Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mug the Challenge!

Lush green paddy fields, gentle ripples of backwaters and wells with water as pure as a mountain spring; all these and many more painted the picture around the small town in which I was born and brought up. Scarcity of water is something that was unheard of during my childhood. In addition, the water we needed at home was always drawn from the well and we never received a paper with the title ‘Water Bill’.

The picture got slightly blurred when I first moved out of my town to my neighbouring state for higher studies. I was first introduced to the concept of ‘hard water’. It was quite difficult initially to get used to this different genre of water. It was there I first saw this strange sight of people buying mineral water in bulk. It was strange since there was a drinking water dispenser at the college hostel from where many of us took water from. When asked I was told that they use mineral water for head bath since hard water will spoil the hair. Imagine the kind of money people spent for this!

Life moved on and soon I was in the metropolitan city of Bangalore. For the first time in my life I had to buy drinking water for my daily consumption since there was no supply of drinking water at the place where I stayed. On top of this an additional amount started appearing on my monthly expense statements. I started paying water bills though the amount was quite minimal compared to the electricity bills.

A few years later I got married and as destiny had its way, we ended up in the desert kingdom of Dubai. One fine day after our first month in Dubai we received a bill from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. How would you feel if you get struck with a heavy-duty sledgehammer? That’s the status we were in, seeing the amount for the water we consumed. It was a shocker to realize that we really need to pay more for water than power!

Thinking about this transition itself is quite dreadful! From a literally free supply of water to rationed supply of hard water to nominal payment for consumed water and finally to a state where we end up paying more for water than electricity itself! It was high time we realized the path we are heading to. We had to do something really drastic to reduce the consumption of this limited natural resource.

One of the solutions appeared in the form of a simple item present in our bathroom. An innocent little mug! When we started looking at our water usage, we realized that the washbasin tap is a big culprit who contributes to the scary numbers on our water bill. It never dawned on us till then the quantity of water that gets lost while using the tap. Most of us don’t realize that when a tap is opened we end up losing more water than what we really need. Do you have the habit of holding water in your open palm to wash your face or to brush your teeth or for any other morning routine? Next time you do this; notice the amount of water that flows out of your hand as well as from the tap against the actual amount of water you really use. The delta will be huge!

Our approach was quite simple. We started using the mug to hold water from the tap and use exactly the quantity that we needed. This helped us to reduce our water consumption quite significantly! The water bills in this part of the world, where lives are built on top of a desert, continue to be high. Nevertheless each drop thus saved directly added to our piggy bank.

You are not just doing yourself a favour, but in fact you are saving this depleting natural resource for your kids and the generations to come! A simple change with a huge impact!

So, do you have it in you to take up this challenge?! 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Guerrillas around us!

Article for Bethlehem Matrimonial - Mar 2015

Guerrilla warfare is one of the most effective war strategies ever adopted in the history by less organized groups against mighty forces. The key aspect of this strategy is to attack the marked enemy when it is least expected thereby making the most of the surprise element! How exactly do you think that the Guerrilla warfare is connected to our day-to-day lives? Let me assure you that when you finish reading this piece you will be least startled to see how this strategy is being adopted by many around us especially when it comes to families.

A lot of young couples these days are away from their parents since their professions would’ve taken them to distant places. Some of them get to see the families on a regular basis whereas there are many who get to meet their loved ones once a while only which could range from months to years together. Needless to say, the farther they are the chances of regular communication between these groups could take a hit. Parents back home get to hear many views about their children from their relatives. Some of these views clearly belong to the category of Guerrilla strategy mentioned earlier.

Have you ever received a call from your parents stating that they met one of your cousins after a while and he was saying that you never contact them? The statements also would’ve added flavours that you’re always busy to be reached or never available etc. The fact of the matter could be that you would’ve been busy at the time you were reached and you would’ve later called back. The Guerrilla who raised this concern would’ve been equally busy when you tried calling him back. This part of the picture never gets portrayed and your naive parents would’ve been made to believe one version of the story.

One of the worst affected parties in this whole show is definitely your spouse, irrespective of whether the strategy is devised in this manner or not. They end up being the usual suspects for this ‘phenomenal’ change that had happened in your life. Fingers get pointed at them for being responsible for making the boy or girl ‘change’ from what they were earlier. What neither the families nor the Guerrillas realize is the fact that the priorities in life never remain the same. What would’ve been the top priority for someone before being married may not exactly be the way post marriage. While people forget this aspect of life and leave their dear ones at a state of helplessness, the Guerrillas have a gala time to have gained victory over another set of innocent souls.

The message is loud and clear! When you hold your hands together in front of The Almighty to give birth to a family, you also promise to define the priorities together for your family. This is a truth that needs to be realized by people around you in both your families as well as your friend circles. Just the way you have defined the priority for your family you must respect the priority of others as well. This mutual respect shown to each of the families will gradually dismantle the Guerrilla warriors though you may never see a complete end to people of this kind. After all, the Garden of Eden is never pictured without the wooing snake!

May the good God bless you and the ones around you with the providence to appreciate your life as well as theirs! Let the realization dawn on them that your life is as important as theirs and may your families be informed about the Guerrillas that are on the prowl awaiting a chance to launch an attack on the vulnerable minds!  

Beware and be aware that the Guerrillas are not just there in the dense forests; they are here, right among us! Know them!

Peace be with us.

Political Signs

The recent Assembly election in the state of Karnataka was labelled as a major political drama. When election result got announced, the pa...