The curious case of shifting consciousness and hero worship


It’s more important than ever before to let children know the priceless value of living in a free country and share with them the pride in joining the armed forces.

Whenever I see a fan following or a personality attaining a critical mass of idolizing, I often wonder what prompts a human to venerate a fellow human. The mind rushes back to history as it tries to find a parallel in a civilization it is familiar with. India has its fair share of heroes in its evolution from being a golden bird to a colony to now, one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

India and its vibrant culture is over 5000 years old. It has seen different ages, religious mix, various hierarchies of people aka culture, borne the brunt of conquests for a 1000 years. And, every time, history tells us the story of the hero of that era.

Epic Hero: When the word India did not exist and this land spread far and wide. When having a personal god was not a rarity. When ideals established the divide between the good and the deviated. When miracles were commonplace. When concepts of life and the universe were being passed on to man. It was a time when scriptures created Epic heroes, whose concepts won the hearts of people and they started to belong. The rich culture and heritage of India’s glorious past found its nucleus during this era. Soon enough, our spiritual role models or their representatives who walked the earth, got ingrained in our rituals and religion, powerful enough to lead with interpretations of their doctrines.

Historical Hero: Slowly man started drawing borders and resources became a key vantage to forge an identity. At a time, when conquest was key, the power to control played havoc as warriors started to use force to usurp territory and make their mark. Some would plunder and go back while some chose to settle down in a new environ to make it their home. Either ways, culture got diluted and the era of co-existence dawned upon man. Life became a yardstick to accept or rebel, and not every time the original inhabitants got a choice. Over centuries, India changed its fabric to accommodate other religions and races and history started its recording of events that gave us new heroes. Some by force, some by choice, some by the idea of freedom when a united India snatched its consciousness back.

Community Hero: Belonging carved many states as geography played a major role in drawing the new India map post freedom, based on language. In a porous country, where people are allowed to settle anywhere they want, except in sensitive areas, a new identity was soon carved for every state. Add to this the complex layer of religion and you have a heady concoction of communal and regional identity. It was never going to be easy but it was not impossible. The idea of India holds a cauldron of religions, communities and linguistic groups that even though find it tough to communicate, but come together under one banner called India or Bharat. Soon enough, the local community hero was born for people to look up to and follow.

Political Hero: We now live in a time, when power play decides the new ruler inside communities, states and at the country level. So as groups of people come together under an umbrella, it is inevitable for them to select and elect a hero to represent them in the garb of social service. As the socially conscious person strives to stake claim to his priorities, he is very well aware that not everyone will walk the talk. Politicians take advantage of this infirmity of action to create vote bank classified by religion and even caste. On one hand, the politician uses the people, and on the other hand, plays the hero as protecting their rights. Just the right recipe for the advent of the outsourced hero in a democratic nation.

Forgotten Hero: In the multi-layered hero structure, where religion, state, language, politics plays its own cards to promote their heroes, I look inward to find mine. Then the realization dawns that the silent majority who always get to choose their heroes in a race of elimination, never get to choose in a mandate of selection. A country runs because of the many forgotten heroes and they are always at work, beyond recognition. Teachers, Scientists, Farmers, Administrators, Business owners, Artists, Innovators and many such people who run our world in a beautiful way are our heroes. Soldiers who care beyond their families and protect the whole country transcending the meaning of love are our heroes. That unknown person who helps the other in need is also a hero.

Today, our personal hero can start with our ethics and as it extrapolates, it tries to find another human being or identity who can subscribe to values which can have a universal impact. Someday we will all be worthy of being our own heroes.


The True Birthright: From Freedom to Independence

What is the relevance of freedom in the world’s largest democracy? The foreign hand and its garb of partisan politics has gone long ago. The rewiring of our brains is also over as we seek to establish an international footprint and communicate in English. Indians have become successful migrants and occupy many important positions in multinational companies all over the world. Is there something common at all that links us in our mind and mindsets?

There is a constant tug-of-war as India refurbishes its image on the world stage portraying a developed-country aspiration but like a flying kite still has its reins in the developing-world tag. Is it the burden of over-population that keeps offering new challenges? Is it the branding of a confused culture rhetoric that makes it an eastern-western mix? Is it the raging debate of urban and rural disparity driving change up a roller-coaster? Remove yourself some light years away, and India sends a probe to Mars successfully and it makes the world sit up and take notice of its technological prowess.

So what makes India?

The inspiration of the Ashoka Chakra, part of the Indian Flag, at a classical dance school.

The inspiration of the Ashoka Chakra, part of the Indian Flag, at a classical dance school.

Intrinsically, we are dreamers and as an eastern world which believes in the power of mind and meditation, we have an uncanny ability to stay driven through intuition and belief.

We are hard workers and have seen the real meaning of Darwin’s survival-of-the-fittest theory as we fight our way through seats in education and jobs, whose matrix changes whenever a new community wants to be recognized and reserve its patronage. We are very closely knit and try to leverage networks through contracts, business and clannish enough to even promote marriages and follow the gene code to exert its supremacy.



A UNESCO world heritage site, the Brihadeshwara Temple or the Big Temple as its popularly known is amongst the biggest temples of India and over 1000 years old.

A UNESCO world heritage site, the Brihadeshwara Temple or the Big Temple as its popularly known is amongst the biggest stone temples of India and over 1000 years old.

We are original thinkers but have had to start again and again, as invaders have taken knowledge and precious booty out of the country and told us to rethink our own self-respect. No point in repeating the story of the Zero, Chess, Takshashila, Astronomy, Navigation, Ayurveda, Zinc extraction, Yoga and more.  Nowadays, it’s the export of Indian minds.

We have led from the front, in the real sense. We also sent the most number of soldiers to the world war to win our place on the international stage. Nowadays, we send most soldiers to fight terrorism or protect infiltrations from borders. Amongst the world’s largest armies and a nuclear capable backbone lies the power of unified patriotism of many states and more languages.

We are normally very friendly as our culture is very compassionate and absorbs even the irrationality of other regions with open arms. We are always looking to shift our attention to cult driven leaders and have just learned that business leaders who create economic highs can also have a following like sportspeople and film stars.

The skyscrapers that jostle for attention are now routine and upgraded in luxury.

We have the power to call many launches, products, demonstrations as one of the world’s largest as the numbers are here, and the world’s largest sea of humanity thrives here. Yes, we have our shares of power woes, natural calamities, traffic congestion, corruption, black money, political ill-will and political do-goodness together, but we seem to go on with a high degree of optimism.

Relevance fights reminiscence as an old world charm landmark has been marked for road widening.

Relevance fights reminiscence as an old world charm landmark has been marked for road widening.

And today, as a new found power of materialism sweeps across India, we have to make sure that technology and its benefits that’s waking up a new India touches its every corner. It’s not just the freedom to earn or enjoy, but to keep a tab on the new language of the fast life that’s enveloping us. True independence is when every life in India gets certain benefits of food, healthcare and kindness, not as a donation but as a responsibility. We don’t have social security, but we can create a cover of life-sustaining benefits for every underprivileged Indian.

Urbanization grapples with the rural way of life as highways cut through scenic farmlands where farmers toil the year long.

Urbanization grapples with the rural way of life as highways cut through scenic farmlands where farmers toil the year long.

When rural India holds its own in tandem with urban India and drives change together, without being a second fiddle. When the labourer’s child, no matter what his skin colour, can walk into the nearest school, when his or her parents toil to make that skyscraper. When women and children can walk carefree in the wee hours without causing stress to their overtly worried families. When it is not so difficult to bridge the gap of idealism and practicality, happily.

When it is not so tough to celebrate this new relevance of freedom to share and care. That’s the independence of a comforted nation that will truly give us a pride of belonging to the world’s oldest culture.


How to maim a garden city

Lone Ranger

Lone Ranger

Today, the Bangalore newspapers say that the government is fine with the felling of 90 more trees to make way for an extended road. Tomorrow, another government will say that it is fine to kill lakes because more population needs to be resettled in the urban areas.  This mindless growth now translates itself to the tri-furcation of the municipal corporation that says that Bangalore is now unmanageable by one governing body. Who cares?

Bangalore has been reclaiming land from its lakes. One fine day, some officials try to save lakes from encroachment, mow down buildings they themselves gave permissions to, and then stop. This is all a magic of a four letter word, that also promises to be the best investment in the sea of urbanization – Land. It has seen wars. It has seen power struggles. It has seen politicians turn into puppets. It has led farmers turn into real estate agents. It has led to corruption of unthinkable magnitude. It has also led governments lay siege of opportunity without planning. So if there is land leading to an airport, or a lake, or a place of interest, all kinds of residential and commercial properties are allowed to develop there. That water, roads, sanction plans may still not be in place, no one will care. It’s about money.

Find Space, Will Build

Find Space, Will Build

Welcome to the world of high and higher rises. Those concrete structures that rise up ever so fast, without a care for the environment. Where trees are laid to rest so more concrete and tar can pave the way for more machines to ply. This mad rush of urbanization forgets the fact that when you take nature to task, there is a mockery waiting to happen.

In India, the so called land of lakes and green city now only has a handful of lakes and green cover that’s diminishing faster than most pates. Why is it that this immediate rush to make money is so important than preserving the beauty of the environment that allows us to thrive. It’s not just the sparrow, its us too. Just as pure air becomes scarce and pollution becomes an acceptable issue, we are slowly drowning ourselves to depths of unplanned urbanization.

Today, temperatures have gone up, we buy water when the government is not supplying it. Drains overflow when it pours with the rainwater having no way to find its way back to the lakes. Skyscrapers are being allowed to mushroom all over the city without most fire brigades having the wherewithal to reach upper floors in case of emergency. Then there is a public transport system that takes decades to connect, leading to shifting the traffic issues to another location, and raising the ratio of people per square feet in one of the most populous countries of the world.

But hey, no one is cribbing, or at least, the majority don’t. Because in Bangalore, we have learnt to adjust. We have learnt to believe that things will get better. We believe in destiny. We believe in the oracle solving it for us. We believe that it is someone else’s problem. For us, having the power to flaunt is bigger than overcoming the biggest challenge that we currently have – garbage! Well, things will settle down soon, and some good people will come forward to make the change, so why bother?

When concrete turns natural

When concrete turns natural

What is it that takes integrity and care take a backseat and personal rise become a high-rise is not just Bangalore’s bane, but the issue which a whole society is grappling with. It’s called uncertainty and its seen this city make homes costlier by at least 6 times of what it used to be. The air-conditioned weather now needs some cool breeze for itself, and a breather as it wipes its brow, thanks to the concrete and exhaust from millions of vehicles every moment.

The question is, who has the time to think for the city that has been a giver of opportunity to millions? Pass the buck. And the muck.

Storytelling and the magic of engaged minds

India and its mythology hold an ocean of beautiful content. It may be an evolution of the human being with senses or organs becoming vestigial over time. Maybe beings were superior with minds that really transcended boundaries and were capable of extra sensory powers. But there are many indicators that the ancients knew a lot more about astronomy, metals, medicine, irrigation, mathematics and science than we presume.

But all said and done, there is a wonderful world of beings and their journeys that can leave you spellbound.





(Picture courtesy, exhibit near a temple of Tirupati, India’s biggest land of faith.)

You have superheroes who flew or appeared wherever they wanted to, mutants with special powers, minds that could see beyond, thought controlled weapons, inter-galactic flights, the power to control the elements and much more. But what continues to fascinate is that this treasure of characters can be a playwright’s delight and spin a wonderful new, or maybe old, world of probabilities. Now, if this storytelling can also deliver nuggets of learning and education, isn’t it a win-win?

This is not just about escaping into another world and living up to your fantasies. It’s also about using this entertaining avenue as a teaching tool for young minds.

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(Image courtesy,, showing a Syllabus Cartoon on digestion with kids and a mythological character Ghatojgaj)

Just as cartoons provide us with a wonderful medium to teach, reaching it to children, including the underprivileged ones should also be top of mind. These are based on government prescribed lessons, hence called Syllabus Cartoons.

On one hand, there is an affluent India with children connecting to the animes and the mangas in a global comic culture, there is also an underprivileged India who would need a helping hand. Equal Indian Foundation supports the sharing of this wonderful tool of learning as shown above, from to all children, going beyond economic boundaries.

Because education is a birthright of every child, even more so, in this information age.



When mother tongue accommodates the world tongue

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It’s no surprise that education can do wonders to anyone’s future. But it’s a great insight that language can also play a great leveler. Just as the word ‘local’ has positive connotations in the western world, the same ‘local’ need not be a pride-builder in a country like India. Reason: a mindset that hails the ‘imported’ and shuns the ‘regional’.  Though India has now gone a big transition, rising like a phoenix and coming up trumps in many areas on the world stage, it also has to go a long way to bridge the gap of haves and have-nots. The majority of the haves live in an ‘imported’ world and the have-nots struggle in a ‘regional’ India.

Does this mean, that a government decides to ban the ‘imported’ to promote the ‘regional’? Bad idea. It means that more effort to raise the ‘regional’ or ‘local’ here to the perception of ‘imported’.  But how does this herculean task get accomplished? Or, at least, get started? Will the business class come forward to nudge the political will to push the ‘regional’ forward? Or will the political class keep the ‘regional’ class in the backyards for their political gains? Note, that Indian politics is always measured in promises made, not promises delivered. Because, by the time the first party fails to perform, the voter has no choice but to give the second best time to again fail to perform. The cycle used to continue thus, not any more. The aim for respect is set to change it.

It’s time for the new R: Respect, that is driving India with consolidation of the world tongue, English.

So has something changed in the Indian consciousness? Thankfully, yes! Young, middle class India, hitherto, lazy to vote has started showing interest and started to vote and be part of the transformation. They are the ones also easily affected by the swing in the economy, but would just look the other way till now. The ‘have-everything’ class now openly gives donation to political parties to further their business interests, but at the same time, also participates in the political will to usher in more policies for economic growth. But what happens to the ‘have-nots’? Who will guarantee their growth and future? The vying for respect is geared to change it.

To start with, the have-nots now are more demanding and understand that their growth potential is much bigger than the vote-banks they are. Their children now are exposed to the next generation, thanks to the satellite television penetration in the remotest villages of India. Many would like to step out, march together, take their place in the sun, and a pie of the action. But there is something that still stops them. Their ‘regional’ tag. So the first thing they do is get the ‘imported’ tag, by learning English. Imagine the power when a vegetable vendor’s child talks back to you in English. He doesn’t just know how to talk, he knows how to talk back. The feel of respect can work wonders.

Slowly it dawns to the new world order, that regional languages and mother tongues have not kept pace with the development of English in India. It’s a different story in China, Russia, Japan, Germany and many other countries that have developed their backbone in education and technology on their native language, including computer software. But this is not really India’s fault. It’s just that we are more complex than the European Union, which after so many years, still struggles to consolidate its potential. So even as we speak a multitude of languages, over 25 main and hundreds of other regional languages, we tend to look upon English to co-exist as the language of professional growth. Respect helps the stretch from national to international.

Our social fabric thrives on ‘regionalism’, from get-togethers to marriages based on the language we connect in. But new India is an open canvas which has transformed the ‘imported’ language English for professional growth. Whoever said, when in Rome, be a Roman, needs to see, how Indians have interpreted it successfully, as when aiming for growth, Indians use the language of professionals. So every progressive Indian slowly knows more than one language, and an international Indian knows how to make the ‘imported’ language his or her’s own ‘regional’ mother tongue as well.

Maybe, Darwin’s law of survival of the fittest can now be retaught with an amazing parallel. The survival of the most adaptive professionals and the power of respect is blazing the transformation.

Transforming India: Mystic heritage to economic miracles

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First you fight for survival of the fittest, then a civilization that creates a world around resources, then for freedom to stake your rightful ownership. And then, when you think you can now take it easy in a planned ecosystem, you start all over again. Why? Because there is a constant war about upstaging others and creating your prominence. Maybe it’s insecurity, maybe it’s a need. But definitely, it seems to be a ritual of existence for the mystery called the human mind.

India as a country has undergone this battering over and over again. In fact, it’s not just a country, it’s a consciousness, that has evolved in many frequencies, many times.

Spiritual juggling: The old India. The world’s favourite place for snake charmers and rope tricks, made its first announcement as a thinking community over 5000 years back. When sages and mystics’ thought revolution echoed along with the foundation of science itself. From the game of Chess, postulating the number Zero, creating the World’s first University, masterminding strategy the Chanakya way, to the excitement of Ramanujam mathematics, ‘thinking’ flourished here.

Identity churning: The lost India. Modern history knows that it has seen conquest after conquest of its abundant land, then a bigger part of Asia. The region was made to work hard on its resurgence many times, from Mughals who made it their home to the British, who took back whatever they could (Check the Sotheby’s auction list for India artefacts). In the meanwhile, Columbus’s discovery and the other part of the world started their transition to being called ‘developed’ over a hundred years earlier, while here English was sown as a link language.

New frontiers: The new India. Today, as an economic revolution is helping India stake its place in the world, it’s a huge cauldron of emotions, cultures, systems, and an imagination that’s humongous. Just as varied political will rule different countries, there is a variance of culture and languages stretching from the north to south, east to west. So a union of over 26 states with even more languages, but who identify with one spirit is today called India, and is over 66 years old. India has already made its mark in many areas, technology and world enterprise to name a few.

It has the onerous task of treading forward, balancing the hopes of a billion people, and shredding the tag of a developing country, overcoming malnutrition, wealth disparity, racial discrimination and citizen safety, amongst others. Pangs, that even a western world has. On the other hand, it’s equally interesting to see the need of the west to import oriental practices and glorify Buddha, Yoga, Vegetarianism, Ayurveda, Meditation and more, for true world oneness.

So what’s new and different now, that’s set to catalyse the next level of recognition and benchmarks? A growing war against corruption and the jostle of many leaders from different political approaches claiming or aiming to play the next action hero. As India goes into its general elections in April, the nation is watching many intentions at play. Gullible, intellectual, informed, opportunistic, all kinds of voters will decide on India’s next sojourn with destiny. In the fray are billionaire industrialists, passionate revivalists, seasoned politicians and political heirs. Yes, April 2014, nationwide polls hysteria sweeps India.

Picture the diversity of the leaders at war:

–        A billionaire industrialist, who essayed his vision in his book Imagining India: The Idea of a Renewed Nation, and also spoke at a TED conference in 2009. He also led a mission to digitize data of a billion people and help the Government of India connect benefits to citizens spread across 3.3 million square kilometers.

–        A seasoned bureaucrat, who has taken his ride on the anti-corruption war to a nationwide level in a dramatic one year. As an outsider, was part of the team who lead the Right To Information bill to be regularized. As an insider, struggled to put his point across as the Chief Minister of Delhi, albeit for a short month.

–        A hard-nosed politician, who promises to extrapolate the prosperity of his home state, also the home state of Mahatma Gandhi, to the whole of India. Today, as he erases allegations of ethnic hate and leads economic resurgence, he is also a poster boy of industrial India.

–        A heir of family tradition in politics, and destiny’s child, is playing his cards safe to his party’s chest. Depending on his performance, he may emerge as the next Gandhi, a surname that guarantees clout in the business of politics. His claim to fame is his young image.

As this war for identity and establishment of ideals from people of different parties is waged, voters can only hope that good karma works. What will be the impact on new policies, people, unemployment, business, exports, FDI, markets, diplomatic relations and even price rise for the common man?

Whoever wins, hope India doesn’t lose.


Distancing disparity from the age of innocence


Govt School No. 92 Sanjeevni Nagar Bangalore

No one gets to decide where one is born. Very often, the life an underprivileged child leads, also comes with a trail of societal prejudices, that draws the line between the haves and the have-nots. Even if it’s as elementary as going through primary school education. But sometimes, we can make a choice of changing that equation for a few children. If we want to. Spend some time with little ones who hope to be better off than the family they come from. Sometimes teaching or sharing, sometimes just cracking a joke.

This is not the choicest of public schools that would be granted a second look when you pass it by. You may not even know, there is one hidden in the by-lanes of a lower middle class neighbourhood. You may also overlook the fact that, at a stone’s throw away from the school, a sewage line overflows onto the road and is not considered a health hazard for the school children. No fancy boards, no reception area, no play-area except for an open ground full of small stones and rubble. Here, little feet are forced to feel happy for more reasons than one.

Come lunch time, and the children rush out to be fed by ISKCON’s noon meal scheme Akshay Patra. Hygienic food with balanced nutrition, through charity. The government puts in some grants to keep the school running. The teachers and staff put in their best to see at least one bright hope somewhere, one child who will be a proud alumni, maybe, from a mix of all kinds of students, some creative, some notorious.

In-between all this struggle, there is the beauty of hope. You get to meet little minds, who are also brimming with ideas. Many of them may not speak english the way the western world wants to, but these little minds also have the spark to open your eyes. Like when a little girl comes up to you and appreciates the paper bag you are carrying. Before someone thinks that she wants the contents, the little angel is just happy to know that civilized society is using paper bags, and reducing plastic!

Then there a few others who have surprised the teachers so well in art, that their work adorns the office of the headmaster, who is due for retirement in 2 years.  He shows us the stationery a software company has given for the kids. He preserves the pencils and the geometric boxes with care under lock and key, for the next batch of students. It also opens our eyes to small needs that a student in a government school may have, something, which our kids just take for granted.

It is easy for us to feel good when we leave the school and thank the forces that be, for the prosperity that many enjoy. But we have more to do. We have to go back and tell our kids that there is a sea of children who are not so lucky, but delightfully smart and waiting to be taken care of. Maybe, they already know. Some students in our apartment complex approached us for collecting toys and books for underprivileged children! One couldn’t just help wonder, that maybe our kids are now more thoughtful than many of us.

We could call it a choice. We could call it a commitment. But if there is a little bit that we can push ourselves to think for others without an iota of prejudice, it could be to provide an equal platform for young underprivileged minds and tell them that they are all beautiful inside.

Artworks by students adorn the school office wall at Govt School No. 92, Sanjeevi Nagar, Hebbal, Bangalore

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A Work-In-Progress Life

The Production Line of Life

The Production Line of Life



On the many days that you get to stare at a blank wall thinking about the origin of life, there is one thought that ping pongs with deja vu – where do we come and where do we go? Not that I haven’t been on doses of the Big Bang theory and the Creationist view of life, but the whole thought of being is truly awe-inspiring.

Mystics would have us believe that this is the drama of life. But may never reveal the director.

Scientists would go under the ground, maybe still deeper till the Higgs-Boson race is won.

Religion would have you chant the many hymns to ascertain their right as the most secular.

Secularists would get confused and talk about humanity as life.

Gurus would tell you to look inside.

Other gurus would tell you to look outside, feel oneness.

Charismatic gurus would tell you about entropy and evolution.

Simplistic gurus would announce another camp for mediation techniques.

Your family will bear with you till you make your observation vocal.

Maybe angels will take pity on you, if you really have been a good soul.

Maybe, just maybe, you would live a disease-free life. If you get a disease, some self-help book will tell you that it is blocked emotion that needs to be released.

Maybe, if a life threatening disease haunts you or a natural risky circumstance warrants, you get to have an Outside Body Experience. So when you come back to your body, you are enlightened about past life regressions.

And just when you think, that you have some answers to the  soul curry, you are hit by Monday morning blues.

Then you realize, whether it is the sun or the soul, its a work-in-progress life. So lets keep at it, expecting the best as we perform our duties. If life means that we are here to fulfill our desires, then every individual has a definite path to progress. Let’s hope we get to know our deepest desires, so we can allow our free will to chase our true destiny.

Birth Caste versus Professional Caste

The recent spate of political football to quell dissent and keep its flock together saw a government in the south of India go the LKG way, as they call it, each letter depicting a particular caste. You create many titles with prefix and suffix of Chief Minister to keep everyone happy. In another state of north India, the last time they voted for caste based leaders, tons of  public money was siphoned off to build a park of stone elephants and their own statues. Then we have the ruling national party, who believe in caste politics of a different kind, where the surname carries more weight than talent and experience. Who is right and who is wrong? Rather, even the left belongs to the red caste. If caste is about belonging, then what is the caste equation that touches us on an every day basis?

The Corporate Caste: They are your typical english speaking, good earning population, most of whom would refuse to go to the polling booth because it’s not mandatory. They will shout support for Anna Hazare, but not turn up on a weekday even if he sits on a fast in the middle of Mumbai. They will even open their offices half days on voting days, so that their employees are still not able to vote as they spend hours up and down to the office.

The Money Craving Caste: Mostly the poor belong to this green caste. Money speaks, and how. A day before the polling day, potential voters are flooded with cash, booze, eats, gifts so that the leader of a particular community or area may be bought out to tell his people whom to vote for. Now almost a mandate for political parties to pay for their vote, this once-in-a-election opportunity is rather coveted.

The Opportunistic Caste: Here you will find industrialists being baited by politicians to pitch in with party funds to get clearances and pay up through NGOs or other means that benefits them directly, rather privately. So the ministers become your marketing touts even as you emerge a power player. Even new technology or life changing ideas may be forgotten in favour of favours, especially misused when minority community tags turn vote banks.

The Middle Class Caste: Forever squeezed between the rich and the poor, they are the experiment lab of every government. These are the guys whose pan number, bank numbers, everything is transparent. They are the people who stay in constant fear of price rise, petrol politics, along with the constant urge to become truly rich. Today’s India’s biggest chunk, they are a rising phenomenon but at the mercy of everyone.

The Corruption Caste: This is where most of India meets the side of India they woundn’t want to. You want your work done fast, pay up. Even though there are groups fighting for an anti-corruption law, it has taken just 65 years in the parliament as the law gets referred every now and then to new standing committees. As the registrar’s office in real estate tops the charts, most people just have to work through touts and get their work done.

The Idealistic Caste: These are the guys who are really universal and open in their views. They don’t want to be calibrated by government forms that asks for your religion and caste to give you admission to school. They fight for issues that concern the larger population. They are the heroes who work to save earth, trees, water, language, culture, women’s rights, child abuse and even corruption itself, and they keep on doing it selflessly.

A government is created and a constitution instituted, with representatives to help people live in peace and harmony. Today, people’s egos have taken over the posts they are supposed to serve. Instead of sustaining a thriving civilization for the population, they work for their interests. All in the name of the caste they were born into. Ironically, a caste is a tag you acquire at birth by chance, not by choice, but it gives you the power to belong. In today’s world, it manifests itself in the mindset that people choose to base their lives on. Where will you belong?

The alien in the garbage

The world stares at the human created colossal waste management issue that’s threatening to balloon into an epidemic. Check the entire spectrum of emotions logged on this issue and the responses are mostly filled with ignorance. Either people think it’s not a problem, yet. Or people think that the waste we generate goes to some kind of crusher and then presto, into thin air. Because you don’t see the garbage beyond your home, you think that it has been taken care of. But we can’t be farther away from the real truth. Only an alien can choose to look away and not be bothered by waste segregation. So here is some more focus on how human or how alien we are.

The inconvenient truth is that we are generating tons of waste everyday that cannot be completely destroyed. Some of it can be burnt, but not everything can be converted or eliminated. Plastic, toxic and other materials which cannot be destroyed are finally dumped into huge gaping holes in the earth and covered up. Years on end, this toxic material tries to decompose, gurgling up poisonous gases and making the earth there utterly useless. We had only heard of landmines. This is the human version of it called landfills. Yes, waste that cannot be destroyed goes into holes in the earth called landfills, and it slowly turns that land unusable.

Waste segregation: Waste Recycling versus Waste Creation

Waste is basically of 2 types – Nature made waste & Man made waste. Nature made waste is bio-degradable like plants or wet food waste from the kitchen. Man made waste or dry waste starts from plastic to chemicals to now, even electronic waste. Some things can be recycled but unpopular waste like plastics seem to live forever.  So the first level of segregation separates the bad from the good. Sounds simple? In theory yes. But you need to know how to differentiate between the good and the bad. Most of the wet kitchen waste has the potential to go back to the soil. The wet kitchen waste goes for recycling and turns into compost, or fodder for the garden in other words. Dry waste, post segregating the recycled waste has a lot of plastics, which cannot be decomposed easily. It lives on for hundreds of years and ends up in the landfill – manmade dumpyard.  Even toilet waste like napkins needs to be discarded in a closed bag, so that it’s never opened again and goes directly into the landfill. Didn’t they tell you to get your child out of the diaper habit faster?  The toilet waste is totally disposed, but the remaining waste that includes dry waste like cartons, paper, plastic boxes and cardboard, has to be sorted out by humans. Now imagine, what happens, when you send a mixed bag of all these out of your house? Who will do your waste segregation and why should they!

Being human, for fellow human beings

Even though manual scavenging is banned, many people are forced to work in waste recycling related areas. They gather material which can be sold and make their small fortunes. They may even be employed by government agents to clear garbage, as the government outsources these activities. The irony of life is that these people have to look beyond everything to earn that simple money. They choose not to worry about infections as they sink their hand in your garbage. They learn to look the other way, as they sort and transfer waste collected from various homes. They learn not to complain and silently do the segregation of your waste. Even if you haven’t.

Segregate Dry, Wet, Sanitary and Hazardous: 

Take that first step and make a change. Don’t keep mixed garbage outside, especially with toxic waste and glass together. Start segregating into Dry, Wet as well as Sanitary and Electronic waste that can be potentially harmful. For debris, use professional help to dispose off. Just a simple step of separating our waste in 3 bins, results in our being a bit humane and not have someone sift through our garbage just because they have no choice to live a decent life. Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 10.33.04 PM

Let’s go green.

Let’s recycle where we can.

Let’s use lesser plastic.

Let’s use lesser water.

Let’s be kind to our earth so that it can be kind to our children, tomorrow. It’s the only way for us to still stay humans, instead of being unaffected aliens.


Please note: Video on Living Green & waste management, may not contain updates on waste management guidelines post 2011: