To everyone who is sick and tired of journalists yelling at you with fake reports, hear me out. I’m sorry we have media that fails in doing its fundamental duty – safeguarding democracy. I’m also sorry that you are made to feel anxious after listening to the 9am news bulletin. I apologise that you have to see disturbing images and videos on your TV just because some journalist forgot to take ethics seriously.
Now that we’ve set our apologies right, allow me to state what I’m not sorry for.
We live in 2020. We’ve experienced our bit of the tragedy with pandemic but during this crisis, we cannot help but criticise the media. Its loud, biased, untrue and most importantly, annoying.
Then why do we still switch on our TVs? Why do we endure something we know isn’t factual in the first place? Because living without news, if you aren’t ignorant, is impossible. We feed off of news on a daily basis. Our conversations are based off of prime time news. Our petrol prices, taxes, government mood swings are all told to us by the news. So how does something so fundamental to public get off hand?
It’s as simple as this – The news you receive isn’t functioning for you because it isn’t run by you. You believe you are entitled to good quality and fair news because you pay your cable bills and subscribe to the cheapest available daily, allow me to snap you out of your bubble.
You get a newspaper for as cheap as 5 rupee to a maximum of 15 rupee. There is no way that any organisation can hire journalists, buy equipments, carry out the printing, rent out an office and carry out investigation or even simple daily reports with that tiny sum of money. This is where advertisers come in. Why do you have sheets and sheets of advertisements of digital sales every morning staring at you? Because they help the organisation survive.
When you, as public, are not ready to pay a higher subscription rate to the press, how can you expect them to work in your interest?
Now a possible solution that you may have found is – government subsidies. Good argument. While governments fund the military and take interest in this investment, one can only see a handful of governments doing the same for their press. Now I don’t mean that the governments don’t pay the press to have their preferred narrative. What I mean is, government subsidies work as a functional model only if the model is mandatory to all news organisations with the exception of any government involvement in the news stories. Otherwise, the press turns into what it is now -a mouth piece of the government.
We have our right to speech, or rather, we had. The real problem with the mainstream media today is that it makes the ones who aren’t aware of its financial spine, believe its radical ideas. So when a left wing funded daily presents news to you, you have no access to the other side of the story. This is where caste issues, religious ideas and community conflicts stem. So the next time you expect to see a good journalist, prepare to fund their process. Because writing what is fair, what the government wants to hide from you, keeping the sense of democracy alive, is not possible without money.
Also remember, it is mainstream because you make it. There are smaller independent media organisations who try to bring way less radical reports but it is because you are unwilling to try out and support such organisations that we are stuck in this loop together.
Incase you’re willing to pay for the quality news, here are some sights that can help you understand how impactful a functional media can be –
Side Note : Take some time to understand how they’re funded. If they have a particular ideology. Take time to understand the media and then accept the information. This helps you become aware and not manipulated.
If you’ve come across folks who are delusional about things, you could relate to this.
Picture this, you’re sitting on a bench, sipping on your morning coffee and you see a kid walking around with a plastic bag wrapped around his neck. Give him 5 minutes, he’s gonna suffocate himself enough for it to be fatal. What do you do? Run upto to him and try to save this kid? Pretty obvious right? So then, Why don’t we do that for our cohabitants?
There are 7 billion of us. 7 billion breathing, working, functioning creatures that occupy a major chunk of the planet. Yet, we all go about our daily lives unthinkingly. While we sneak our scooters into small lanes, rush to grab our coffee, get all the paper work done with a slight frown, cover our nose when black smoke hits us, we seem to forget how co-dependent we are.
There’s a beauty in cohabitation, one that we seem to have forgotten with the race for urbanisation. The concept of sharing a space comes with responsibilities and we’ve not done a very good job at that. You’ve come across the video of the turtle that has a straw stuck up its nose, you’ve seen tons of plastic floating on the ocean and yet you go on about your day with your stupid little coffee mug, don’t you? Don’t we all?
We are the bad guys here and the sooner we accept it, the lesser the damage is. You can call out to a single country for the global warming but that isn’t going to make a difference. You see people are simple, we know we kill animals, we always have, what’s the big deal in that, right?
Well it is a big deal. Because while we stand worthy of the climate change, they don’t. While we build grey walls higher, they remain deserving of their green lands.
But let’s not make this impersonal. Why don’t we care? Why haven’t we started working against it as a clan? Why doesn’t it affect us?
I would say capitalism, easy politics, corporate demands, consumerism, plain old ignorance but lets go with – “Because it hasn’t hit us hard enough yet.” We’ve prayed for people affected with calamities, we’ve maintained a minute’s silent for the ones who lost their life but that’s about it. Real measures like choosing public transport, buying thoughtfully, treating our personal waste, switching to a zero-harm lifestyle are just for the you tubers right? We watch them, we try it out for a day or two and then just sit in coffee shops and demand the shopkeepers to change their products so that you’d automatically be saving the planet. For our little royal needs, the scientists are sure of a royal end.
We live believing that all that’s given to us, is our right. And some of it is, but maybe your primary right is the climate right. But when I say you have the right to clean air, I mean you’re responsible for it as much as the next person is. In the present day, a glance at our newspapers tell us that there’s no real point waiting for the governments. We can’t gather circles and speak about how it is our fate because trying a new lifestyle is just too much of a task for us.
They say the death of art is the tragedy of our times but I disagree. I think passiveness and the urge to look for convenient options is the real smoke of sorrow that surrounds us. While we know vertical gardens will filter the air in our cities, we’re too busy riding around in the comforts of our bikes. While we’re all trying to tone our bodies, we rarely walk to work. There’s so much we do that’s going in the wrong direction that it aches my heart and many alike, who understand the impact of climate change.
You know the facts and the data around climate change. The cause and effect of global warming but when are we gonna talk about how the mass beef consumption has led to mass forest fires to get land for grazing so that the burger on your plate tastes good. How the little bottle of water over the counter isn’t a mere purchase but log that’ll choke animals to death. How, as we mindlessly go for rides, as the ozone gets cavities and there ain’t no dentist fixing those. How, as we go about with propagation, our landfills take up the lands we promise our children.
There’s so much out there to talk about climate change and yet whenever we do, we stick to statistics. We stick with numbers and ideas and the need to drop that temperature by 2 degrees. But the need hold ourselves responsible is fundamental. We’ve done this and its our mess to clear. We’ve gotten comfortable but that’ll change when there’s constant cold, when there unstable climate will affect vegetation and we’ll starve, when the heat wave won’t just be a news from the UK but a fragment of your everyday sentences. The reality is harsh and its time everybody stops being delusional about it. There are children speaking but adults need to get the message into their thick skulls. Stop silencing young inds, stop silencing logic because it doesn’t get your revenue. Stop resisting this because its coming for all of us and some of us have decided to act. All I hope for those who are busy with their daily bread is that, when it’ll hit us, you’ll deserve it but not everybody did.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see the word ‘Minimalist’? Some popular ideas include – an empty house, the colors- black and white, fashion, slow and pale living and most importantly a hell of a commitment. The only one I’d partially agree to is the last. So to break it down to you, being a minimalist, simply means investing your money and time on the things that serve a functional purpose and nothing else.
While we run towards our dreams and aspirations trying miserably to keep it together and find happiness, perhaps we need to sit down with a cup of coffee and think if these dreams we keep running after, this idea of absolute satisfaction and joy is worth this whole struggle. Let’s look into why we are almost all the time in need or something or the other.
Given all that the current market has to offer, like cute Japanese stationery, millions of gadgets convincing you that you need help with just about everything, an option to choose from for every other item, a substitute for everything you probably already own and so on. Just when you decide to not go outside, you realize they’re all ready to deliver it to your doorstep. it may seem like a struggle but try to look at the bigger picture. Why are we constantly in search of something? Can we ever actually be content?
A popular blogger and minimalist, Leo Babauta wrote, ‘An ongoing quest for me, and one that I am renewing this year is to eliminate all that is unnecessary from my life.’ he continues by explaining what is truly necessary for life and that the rest can be avoided.
We are constantly engaged in making a list of things we believe we need. Seldom do we pause to question, ‘why’ and ‘Is it important?. ‘This isn’t limited to the market, even with relationships and any general investment of time or effort, we need to question if it’s truly worth it. Because if you do figure out the key to living a life that is simple and control this constant rush towards everything that your eyes fall on, that is when you’ll be a little more content and as far as happiness is concerned, well decluttering the unnecessary has never brought anybody sorrow. Unburdening yourself will ensure you control waste and save time.
In a country like India it isn’t
news that resources are kept at the doorstep for some and kept at the horizon
for others. The rich and poor divide isn’t just theory around the nation, it’s
a daily sight for everybody. Nobody really knows who to blame but it’s time we
look into the logistics of the same.
The city of Bangalore acts as a
crucial example for all that’s wrong with the entire country considering it’s
the IT hub as well as the ‘Garden City’. Over the city, there is almost some construction
work going on every day – be it drains, potholes, footpaths, flyovers etc. What
media fails to mention is that every time there is a “crisis management” it is
almost never planned, this is because there is no central account kept of all
the development projects. Which means that drains are fixed right after road
construction is accounted for.
This brings the spotlight to the
authorities who take immense pride in boasting about all the “development”
they’ve been aiding. The state has no ‘single/central plan’ for wholesome improvement
which means they continue to invest millions from the treasure called ‘tax’
unthinkingly and this is problematic.
There are only a few things that
are more problematic than improper
managementof resources, (which
can be discussed on a later work) the most recent concern has been that
revolving water. For a planet that is 2/3rd water we sure have a lot
of water related concerns, this means both abundance and scarcity of the matter
can kill the entire human race and for the same reason is something that should
be written about.
In recent news, India has
experienced floods in Karnataka and Kerala, two states where there were zero
precautions taken for the same on a practical level. This is a result of
inexperience on crisis and disaster management which is not a limited to
“reaction” but also pro action. This includes coming up with a proper detailed
safeguarding plans which ensure that any future disasters will cause minimal
damage. Which is absent in the present
Lets look at Bangalore City
The metropolitan city that hugs
multiple cultures has drains almost at every nook and corner but the question
Where do they meet?
How is sewage
How often are the
Do the drains help
during heavy rains?
How effective are
the road plans with regard to drains?
Where do they meet?
These are all
problems that end with revelation of the harsh reality. In practice, the locals
almost always complain about how the drains
meeting up with lakes and ponds thereby polluting whatever water
resources are available. This further leads to health issues and a larger
problem of water scarcity.
India has not
had the luxury of planning cities but Chandigarh, the shared capital of Punjab
and Haryana stands as a classic example of why it should be popular and
For any piece
of land to hold commercial and livelihood standards, a plan is essential. A
systematic distribution of elements, a proper treatment of waste water along
with other resources is a game changer for any economy.
In the city of
Chandigarh not only is the commute planned but also the flow of drinking water,
sewage and water bodies. Bangalore, on
the contrary rarely even carries out maintenance work for the existing drain
networks. This just results in clogged drains, overflowing of water on a light
downpour, scavenging and a fundamental destruction of all road or land
The drains in
the city usually pollute water bodies; a typical example is that of the foaming
news of Bellandur lake. Other small towns usually have to wait for the local
government inspections to even bring the problem to attention and then the wait
for an actual situation takes another decade.
Most of the
people are unaware of the pollution of water. This is typical of cities were
overcrowding is a growing concern. This means high risks of communal diseases
and damage beyond control.
How is sewage treated?
The bbmp along
with all other state municipals have slight to no clue about waste water. This
isn’t a local issue, it’s a national issue considering almost to state treats
their waste water is a resourceful manner. The grey water is never flittered
and sent for irrigation nor is it sent for treatment. Which means that we continue
to exploit water until we can complain about its unavailability.
doesn’t collect in one big area, it is disseminated at various spots and
because the covered drains are usually blocked due to the ignorance of the
citizens, who take much pride in throwing out their garbage into the nearest
water body, it isn’t surprising that treating this water would take a lot of
that, other than private hotels and some companies, there is no real public
sewage treatment plants. Most of the sewage is diverted to the lesser populated
parts of the city, a disaster of a idea. [https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/why-bengalurus-sewage-treatment-plants-may-never-be-enough-city]
Are drains maintained regularly?
The city has
closed drains, which is admirable but these drains have slots for the water to
run in which are very conveniently always blocked therefore cancelling out the
very purpose of the drains. A simple way to avoid this and many other damages
is by maintaining what we’ve already invested in.
mean waiting for the rainfall to dig up freshly constructed roads in order to
fix clogs. This means a regular check on the drains, proper filtering of waste,
designing roads in favour of the flow and using assertive methods to ensure
people aren’t throwing around garbage wherever they want.
How often are
the drains blocked?
understand this, one can refer documentaries like “This is how we do it:
cleaning a sewage.” In simple words,
drains in the country are blocked by a range of things like – construction
waste, heavy plastic, cans and sometimes even dead animals.
In Delhi, the
major internal stormwater drains were were caused by garbage, so much that TOI
carried the news. [https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/most-internal-stormwater-drains-blocked-by-garbage/articleshow/]
In the city of
Bangalore, as depicted in the picture attached, the drains are blocked by as
small as tea cups to unmanaged plastic.
The problem comes when we realise how quickly our drains block. MG road, the primary spot in the city were maintenance work isn’t as rare as the rest of it, drains get clogged the very hour after BBMP clears out waste. This indicates that citizens are just as responsible for clogged drains.
Do the drains
help during heavy rains?
The city is
currently experiencing a late monsoon, thanks to global warming and the general ignorance around
environment. What is worse than unnaturally heavy rain? Rain with nowhere to
go. This is one of the reasons drains were built in the first place around
commuting areas. Taking a drive around the city during a downpour accounts for
the quality of the rains, not only does the water have no escape (due to
blocks) but the water from the drains comes right out. This is because of the
point mentioned in the introduction – improper management of resources. As the
roads and drain maintenance is done without central plan, the roads are no
longer slant slightly towards the drains but are the other way around. This is
clearly evident in some parts of the city, thereby, yet again, cancelling out
its very purpose, which is the sixth point of the argument made.
This ignorant use of water that
is used and of the usable rainwater is to be looked upon while we complain of
both water scarcity and floods. Planning the use and reuse of our resources
sustainably will not only minimize our present chaos but also safeguard our
future. The city of Bangalore represents all cities in the nation, one can only
imagine the damages caused in areas with lesser commercial value.
Here are some images
taken through smart phone while observing the water chaos in and around the
It’s lovely to know that some habits, that come naturally to us are a step in the right way. The problem however is that the majority of our habits aren’t “Ideal.”
Here are some of the observations I made this month.
Some of the things we do right involve :
Using stairs instead of elevators in our buildings – Not only is this a healthier option but it also ensures saving some amount electricity and let’s not forget all the infrastructural waste involved. Some of us don’t do this because of all the money involved and I believe it comes to mind only after making a building with more than 4 floors, traditionally speaking.
Utensils – Steel/wooden/mud utensils are quite popular in some cultures, more so in Asian kitchens, these are great alternatives for plastic. The use of such utensils and other kitchen appliances ensures long term use and easy disposal.
Our storage choices – One of the perks of not having great import material selection in my country is the absence of zip-lock bags. I know, super convenient. But here’s the thing, you get a 100 in a pack and suddenly you need a ziplock for everything. Not so ideal. In the absence of such luxuries, you store your fruits normally i.e, without a shield, which is quite appropriate if you ask me. Use your containers, or store them casually, all it takes is regular cleaning – which I support and encourage.
Social Media Addiction – We keep scrolling, in the morning, while using the loo, at the bus stand, in bed, everywhere. The chances of us not knowing about environmental issues is extremely minimal. And every once in a while it affects a person or two, which is the intention of this blog as well. With the prominent discussions on the issue, even the smallest group of people who are affected is a good sign.
Quick update on my life, I’ve been trying to be mindful of my actions. The struggle is real when it comes to sorting out the media content I expose myself to but very recently I happen to choose a documentary instead of binge watching on anime, Titled “Minimalist.”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Co1Iptd4p4 (Directed by- Matt D’Avella, available on Netflix)
I have to admit that I made that choice because that’s one lifestyle I’ve been trying to adopt. But once I got around 10 minutes through, I realised I was in for a movie that was going to disturb me just enough to think about ‘What’s enough?’
The movie speaks about so many things and I’d suggest it to everyone who has the time but here’s a list of focus points mentioned in it that I personally would like to bring to your attention.
“We have a lot of personal space now than we did in the 50s but people don’t use this space the way they should and now there’s a 2.2 billion square foot personal storage industry.”
“People use only about 40% of the space in their homes.”
My reaction? Disappointed but not surprised. Now clearly this is a study of the US but I’m sure the situation is all too relatable for most countries, we live in big houses but we always are in need of more space. From what I see around, the idea of improper use of space is all to common – which is something that can be dealt with on an individualistic level.
“Nothing is more responsible than living in the smallest space you possibly can”
Talking about tiny houses, Jake Austin mentions how “There’s this element of affordability, simplicity and sustainability that just makes tiny houses seem like a perfect solution and one that makes sense environmentally”
If you haven’t already familiarised yourself with the concept of tiny houses, I shall be talking about it in the next blog, for now they are exactly what they sound like – small living spaces that are extremely functional. In a era where population seems to be ever growing, tiny houses not only act as a logical option but their minimal footprint also allows nature to get minimum recovery rate.
We’re confused about what makes us happy. Everytime money lands in our hands, we run to the nearest market and spend money on what we think we need. The urge is so real, you readily fight with your own self to buy it. This unthoughtful buying behaviour is what’s makes us think we have all we need to be happy over the counter. For us to be happy we need to balance what we need in fair amounts and not rip our pockets trying to live a life that has no direction whatsoever.
“Our attachment spill from people to objects. We look at objects the same way we look at people”
Our constant need of attachment has tied us to the log of irrationality. If we can’t get over a piece of clothing from over ten years ago, how can we expect to get over toxic or unwanted attachments with people? It all starts on the ground level.
“You can never get enough of what you really don’t want”
Rick Hauson (PhD. Neuropsychology)
We need a new laptop, we need a new phone, we need that particular coat just because we saw it on one of the celebrities, we need that cute something that serves no real function, we need a car… What do we really want? And how long will we want it for? There’s always going to be something better, something you can’t achieve so whats the point of running like everybody else? It’s time you go back and read why the rabbit and tortoise ran in the first place, nobody remembers why but we all obsessed over the turtle winning. This race is created for you and if you start moving back or even just slow down, you might just see something that makes you smile a bit wider.
“We’re never going to able to achieve the environmental gains that we’re seeking while still expecting our lives to be the same. We’re going to have to give up a lot. But a lot that, we’re not actually going to miss.“
I’ll leave that quote for you, to understand and really ponder upon.
If you get the time and if you’re interested in finding the elixir, one that shows you that simplicity is the way to attaining satisfaction, I recommend you to watch the above mentioned movie.