Posts Tagged ‘waste’

The Nano graveyard

July 15, 2017

We went on a nature/birding walk to Kalena Agrahara today, and skirted the lake at IDBI Bank Layout. I was amazed to see several Nano cars parked, and rusting in the monsoon weather.


There must have been about sixty of the cars, parked all around.


At a conservative estimate of Rs.2 lakhs per car, that’s Rs. 80 lakhs just wasting away.


I finally found this banner, saying that these cars apparently belong to this rental initiative:


The problem in our country seems to be, not lack of good initiatives, but keeping up with them. I have tried to call this number to find out why so many cars are rusting…and could not get through. I will try again on Monday (which should be a working day.) ┬áBut meanwhile…would it not have been better to just donate these cars rather than let such an investment waste away in this fashion?

“Oh…this is a new AirBnB effort!” said my friend Rekha-Ram Lakshmanan, from St.Louis, when he saw the cars. “No,” I riposted, “This is CarBnB!”

What a sad state of affairs. Can anyone throw any more light on this failed initiative?

Immense wastage of brown paper

June 5, 2013

It’s the beginning of a new year in schools across the south of India, and once again, I see a massive wastage occurring…that of brown paper.

Every year, children go to a new class or form, and they have to buy a set of new text books and note books. We do not have any concept of using the text books that the students used the previous year.

Each printer and publisher of a school text book obviously goes to great lengths to design the cover of the book. So, too, do the printers of note-books. The text books and note books, therefore, come in a variety of sizes, and many have attractive covers.

However, some time in the ancient past, the practice of protecting the books came into being, and for the sake of uniformity, it was decided to use brown paper to cover them. Today, brown paper itself comes in a variety of colours and textures. The brown paper comes in sheets.

Busy parents have the job of helping their children in the job of covering all the text books and note books before the start of the academic year.

Given the fact that the brown paper covers regularly tear and are sometimes replaced, and sometimes not, what is the mandate that schools place on this process of covering? And if the books are to be covered, why not in newspaper, which would recycle paper, and not waste virgin paper?

Covering all the books and notebooks with brown paper actually has the disadvantage that when the child is packing his or her books in a hurry in the morning, they all look alike, and the child has to open the books or notebooks to make sure that the right book is being packed. Of course, the wrapping never can last through the entire academic year.

Why can we not eliminate this extremely wasteful procedure, and become a little more green? Just calculating the amount of paper that must be used in our country, across so many schools in so many towns and cities, is a mind-boggling task…all I can say is that the amount must be astronomical.

Yet another example of “that’s how it’s always been done” becoming the guiding rule, instead of a common-sense approach. If only we could move forward into today’s world, where paper is a resource to be husbanded. We teach green practices to our children in our schools..but do not practice what we preach.

A new symbol for the Rupee

April 3, 2009

(Thank you, enigmaticash)

I can’t understand…

1. Why most of these symbols seem so hung up on the “two short lines” that is associated with the Euro symbol. Shows a great lack of creativity in those who designed these symbols, I think.

2.What’s wrong with the “Rs.” as it is? Why do we need ad agencies and Govt agencies spending HUGE sums of money(whether Mohur, Rupyah, or,silver and copper…) to design something else (which might add to the devaluation of said Rs., too?)

3. Why not have an “Ag” symbol, (Latin for silver…Argentum)or the Sanskrit symbol for silver which is what “rupaiah” actually connotes, “currency of silver”? (the wiki entry says the Sanskrit word for “wrought silver is “rup” …also meaning “form”, or “rupyah”..and “rupyakam” is “coin of silver” ) ?

Let’s face it, the Rupee. at over 50 to the dollar, is never going to be a Gold Standard, so let’s at least make it Silver across the world!

Is it good?

February 23, 2009

It’s good…

That I had the time and the leisure to be able to watch the Oscars, well, missed the first half an hour because of my walk, but almost nothing thereafter)

That “Smile Pinki” won an award…that little girl is a true heroine, as is the surgeon who operated on her!

That “Slumdog Millionaire” (SDM) won so many of those “shampoo bottles” as Kate Winslet called them!

That Rahman won the best score and best song awards.

That Jerry Lewis won the Humanitarian award.

That excellence is awarded such recognition.

That these awards are given to anyone, no matter which part of the world s/he is from….I can just imagine, in Karnataka, we would have a huge demand that only Kannadigas should be given such awards! (In fact parochialism has reached such heights in India that I often wonder when we are going to decide that we don’t want a Gujrati old man’s picture on our currency notes…!)

It’s bad….

That four hours of a Monday morning (well, most of it, anyway) were taken away by TV, and I will be struggling to catch up on the Ork of the Day.

That Rahman has won Oscars for something I consider to be far below his best work.

That so many people who are equally excellent in their endeavours go without recognition, or miss an award by a short margin….

That my mind is occupied with these musings instead of getting on with the review of the completely interactive theatre performance that I watched yesterday….

Meanwhile, here are two scenes from the Tungabhadra river at Hampi, about which I hope to make a post today…

The peaceful river and the eternal rocks, in the gathering dusk…

And two boys, like generations of boys before them, who have taken to the water and are enjoying themselves a lot…

How much should I worry? How much should I ignore?

February 5, 2009

Yesterday we went to an excellent theatre evening…but driving a distance less than 15 kms. took us nearly and hour and a half…both ways…..and I was really ashamed to be sitting in a car, burning petrol at idling, and being part of the problem instead of at least trying to be part of the solution.

But the reality is that Chowdiah is terribly poorly connected by buses, and we were going for a relaxed evening of leisure, and that is not, in my book, equal to travelling on crowded buses and walking in your glad rags for ages to reach the venue, and then reach the bus terminus after the show.

So I compromised, and I am not feeling very good about it now.

Should I not have gone at all? I would have missed some really superb acting (it was Ismat Apa Ke Nam, by Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah and Heeba Shah)….we have lived a life where we have earned our money by honest means, so why is it that the only way we can have a nice evening is to do something that my conscience bothers me about?

Oh well…would like to share this feat of engineering with you all….

The dexterity with which the leaves of the ants’ nest have been sewn/pasted together is incredible, isn’t it!

But such ants’ nests are not great news for the trees on which they appear,because often, the ants have aphids, as well, which suck the living sap out of the tree and its twigs.

BBMP and their opaque spending habits…..

August 26, 2008

How do we make BBMP accountable for the money they spend so recklessly?

Magzinces and Scrapes…

April 15, 2008

Our streets are never M T of humour; signs such as this abound:

magazinces mt waste bottles waste scrape

And of course, if you get into a scrape, this is the place to bring it to!

India has been really excellent at recycling;it’s only now that we are getting into the use-and-throw culture and not being thrifty and wise.

English…has a funny status in our country. Not ours, yet ours; hated as a symbol of oppression by aliens, and yet a great link language, and a gift that has allowed us to make a mark in the world….

Illogical, but true

February 5, 2008

If I can’t do something myself, and get someone else to do it regularly for me…and it gets done regularly and well…it stands to reason that I should respect the person who does it for me. Right? Wrong.

In India, the upper castes cannot clean their own waste, and need someone else to clean it and take it away for them…and scorn the people who do that. Yes, even today, this is mostly true.

And today….

June 5, 2007

“It’s World Environment Day!” one of my friends said to me when I met her at her door in the morning. “We must take this seriously, unless each of us is careful, we will spoil the world!”
“Yes,” I said.
“Just one minute…let me give the driver the keys….Ramappa, can you take the car to the store at the corner and pick up three eggs? Take the large car, the smaller one has less petrol, I will drop Neeraj in that…these drivers just guzzle the petrol!” she said.
“Yes,” I said.
“It says in the paper that we must be really sparing and think green,” she said. “I just drove down and bought some plants from that lovely new nursery in North Bangalore which everyone says has the most exotic plants…aren’t they lovely?”
“Yes,” I said.
“And we must be careful of water, too…I don’t intend watering these plants too often, perhaps that’s why the last lot died…and yesterday my maid just left the tap open in the kitchen and I only noticed when I came home in the evening, can you believe it?”
“Yes,” I said.
“And I buy vegetables only in that new mall which has come up, they give such lovely plastic bags, too, look, Green’n’Fresh, it’s as good as anything you get in the States, isn’t it?” she said.
“Yes,” I said.
“I asked for a few extra, so that I can use them for other things and have less of waste. It’s essential not to waste, isn’t it?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Muniamma! Just throw those three towels into the washing machine and start it, you can’t keep waiting for more clothes!…where was I? Oh, yes, I felt so bad yesterday, having to throw such a lot of leftovers from my dinner party into the dustbin…Muniamma didn’t turn up for work and I didn’t want to put it all in the fridge. These servants are so unreliable, aren’t they?”
“Yes,” I said.
“But I’ll cut her salary for the days she takes off she’s always complaining that her husband beats her…oh, you’ve got your cycle keys…! It’s so dangerous, you know, but you are SO eco-friendly…”
“Yes,” I said.
“I couldn’t cycle for nuts, especially in this hot weather.I just have to have the air-conditioning on… I really admire you!”
“Yes,” I said.
“You are always such an inspiration to me! Oh well, it was nice chatting to you, I have to go in and make sure Muniamma washes the balcony properly…Muniamma, throw a few more buckets of water, and scrub the floor well! And don’t forget to spray the pesticide in all the corners…I’ll see you later, I have so much to do. Thank goodness we are all so aware of our environment!”
“Yes,” I said. “Bye!”

Yes, that lady IS a figment of my imagination, but she is made up of several ladies who do exist…