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Being sustainable in a world gorging on plastics and unnecessary buying can mark you out as 'that crazy woman', but it is all worth it. Don't you think so?
Being sustainable in a world gorging on plastics and unnecessary buying can mark you out as ‘that crazy woman’, but it is all worth it. Don’t you think so?
The other day, I went to the grocery store to buy a couple of pulses. So I fish out the drawstring cloth bags I use to counter the plastic menace and say – “Bhaiya dal isme bhar do” (please fill it in this). Before the words are out of my mouth the grocer, who could have beaten both Flash and Quicksilver in sheer speed, has already started filling moong dal in a plastic bag.
“Nahiiiiiiiin!” I cry with all the devastation of a woman who’s about to continue with “Yeh shadi nahi ho sakti” (this wedding cannot happen).
I have just sacrificed an hour of my time physically going to the grocery store (instead of ordering packaged grocery on Amazon) and I will not be thwarted by a plastic-bag wielding Flash. The grocer empties the plastic, keeps it back in his drawer and takes my cloth bag instead. The look on his face seems to suggest that I’m asking for his first-born son and not eco-friendly packaging.
My fellow customers stare at me – some curious, but most clearly thinking I’m a pretentious millennial touting another fad.
Fortunately, I have a rather thick skin and I sailed through the grocery debacle unassailed by embarrassment. My thick skin has held me in good stead at other occasions too.
Every evening, my husband and I take our toddler to meet a couple of stray cats. The moment I enter the cats’ territory I go into cat mode – I peer around at trees, under cars and ‘phisphis’ loudly, which is the standard way of calling out to cats.
Having been raised around various stray cats and dogs, phisphising to cats and making kissy noises to dogs is second nature to me. When the cats arrive, we pet them, feed them and head back, watering a tree on the way with my water bottle. My husband, although 100% on board with being green / helping nature, is extremely embarrassed by the whole business. He says I look like a mad woman and that people stare. Could I please be a little less conspicuous?
Another day my husband and I went to an upscale restaurant armed with three empty steel containers and a cloth bag. This was to parcel up the leftovers, thereby saving a couple of plastic takeaway containers. I started off by annoying the bartender who was frenziedly whipping up drinks. I was afraid my request for ‘No straw please’ would be brushed aside in the assembly line production of cocktails. So for every drink he made that looked anything like the mojito I had ordered, I jumped in to remind him about not putting in the straw.
Once again, I had managed to make a spectacle out of myself. I had no qualms about keeping up the spectacle either – by asking the server to parcel the leftovers in my own steel tiffin.
Phew. Doing good to the environment is not a lot of work. It is something we can all do. At its bare minimum Level 1, it involves bringing your own bag, refusing a straw, carrying your own cutlery, reducing, reusing and refusing. No it’s not necessarily difficult, it is just plain embarrassing. It requires one to go against the flow, to be okay with being stared at, laughed at, disregarded, ignored and generally made a fool of!
When you refuse to buy new clothes and repeat the same dress to multiple parties, people will call you uncool.
When you refuse to spend money on pointless toys for your toddler, people will call you kanjoos.
When you forget to BYO(Bag), still refuse a bag and go on to balance a large watermelon and a bunch of palak in your bare hands, people will think you are mad.
And when you reuse your sister’s sari to one of your own wedding functions, people just won’t get it! Why can’t you spend another ten thousand on a sari you’ll never wear again eh? they’ll say.
In the end though it’s worth it. Yes, I do lug around a bunch of uncool stuff, I do create umpteen scenes by standing up for the environment, and people probably think I’m cuckoo, but hey if even one aunty at the grocer’s begins to BYOB and says no the plastic bag, I’m gonna call it a job well done. Until then, well haters gonna hate and potaoes gonna potate!
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Yashodhara is a brand-new mommy, IT professional and cat lover who lives in Mumbai. When not changing cloth diapers, she’s trying her best to read, write and catch a few extra winks. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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As parents, we put a piece of our hearts out into this world and into the custody of the teachers at school and tuition and can only hope and pray that they treat them well.
Trigger Warning: This speaks of physical and emotional violence by teachers, caste based abuse, and contains some graphic details, and may be triggering for survivors.
When I was in Grade 10, I flunked my first preliminary examination in Mathematics. My mother was in a panic. An aunt recommended the Maths classes conducted by the Maths sir she knew personally. It was a much sought-after class, one of those classes that you signed up for when you were in the ninth grade itself back then, all those decades ago. My aunt kindly requested him to take me on in the middle of the term, despite my marks in the subject, and he did so as a favour.
Math had always been a nightmare. In retrospect, I wonder why I was always so terrified of math. I’ve concluded it is because I am a head in the cloud person and the rigor of the step by step process in math made me lose track of what needed to be done before I was halfway through. In today’s world, I would have most probably been diagnosed as attention deficit. Back then we had no such definitions, no such categorisations. Back then we were just bright sparks or dim.
'Sania denied fairy-tale ending: suffers loss in AUS open final' says a news headline. Is this the best we can do? Is it a fitting tribute to one of the finest athletes we have in our country?
Sania Mirza bid an emotional and tearful farewell to her Grand Slam journey as a runner up in the mixed doubles final. Headlines read –
“Sania Mirza breaks down in tears while recalling glorious career after defeat in Grand Slam’
“Sania denied fairy-tale ending: suffers loss in AUS open final”
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