Plastic isn’t The Problem, People Are!

Garbage

Since this is my first post on The Opinion, I decided to give the half a dozen people who accidentally clicked this, an idea about how I and my article operate, before saying something morally, socially, and/or politically incorrect in your humble opinion. What I write isn’t meant to just appear on the internet and disappear after a few people say something along the lines of “Good one! Keep it coming!”. It’s meant to incite people and make them angry. It’s meant to slap people across their minds and evoke responses shoved down my throat. It’s meant to bring out comments that strangulate me or at the least, make me uncomfortable. Now that I’ve gotten that off my mind, I shall proceed to write.

A particular incident happened today, and it is that which acts as stimulus for this article. I dropped a plastic wrapper on the road today, while driving around. A few minutes later when I was waiting for a traffic signal to turn green, a man came up to me, asked me to lower the windows, and gave me a plastic bag, saying “Keep this for the next time you decide to litter” before turning around and driving away.

Now, ideally, if this had had any impact on me, I’d have wallowed in shame and embarrassment and eventually cried myself to sleep. Instead, I’m here writing an article with the only emotion on my mind being fear. Fear of being featured on some click-bait article that goes “This Man Threw Plastic on the Road. What Happened Next Will Shock You!

On a more serious note, though, this piece of writing stems as a response to such self proclaimed, pseudo-environmentalists so hell bent on garnering attention and validation for being some sort of a social superhero. Because let’s look at things practically,

First of all, I cannot bring myself to believe that a person, who drove on a petrol fuelled vehicle for about 6 kilometers just to dump plastic into my car, is conscious about polluting. The level of hypocrisy on that is beyond me. Secondly, the plastic bag he gave me did not contain my wrapper. So the world just stays as it is, except that I somehow have an extra plastic bag? Basically you thought that I was littering this town, so you littered my car? How does that work? Wouldn’t picking up and disposing of the plastic I discarded make more sense? Also, I wondered what the response would have been if I had just thrown the plastic bag out of my window and into the street as well. What, give me another plastic bag?

I am not saying it is wrong to be concerned. It is only wrong to be pseudo-concerned. It is wrong to bring the social media’s “like” thirsty mentality into any issue. This incident merely hits home the point that “Thoughts and Prayers” are useless in terms of crisis. Action is needed, but not one that is mindless. Go, invest in trash cans, start an NGO, ask people to actively stop littering, instead of driving to a conference about air pollution and stopping on the way back for a couple of smokes before going home, and posting a status message about it in your air conditioned room.

Two Indian Country Women at 4 AM

4am

What does 4.00 AM remind you of? Sleep (just this for me, of course), mid night study, hostel nights, night shifts, a night before family occasions and whatnot. Medical reports say it is an odd time to be awake at, that can damage the proper hormonal secretion. My mom says that if I keep awake until late hours I will lose all of my hair!

Well, I certainly could easily count the number of 4.00 AM’s I would have seen in my life and I am very sure not even one of those were about studying hard or doing something very important.

One such not-so-important of my 4.00 AM’s took place two days ago. I was with my uncle and aunt, waiting with our car for our driver to arrive. Apparently, the driver had returned at odd hours the night before which was why he didn’t arrive at the expected time. The journey that was planned was a very long one that could cover 400 kilometers back and forth. We were going to the house warming of an apartment that my uncle had bought recently for which we got to be on time. Both the elders were impatiently ringing the driver’s number repeatedly while I lay half-awake on the window of the car.

I was constantly thinking of how I woke up at 3.00 AM in the morning which has almost never happened in my life. My only concern was that the driver should turn up soon so that I can regain the lost sleep. I was going on mentally calculating how I had slept for only 2 hours the night before and how I am going to do nothing but only sleep until we reach the destination. The road was nothing like you would expect as in cities. Mine being a small town, was peacefully slumbering at that time. No lights other than the streetlights, no noise of two wheelers, only countable people at sight, a few stray dogs trotting on the corner of the roads. Having nothing interesting to experience then, I went back to thinking how I had to lose my sleep. Since all the 10+ hours-sleep-a-day plans were executable only during semester holidays, I was telling myself how totally unlikely this situation is! By this time I had decided that I was going to compensate for this by sleeping the whole of next day!

In my faint view, fell something that was moving. As I focused, I was able to make out an old lady coming from the other side of the road. I couldn’t help but wonder what would a woman of her age (definitely beyond 60), was doing there at 4.00 AM. Her hair was undone, she was carrying a very old, disoriented mesh bag with her which for sure contained something to eat or drink. Above all, it was the way she was walking that prompted me to straighten up from my lazy position and to take a closer look. She didn’t walk normally, she had a penguin kind of walk where one side of her body struggled when she weighed the ground with the other side. She couldn’t walk more than 10 steps at one go. She had to pause for every 10 steps even if it was the middle of the road! What if she had to cross the road during heavy traffic? My aunt and I were wondering if she was leaving to work or to home from work!

The day went on and my lost sleep was considerably compensated for. We were returning back after a long day when at 9.00 PM we had to cross through the same spot to get home. To my utter shock my aunt pointed out to me the same old lady sitting on one side of the road with a shop that was laid on road, selling something that I couldn’t really notice as we passed by. If 9.00 PM was her working time, 4.00 AM would have been the time when she went home the previous day after work. My assessment might be wrong, she might have even unusually worked for longer hours the previous day and something that I might never think of. But when one Indian woman was sitting inside comfortably in a car planning to regain her lost sleep at 4.00 AM, another Indian woman was working until then and was making her miserable way home only to work another full day!

The whole thought process is not about people who struggle for a living or about people who complain about small things. It is about the various forms of life role each one plays in this world. Only when you broaden your view, will you come to know that there is just so much of what exists more than you have seen or experienced.

Black is the New White

black is the new white

I stay frozen watching TV. The inevitable happens. 10 minutes after the show started advertisements start flashing. Advertisement of a popular washing powder shows white shirts getting whiter and brighter. I now imagine. What of black shirts?

****

The morning of the new year I happen to hear this story from one of my friend. He wakes up as early as possible that morning. He bathes. Makes him up and gets ready to hang out with his friends. Suddenly his mom yells at him. “Dai nalla naal athuvuma karuppu satta potukriyae. Vera ethaavathu potutu po(Why on earth are you wearing black shirt on this auspicious day. Wear something else and go)”. He sobs having left with no other choice.

****

I have been visiting countless number of temples since my childhood. Temples in India attract people in huge numbers. The point to be noted here is the diversity of people. I have seen black, brown, pale, white and people of all complexion visiting temples. As soon as I enter the shrine of the temple I see God in front of me sculpted beautifully in a BLACK sacred stone.

If Black depicts sorrow, God depicts sorrow too. If black depicts sorrow, every night is sorrow. The whole idea of black being called a sign of evil is obsolete.

Why is there diversity in complexion if God is partial to the colour white. Why are shrines of God Black in colour. We humans ourselves force the idea that black depicts sorrow and we ourselves go on sculpting the shrine of God on a black stone and worship it. Isn’t that unfair? Yes it is.

****

The fact that his mom’s words made my friend sob is a great sign. People of today’s generation understand the world better. Yes! They say we are losing the culture that has been in existence since a thousand years. But does that anyway matter? It is now enough if we know the past. Sati was a bad practice of the past. Didn’t we stop that cruelty? So everything of culture is not to be preserved.

Wearing white on auspicious days was a culture. But it no longer is valid. I have worn Black dresses on auspicious days. I haven’t felt even a tiny bit of negativity in it.

Black has nothing to do with sorrow. Black is nothing to do with being pessimistic. Black is nothing to do with black of those days. It is just another colour. It is just a part of light. It is just another colour that is visible to your eyes.

Just think of the blind. They love black. Infact they only love black. They see black. They live black. I have seen happier blind people than most of us. Black is no more a bad omen. If it is, it shouldn’t be.

Look around you. Black is inevitable. There is less white these days. Black is not bad. Black is the new white.

Judgement

Judgement

 

Ever since the birth of the human race, one thing that has been a constant is evolution. We evolved from walking on fours to walking on twos, invented fire and the wheel, became settled farmers instead of being hunters, invented so many things to help us grow (if I start mentioning each one, I’d probably be dead by the time I finish) and whatnot. We made a lot of mistakes but we sure did learn from them. But all through this journey, one characteristic of man that hasn’t changed is Judgement.

Judgement has become our bread and butter which is served so quickly that you wish the same speed can be achieved in a courtroom. “Whatever you do, people will always judge you.” has become a saying of sorts. Right from when we come into this world, an aunty/uncle/grandmother/grandfather will go “He looks just like his father. Hope he turns out just like him.” and that’s it. Our life from thereon will be focused on aping our father. If you want to go out and play, people will say that you don’t study enough and if you decide to stay indoors and study, the same people will go “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” If you decide to take up a lesser known course in college; they decide that your 12th standard marks are of unspeakable levels.

It doesn’t end there. Professors judge us based on marks or as they like to call it – academic performance. What’s more saddening is that people of our age, our college mates, continue the deed. People judge you on your choice of friend down to your choice of hairstyle. Feelings will be trampled upon like fallen leaves.

People often mistake judgement to be an opinion. An opinion is one’s view or suggestion on a certain matter which is given straight to the person concerned. For example, “You’ll probably score more runs if you slightly adjust your posture.” is an opinion. Whereas judgement is a conclusive statement which may or may not be given straight to the face of the person concerned. For example, “I guarantee that you’ll never score runs because your posture is the worst.” is an outright judgement.

It maybe too late. We may have reached a point in our evolution wherein it is virtually impossible to eradicate judgement, but I am an optimistic man. I wish a time will come where people aren’t judged in every walk of their lives. I hope I have sowed a seed towards achieving that goal. After all, today’s seeds are tomorrow’s trees.

Finally, a note to parents: “What will society think?” is not a valid reason to force your children to alter their life decisions. Society is going to judge no matter what you decide to do. So let them at least be judged for what they like to do and not for something they hate already.

But then again, this is just my Opinion.

Criminals Thrive in the Indulgence Of Society’s Understanding

Indulgence

Indulgence!The ability to resist our whims and desires. The very quality in which we Indians, the most revered civilization on Earth, ought to expertise. Of course, it is a solid constituent and a part and parcel of our everyday life. In the name of our motherland, in the way we lead our living, in the view that we care to have on others’ problems, I leave our ultimate semblance on this grounds to the rest of this text.

Around the globe, people respect India and its cultural opulence. Let’s spare a moment discussing this. True to our soul, think of the way we spend every day here. Unfortunately, we will be left in a pathetic situation which leaves us with no choice other than feeling offended. We must rather feel guilty for the position we get abroad on emotional and cultural grounds.

Speaking on this roughly would rather bring an obscure picture. Let’s dig this further and I’m happy if we get a clear picture, which might in turn arouse a fire that solves them.

Strange Omnipresence

            We people take proverbs and old sayings a big deal, in fact use them as guides to many important decisions we take in life, later we blame the same for the terrible aftermath. Here steps in the pseudo support of indulgence. Thanks to the generations that sowed its seeds in this ultra-modern society we live in, and generously brought that up. The point is that the sayings have not been understood as they were to be. I would rather say they are being presumed in the manner that pleases us.

So we tend to act in a way we like, with absolutely no care about society’s understanding, which might get opposed at dawn, but unfortunately, followed blindly before dusk that follows. Every Indian nook and corner has at least a stain of this trend. Basically a problem (the evil to the eyes of writer) has an ability to spread like a wildfire in all means, which lay the pavement for the well-establishedsocialism, Criminality of course.

Corruption is one such example. It is more like a lay man starting his life with all his might to make for his daily bread. He will look for all means to get into a job at first, then making his position permanent at the first job or moving to a better place where he gets chance to spread his business and revered more. That’s the way. He’s the boss then, independent to be on his own. Here comes an addiction and support that drives him. Corruption too ruins the society with such steadiness at every stage, boosted by the Indian indulgence that flood around.

Here the point the readers are requested to note is the ‘Independence’ factor that’s in the driver’s seat. Our motherland too got very much used to this evil only at the post-independence decades, when we pretend to be on our own. Because pre independent India was driven by very strong ambitions and aspirations with no room for reluctance and tolerance of any kind of evils. But now, we cannot deny that we were reluctant at first. But we develop ignorance as days go by, we tend to travel against the ethical way while we pursue the personal ethics, like an adolescent against his fathers’ words. Eventually we tend to just pursue but not follow.

Unethical Ethics

            We have practiced to live with many criminals within, in every person or society. We do encourage them at every stage of their development by our inherent qualities. Awesomeness. We have immediate criminal encounters everywhere both in reality and every column of newspapers.

Bribery, the most pampered child of Indulgence. Wow! It’s a necessary evil nowadays. We often consider bribing as a duty. We do everything for a reason of course. We have made up our auspicious minds that bribe too is for a reason. We plan the same as a part of our budget. Lovely, isn’t it? It somehow occupies the honourable position of the society, making its victims colour-blind.

In what way I’m degraded to bribery? Claims robbery. Our KNOWLEDGE is what matters. Bribery comes in tandem with our knowledge, while robbery cares not. So do the punishments. Every chain that is snatched came out of indulgence that screens our inborn emotions to resist. We don’t even have guts to launch a police complaint, guided by our soul’s voice sounding that to be useless.

We are yet to encounter another similar necessarily omnipresent Social Giant, which dwells with pride in every currency bill we give in. Any essential embodiment of the society has its footprint, i.e., the donations that we pay in every institution that we deal with. It starts with a monetary assistance they accept to build themselves, to the commanding demand they pose to customers, subscribers, students, candidates or any other better name you may call the victims by. Nowadays people even don’t care to claim proper receipts for the funds they pay, as instructed by their ignorance. We want admissions in prestigious institutions, ready to spend lakhs off the record.

Reasons?

If I am not wrong, I say the driving reason backing up these is the reluctance to show interest in it, cleared by the above stated instances. We proudly consider it to be wise to be away from these evils to care a lot about our personal business and living. We don’t have enough patience and involvement to get into it and do our part against it. We don’t find it better to be in governing too, considering politics to be rubbish. People nowadays find no time to care for others and have mind to help them. We advise our children not even to speak to strangers. The girls at home are instructed not to rely upon any strange man she finds. But we rely upon arranged marriages.

Many who advise don’t follow the same. Contradictorily, we strictly follow it.

We rush away from a crime scene or a heartrending accident scene. We develop hatred against police stations, even to step into it. If we want a service done at a government office, we have developed and practiced a wonderful nature of enquiring the personnel and settling the honorary special pay to get the job done (boosting up the process, in department terminology).

Anything looks ordered from distance. All these crimes may pretend to be the parts of our well-being from such distant visage. Chaos of course lies warm within the smoke on mirrors they show. A little bit closer look may show its true colours that facilitate reformers to take care of.

But who cares!

This post was originally published first at The Opinion and later republished at Conscience Spoke with permissions