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Everyday a conscious choice

There were so many times, I recall, coming home from school I would run to get my hands on the remote before my cousins and siblings, just so I could watch National geographic on TV. It was slow with this deep voice saying something in an accent I didn’t understand, but it felt almost meditative. The vast forest then zooming into a bird landing on a tree. Then the monkeys cleaning each other’s backs, and frogs on the corners of streams. The closest I could get to this, was going to Cubbon park every Sunday for a morning walk, (whining that my calves hurt) I would love sitting around and just being in the greens, watching pet owners getting dragged by their huge dogs and some people feeding the parrots. We even went for picnics there, sometimes in the evenings, more than 20 of us carrying sandwiches, samosas and ‘jhal mudi’ along with flasks of tea. Frisbee, badminton and football was the recreation. On an everyday routine, evenings were at the neighbouring ‘Jhula’ park and then an hour of cricket outside the house. I relish every second of my childhood that was spent outdoors in the folds of nature. 

Over time things moved to drowning into books and burning candles to study for exams (getting better grades meant you’re smart). Short and long conversations over the landline; finding internet cafes to do projects; rest was still simple. It was still those off-white boxes for computers in the school labs and no one had seen a laptop. I still recall winning a prize from WWF (World Wildlife Fund) in school for making a poster for a competition, with the topic ‘environment damage’. My sister helped me write the ‘GARBAGE CITY’ in bold. Now spread out on my bed, as I’m writing this, on a word document, with a remote to control the temperature, wires all over to charge these gadgets, a room for myself, UPS/Generator incase the electricity goes off; I get distracted watching videos in between on Instagram, of people basking in the sun— and I am wondering if I should stop writing altogether and just go back in time.

Go back to those local holidays to Coorg sitting by the river and spotting birds all around. Go back to the times when we didn’t need air conditioners and fans. (I don’t know if this is universal but I still forget to switch off lights and fans when I leave the room). Go back to the times when we did not need anything, and having little was enough because everything we loved was outdoors. Today I travel around in a car and I am so dependent that I can’t imagine restricting myself to using only the public transport. I normally take flights to wherever I travel because #travelgoals (it is cool to be everywhere around the world). Be everywhere and still feel choked in the cities we live, with the smoke, dust and pollution. Everyday life is just not the same as back in the nineties and running away on long weekends just doesn’t seem like a permanent solution. 

Everyday-life was my focus and ‘what is it a layman could do to make this place earthlier, than we were born into?’ was the question I kept gnawing at. At snail-speed I kept discovering things that we can incorporate in a household, as an individual. There are so many things that we can do differently everyday. “Our power to make a difference lies in our everyday choices.” To start off things, I needed to look at what I can do and not what ‘they’ are not doing. I started composting or sending out the edible kitchen waste to the cows, stopped using plastic (95%), stopped using disposable pads shifted to menstrual cups, stopped buying plastic and almost a year ago turned to a vegan lifestyle. From the time I wake up, a wooden toothbrush, zero chemicals in my bathroom essentials, half a bucket to bathe, no plastic packaging of the soap I use and only DIY shampoo, no plastic tiffin or bottles and less water wastage in producing vegan food. Small little changes each of them going a long way, I’m hoping as way back to my childhood.

I wonder though, if the diaper I soiled at the age of two, could still be lying in one of those landfills? Have you ever seen a video of a landfill, if not actually been to one? We buy and use so many things today as an individual and everything we throw is landing up there. Everything we buy and use, is created by exploiting resources and in the process causes some damage to the environment. What can I do as a single entity? Cannot be simpler: CONSUME LESS. If we have to consume we should look at the approach of a ‘circular economy’ which aims at minimising waste and make most of the resources. Unlike the ‘linear economy’ which has a “take, make and dispose” model of approach”. You could probably choose a steel utensil than a paper cup (forget plastic), a steel straw over paper straw, a cloth wipe instead of tissue. I saw an interviewof Donatella Versace, for Vogue, where she said ‘minimalism’ is the one trend she hates and that shouldn’t come back. (I wonder)

“As consumers we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy” – Emma Watson

I leave you with one thought —when there will be a war for resources and lands that are still habitable, after another forty years or sooner — we would probably not be alive to feel the pressure of ‘being alive becoming a challenge’. However, we are going to be the generation that would be blamed for it. Every few days let go of an old habit and grab a conscious one. Remember it’s not easy, only because it’s a change. Once you’re in it, it’s a part of you and it’s more convenient than what we have been told wrongly. Living a sustainable and environmentally conscious life is easier, simpler and healthier. The hard part is the switch. So don’t get overwhelmed and just confidently walk right into it with baby steps. From the time you wake up till you go to bed, be conscious of everything that you do— that’s exactly what a layman can do. Maybe just a toothbrush can make a huge difference. 

To list it: 

  • DIY if you need something. Google Ma has so many DIYs. I make my own shampoo. 
  • Share, lend and borrow- directly impacts the manufacturing of new products and use of new resources.
  • If you cannot DIY and cannot borrow then ask yourself “Can I live without it?”. If you can’t, then buy only as much as you need to survive.
  • Don’t throw- reuse it or give it away to someone else. 
  • Waterfoodand Electricity should be prayed to literally. (Okay wi-fi too!) 
  • Plastic is demonized but it is also not the Santa Clause of our times. So be very cautious. 

Join: https://robinhoodarmy.com
Join: https://isha.sadhguru.org/rally-for-rivers/
Join: https://www.feedingindia.org
Join: https://jhatkaa.org
Join: https://www.fridaysforfuture.in


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Camp Out

I was in my single digit years where kids normally want to be treated older than their age. However, I was very content with, age not being a ‘thing’. My heart was like this butterfly fluttering at the slightest fragrance of fun, nature and outdoors. All this and my mind somehow felt stressed as years passed and I was meant to clock my hours at work, take up responsibility, be safe as a girl and not take risks by stepping out too much and basically “grow up”. I was physically growing up but mentally it was difficult to suddenly dissociate from this inner child in me who loves nature. 

It’s not that I was locked up by my circumstances but you could say I wasn’t getting outdoors as much. The only thing I cling on to and that keeps me sane is watching the sunrise every single day. Psychologically I tell myself one day the sun will rise, till then discipline and perseverance. So this weekend turned out to be a complete spinner. For many this would be normal and not a big deal, however, for me it was my FIRST CAMP EVER.

I put up a tent guys! You won’t believe, the tent even had my house number on it. When you are a hundred percent involved and immersed, the simplest thing can be extremely exciting. The ducks were immersed in their own dilemmas, walking to and fro. Ebony, Emma, Brunch, Snuffy and Nawab (The pet dogs of fellow campers) chased each other and splashed around in the pond to cool off from the drive. Nikhil, the most enthusiastic child I’ve ever seen, was neck deep with the pups and the brown colour of the water didn’t bother him. As children we don’t have much inhibitions I guess. We could be tossing the world in our hands and not be worried about the weight of its fears.

By evening there were a few groups chit chatting, settling in with Pakoda and chai. And then there was basically “do nothing” time. Sanya and family got the party started (in a very smirn off way) before restlessness got the better hand. Sudeep sang, played the mouth organ and guitar all simultaneously as we sat around the bonfire and eyed the barbeque every few seconds. Just some music, good people, food and stars; we don’t need too much and carry so much we don’t need, even emotionally.

As an ice-breaker we were supposed to sing along but we didn’t do any justice. Wonder if it was just hunger holding us back or adult-ing. The things that stops us gets toppled off like dominoes, with the fall of the first tile, which is Abolut-etly what every one waits for, to feel free. Though the barbecue had turned to disappointing fried pakodas, we were happily rambling on about everything under the roof and sky. So what is that magic ingredient that could make you loosen up 24/7; bring the child out in us? Can we be the talkative freaks we all are, without any catalysts (and Biras)? Or have we completely irreversibly lost the child in us in the everyday crowd of work and duties?

Half of them retired and the remaining soldiers lay down on the tarp sheet and counted down stars, arguing if the biggest star there, was a satellite or a planet. When was the last time you had this kind of an intense controversial conversation? I could hardly sleep on that and was up again at 5AM watching the Full moon set, right in time to catch the sunrise on the other side. We saw a few birds and their behaviour, tadpoles leaving circles in the pond as the came up for air together. This is it, it’s magical for me, like life was a blessing to experience. It’s the one purpose we are all born for, to relish this beauty with our eyes and leave behind a better world. 

Wound up with a long drive on beautiful scenic Mysore road. There was hardly any time to frown or whine about all the things that didn’t workout. Lacking any filters and speaking our minds; going all out, acting as per will and hardly cribbing— aren’t these the very traits we should retain as adults, or is that not a part of growing up? As I’m lying on my bed at home thinking about this weekend, this moment (now part of my reminiscing files) feels like a drop of water in a dessert. I could live with this memory for a good few weeks till it gets doused out by mundane routines. Going back to doing what I totally loved gave me a breath of new air, along with fresh perspectives. I don’t know about growing up but I’m definitely going to let my heart camp out on feeling like life is worth every beat.


Special mentions- Best company -Shrishti Choudhary (friend and niece, can drive beautifully)/ Camp leader- @aashishcrezi(great job),

organised by- https://campmonk.com you have to approach them for a camp to know what I am talking about.

@campmonk at PIN DROP MYSTERY CAMP
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Menstrual Cups forever now

Being a nature lover, I do my best in every way to save this beautiful environment. The one time I felt guilty though was during my periods, for using plastic pads. I told myself I was no less than a person chopping off trees. That I didn’t care.

My first time looking at a menstrual cup was at @happyhealthyme an organic store. I stopped by many times but only to look at it. It was daunting to even think about it. Then in one of Karen Anand’s farmers market I happened to see @boondh in the stall of @grindingstone. I have to give the credit to the two girls selling it, for me having made this shift. Personal feedback from having used it themselves, not pushy, helping me understand who to approach to learn to use it. They said they loved it and it is super comfortable,  they worked out with it even. I just picked it up.

Now the cup was in my court, literally. I read the instruction manual and it was not the best for a newbie, honestly. I tried it and thought I hit dead end. I was going all wrong. Anxiety hit me as usual and the Internet is just the wrong thing to do when you’re anxious. So I YouTube-d and hit upon several videos, some websites even tell you to get lubes. I was not going to give up, so I decided to have this awkward conversation over the phone with Boondh.

The nicest lady on the phone told me that there is no stress of having to learn it immediately. Half my worries dissipated. I needed to relax and it would take me some time to really get the hang of it and she cleared all my doubts. For someone who hasn’t even used a tampon it can get real scary. I looked at the size of that thing and wondered how it’s even going to make its way inside. Here I am, today I went swimming on the first day of my periods.

It took me 3 times of giving up, this beautiful link http://divacup.com/2015/okay-so-i-bought-the-divacup-now-what/ and now I’ve got how to use it. This link should be on the first hit on google search. Best help. I can’t even tell you what an achievement this feels like. No more plastic pads! Hurray! One lady less to clog and choke the landfills.

Quickly my experience-

  • Putting it on: I realized its not like wearing a pad, it’s a learning. I got to know my body better and with some patience, I got it only the third month after I bought it. Now it’s a piece of cake. If you’ve got it right this doesn’t betray you like how sanitary napkins do sometimes. Read, watch videos, google, ask your seller, or just go to the link mentioned above, but don’t give up till you’ve figured. Its totally worth it.
  • While its on: I forget I have my periods. No rashes from the sanitary napkins, Oh my gosh YESS! I’ve gone running, swimming, to the gym, to work and basically everything and its like its not even there. You can even address your natures call and not have to worry about it.
  • Removing it: 12 hours of gap is fine to remove, clean, and sterilize it. It can get messy sometimes don’t freak out and jump up, just deep breaths. Its your body and your own blood, it doesn’t have to be so bad.
  • Life: The internet claims you can use one cup safely for 10 years. The more you dig, though, the more you learn that there isn’t one set shelf life of menstrual cups. Each of them will probably last a different number of years, depending on how it’s taken care of — how it’s cleaned, how it’s stored, how it’s used, etc. See link below on maintenance.
  • Popularity: Honestly I don’t know why this never got popular and why Akshay Kumar didn’t make a cup-man movie instead of padman. You can always encourage other ladies to make a shift too. Just share your personal experience.

Happy Nature and Happy Periods!

More links:

Best link to go to: http://divacup.com/2015/okay-so-i-bought-the-divacup-now-what/

Shelf life and Maintainence: https://hellogiggles.com/lifestyle/health-fitness/long-menstrual-cup-lasts/

The first video that made sense: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voqd8e8aaBs

History for the curious: https://www.lunette.com/blogs/news/short-history-of-menstrual-cups