excited because I get to talk about books. YEY!! Have you ever seen that Wonderful Doodh ad, well I sing it to books. You know

¬†Books..books..books…books, Books hai wonderful, read sakthe hai roz pageful.

I didn’t say the song was pretty, But you get the idea Anyway here it goes.

 A book that made you laugh: Asterix and Obelix; Archies

A book that made you cry: Erich Segal РThe Class.

A book that scared you: Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

A book that disgusted you: Maximum City – Suketu Mehta. Made me think how ppl lead lives that were so complicated and beyond reason.

A book you loved in elementary school: Anything Enid Blyton- The faraway Tree, Noddy, Adventures of the Wishing chair….everything

A book you loved in middle/junior high school: Without a doubt the Malory towers and St. Clares time. Famous Five, Five Findouters, Three Investigators, Ruskin Bond and Roald Dahl

A book you loved in high School: Erich Segal РDoctors, The Red Scarf Girl

A book you loved in college: The Jason Bourne triology РRobert Ludlum.

A book that challenged your identity: Oooh Interesting. Freedom At Midnight- Made me question my identity as a responsible citizen and challenged me to take on political science.

¬†A series you love:¬†Famous Five, Three Investigators, Asterix, Tintin…..

Horror: Eh! rather do Mystery

Science fiction: Love all Robin Cook, Micheal Crichton. I want substance, not random aliens and yucky green mess.

Your favourite fantasy: Toughie. I live in fantasy and 20%. So Malory towers, eveything Enid Blyton. Mahabaratha a close second.

Your favourite mystery: DUH!! Sherlock Holmes. There is no question of a second. The first place I went sightseeing is the Sherlock holmes museum in London. It is absolutely breathtaking. Makes the man so real, the adventures plausible and imagination so much more realistic

Your favourite biography: Indira РKatherine Frank. An honest portrayal.

Your favourite ‚ÄúComing of age‚ÄĚ book:¬†The Red Scarf Girl – Ji Li Jiang

 Your favourite classic: Pride and Prejudice РJane Austen

Your favourite romance book:Doctors – Erich Segal, Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen.

All Done…Any takers???

Licence to Blog!!

I am about to do an eight…My first tag. Tags are kind of like the licence test to make sure you can take on the blogging world. I have always felt like there was a whole other conversation going on, when people do tags. Ever been in school where the more popular girls were in this group huddled and talking about things, you would give an ear to know., well I was part of the group at times. Not the snooty, ew, you come by bus, bring curd rice, kinetic honda driving gang. The other one, where there was always laughter, lunch boxes were meant to be open during 10.00 break and party meant veg. puffs at the local bakery. But I digress…anyway I finally feel like I belong…YEY!! Thank you sunshine, you truly made my day. So here goes.

Eight things I am passionate about:

  1. Books: or anything readable. I wouldn’t have a life without them. There are urban legends about my reading, ranging from those little paper bits the local grocer gave chillies in to forgetting about a guest in the living room while drowning in Malory towers.
  2. News: Being a student of Politics has its benefits, I can watch news for homework ūüėČ I am a big news junkie. I do have my terms- no entertainment parodying as news. I like my news straight up preferably from BBC or similar channel.
  3. Travel: From the stone’s throw distance of Ooty, to the luscious paradise of Munnar, Islands of Andaman, Gorgeous Calcutta, heady mix of Mumbai, Absolutely serene London. I have travelled most of my life and will travel for the rest.
  4. Learning: I am in love with academia. I love learning, more specifically I love learning about history, literature, politics, geography and the sciences. It is a part of the person I am now.
  5. Poetry: I am passionate about poetry and literature in all its forms. I love Victorian age poetry and am absolutely enamoured by Tennyson’s poems.
  6. My Independence: I will fight well¬†I don’t have nails so fingers and teeth to protect mine. I am particular about people stepping into my boundaries. No one dictates what I do, what I wear or how I live my life. I am not a pretty sight if that boundary is crossed.
  7. My work and my ambitions: There is a reason why I crossed over from pure science to philosophy and politics and without passion I wouldn’t have truly belonged.
  8. My passions: If it is something I love and want to do, I put my heart, soul, trunk and shoes into it and get on board. I can’t do a job with half a mind and quarter of a heart. If I am doing something, I’d rather do the things I truly am passionate about

Eight things I want to do before I die:

  1. Get a PhD
  2. Travel the world
  3. Work in the UN at some really prestigious post.
  4. Send my parents on a trip to Europe and US. Be with my father when we visit out Holy Grail “The Westminster Abbey” and see the delight on my mother’s face when I show her the NY Botanical gardens
  5. Learn a musical instrument
  6. Win the Pulitzer
  7. Build the library of my dreams and have my friend take a look at it…(That’s another post)
  8. Be someone who matters and who really makes a difference

Eight things I say often

  1. Well..DUH!!
  2. Okay
  3. Thanks!
  4. I love You
  5. Ha..ha So funnny
  6. Good Morning
  7. Apppppaaaaaa
  8. Bye

Eight Books I have read recently (I am writing my Master’s thesis – most of these books are towards that)

  1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (For the umpteenth time)
  2. Inspite of the Gods-The rise of Modern India
  3. The Argumentative Indian
  4. Shantaram (Reading)
  5. The fall of the Ottoman empire
  6. When Nations go to war
  7. The Communist Manifesto
  8. The collected works of H.W. Longfellow

Eight Songs I could listen to over and over:

  1. Janaki jaane – Dhwani – Only when my mother sings
  2. Dhoom Pichuk Dhoom – Euphoria
  3. Hotel California – Eagles
  4. Dil Chahtha Hai – All songs
  5. Beat it – Michael Jackson
  6. Alaipayuthey – Any version
  7. Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams
  8. Bohemian rhapsody – Queen

Eight things that attracts me to my friends:

  1. Intelligence
  2. Humor
  3. Willingness to talk for hours about books
  4. Curiosity
  5. Selflessness
  6. Ability to laugh at all situations
  7. Honesty
  8. Values the friendship.

Eight People I am about to tag:

Ah Well choices…choices….

  1. Any other takers????