Loo contraptions !

The last time i wrote about pictures from the Washroom, it received so much applause comments that it was reliably learnt that the google servers tripped.

Yeah. Sure.

The missus of course opines that this was the was the audience’s way of showing me ‘my place’ ! That was incontestable. It was from the missus.

Work takes me to fancy hotels once in a while and recently the eye caught a contraption sleek looking machine in the men’s room. Any of you frequenting hotels that have a ‘star’ tag to befit the charges that go past the moon, will take offence to these mundane ‘everyday elements from the loo’ ( as a friend called it) making it being a blog subject !

Tissue paper ( a.k.a just as ‘tissues’ ) that are placed in artistic boxes that could well find a place in a middle class living room and a noisy ‘hot air blower’ to dry your hands, that can emit so much noise that they can compete with one of those Apollos or Sputniks are de rigueur.

Perfumed hand sanitisers, shiny floors, sparkling lamps and spotless mirrors and such else are far more basic in the star hotel loo!

“But this one is far more ‘energy efficient’”, said a pinstripe type as he dried his sanitized hand using the shiny new pristine contraption machine. ‘The hot air is contained in this cavity and thus your hand gets dry faster….Wow, what innovation’. Adding, in some time adding, ‘even the machine’s noise is far more refined’

The chap next to him was obviously a junior as he announced his position in the hierarchy and the relevance to the gentleman through nodding of the head in agreement, mildly describable as ‘vigorous’. In a hierarchy induced vigour, proceeding to talk about global warming and Mr.Pinstripe’s ‘energy efficiency consciousness’ as Mr.Pinstripe himself held grand court.

All this in the loo.

In a brief while, Mr.Pinstripe, reached out to the tissue paper with a flourish, I presume after the hands were sufficiently dry (if his eloquence on the machine was anything to go by). Dabbing his dermis on the hand off the dormant germ and the evaporated droplet !!

Mr.Pinstripe and his junior were soon gone.

It was my turn to use the energy efficient hand drier and hear ‘the refined purr’, as they called it! The contraption machine purred away singing glory to refinement and technology!

We live in good times. Don’t we ? A hand drier to steam away dormant droplets and a sophisticated tissue to dab away whatever remains are evidences to that. While uninterrupted electricity is a mystical promise that gets spoken of at election time and environmentalists are ‘bizarre’ folks !

As the last water droplet was banished into evaporated state of invisibility by the contraption sleek machine with a refined purr, the day of a good clean handkerchief that I learnt to use when my mother used to pin one on to my school uniform, came whizzing back to the mind.

But hey….

We are an emerging economy. With fancy words / phrases used by all. Emerging tiger. BRIC country. Growth story. Middle Class. Incredible India. GDP. FII inflow And such other glorious words and phrases. Of course, we need better cars, clothes, ice cream, paints, computers, mobile phones and such else.

We need such pursuits to keep us particularly chuffed, the economy to keep growing while fat salaries provide a comfortable numbness to stifle any memory of the simpler times. A simpler time when a good clean hand clean handkerchiefs ruled, with no hand drier and tissue paper in sight.

Come on, what am I complaining about…

These are instruments that help people hold grand court in the loo if not anything else. Not to think of providing a below average blogger a topic for his blog. Amen to that.

PS: A better post and some pictures from the mens room, here is the earlier post !

Pleasing the rain God !

The rains have played hide and seek. Especially with the Met Department. Turning up when the Met writes off. And pouring through the roof, when there is ‘No Chance’ of rain ! That apart, the municipal corporation has effected a 30 % water cut which has had 100 % of the media make 150 % more noise !

Suddenly, the prospect of the next summer going without water in the tap, is very real. And as suddenly as that, th
ere are newspaper clippings, figuring on the apartment’s notice board. Asking all to ‘spend water wisely’ !

And of course, there are these small notices which have periodically appeared just outside the apartment lift. Like this one. “As per BMC Notice, there will be short supply of water. Please co-operate’ !

You cant miss such notices. And if you are in a naughty mood, ‘please co-operate’ can conjure up many interesting things for your mind.

But quite often, there is conversation about this ‘notice’ in the lift. All the way up. A conversation that dies off, only when people reach their respective floors.

Ranging from the most common ‘This is ridiculous’ to other strands of ‘What do they expect us to do. Dig wells here? or “why don’t they just drill ten more wells here, we will all pay types”. ( All in accents of a distinctly foreign land which i spell as ‘HBO’).

Contempt for mother Earth & mankind and/or wearing stupidity as a valour medal get my gut. They look at me and other ‘dimwits who preach conservation with a certain unconcealed disdain which is fully reciprocated.

Many times i wonder if the rain Gods are playing hide & seek just to have some fun at the expense of such folks. That’s my grand premise.

Anyways, here i am. In the lift. And there is a family : husband, wife. two kids. And they converse. Between them, of course. I know this gent. On previous occasions, we have had, lets put it this way, ‘differences of opinion’ on water conservation.

And so, the man goes on. ‘These admin fellows, they are not going to get any result with such generic messages like ‘please co-operate’. They must mention, exactly what we should do to conserve water. With a double emphasis on EXACTLY.

Yes. Yes’. I go in my mind. Looking into the corners of the lift. They have to tell you EXACTLY how many litres of water you need to wash your teeth, clean your face. And of course, they have to tell you to close the tap tight. To wash cars lesser …just to think of water.To educate your children…… THEY have to tell you all of that !

And just as i was thinking that, the kid says, ‘big deal dadda. Don’t take bath. Apply the extra perfume. Which you anyways do every weekend’. With a similar double emphasis on ‘EVERY’

My eyes try to look into the man’s eyes. He looks at me. For a brief while. He then looks away to search for mysterious cobwebs in a super clean lift. Theres a deafening silence.

I don’t know about the rain God. But i am having a ball. But you know what, since then, we have been having rains. Serious rains.

Filmy Trees

Up in the mountains. In Kodai.

Tall they are. Nestling against each other. Seeming to stretch to the sky. Standing so close to each other. You wonder how they grew so tall despite how close they are to each other.

But there they are. Close. Tall. In a seemingly endless mosaic of green and brown. And proving to be such a spectacle. To city dwellers who are tourists today. Armed with cameras, ice creams, plastics, chatter & such else.

‘Shooting spot’. says the taxi driver. ‘We had a film crew here yesterday’, says a vendor. And there is more attention from the crowd. Some with gaping mouths, as though with reasonable prompting the trees would recount dialogues or retrace dance steps from yesterdays filming!

They stand in majestic splendour. The new found interest in them, after all the tit-bits about the most recent film crew, do no damage to them. The sun’s rays still struggle to reach earth as the trees, stand their ground!

There however, is a small http://healthsavy.com/product/paxil/ pathway in between. In between those random arrays of trees. And that pathway tells a story. A story of empty space. Which once belonged to the trees.

What the mighty sun couldnt do, man has been adept at. Of course, for ‘worthwhile reasons’: Felling tree for wood. For paper to write on. For fuel to power our factories and light our homes. For door frames. For swanky chairs and designer tables.

The peace in the fresh air disturbed only by the tourist hurling a stone and an expletive at an adept monkey. Both of which don’t reach the monkey and neither does he care.

The majestic beauty casually appeals for a riveting attention. By the sheer nature of being there. There is wonderment. There is awe. There is peace. You wonder how long man will let these trees be.

And then you overhear. That there is a film shoot coming up next week. ‘The trees are safe’ you tell yourself.

At least until next week !

It seems.

Of the many wonders of the natural world, the one that occupies attention span is what seems to be the battle between man and nature. 

As man goes about burning up the forests, chewing up the last available shark, and overturning the what were mountains and diverting what were waterway, nature seems to grin and bear.  

Amidst man made smoke, machine finished roads, in the thick of concrete buildings, are natures signs of survival. At least that’s how they appear to me : Plants !!! These are not potted plants, grown for the sake of ‘greenery in the balcony’. 

These are plants that have grown with whatever was available. Clinging to the moisture that is available on the sides of drainage pipes and spreading roots into concrete. These are not creepers. These are plants that have taken root in concrete. 

And as man drains out nature’s resources, nature seems to be doing its bit by holding on to his drainage pipes.  Who will have the last laugh is a laughable question. For it doesn’t have to be asked. 

For now, the concrete towers seem to be rising. And the nature resides in the drainage pipe. Forests keep burning. The smoke keeps raising. And diplomats converge in the capitals of the world. And ofcourse, Our Environment is ‘debated‘. 

Alls well with the world.  

It Seems.  


Fire in the well !

There was this professor in college. He taught us Operations Research. A small man who used to correct papers with that big scrawl that i always thought was an attempt to cover his ‘ineptitude’. I am sure he has more charitable words of recognition for me. And of course, i dreaded his class.
One day, just he was distributing the question paper of an internal test, i was girding my loins. I mean, i had prepared. Real hard. And was awaiting the paper. Just as he was all set to distribute the question papers, he tipped a jar of water over the question paper stack. Quickly retrieving the papers with a flourish, he proceeded to distribute a wet set of papers to the class.

“So there, a watered down version !” , he said.

I flunked that exam. And to this day, think, there was something in the water.

Yes. Water. I love water. I treasure water. Every other living summer there has been an impending water scarcity. Or real time scarcity. And then, somehow, the other seasons clamoured to desist from giving the summer a bad name. And it became an all season thing.

We are just far too many people and too less water. And the too many people, haven’t been thinking about the far too less water for a far too long time ! Well, the water scarcity has reached the Mumbai shoreline as well. And boy, you have to pay for water these days !

The numerous water tankers (driven by those ordinary men with delusory thoughts that their wheel drives a Mclaren Mercedes and the Mumbai road is a Formula one race track) are proof enough !

And that they do ‘day and night’ service is double proof. Altough, i must confess that ‘self water supplier’ unnerved me a little. I went around checking what this ‘self water supplier’ meant, just in case. The answers varied, but did not come close to my fears. So.

And these impeccable ordinary men and their ‘self water supplier’ tagline, amongst other things, got me started. I resolved that i would speak to as many people in the neibhourhood and educate them about the need to conserve water. With that firm resolve, i stepped outside.

There. Right there. Was this kid who was emptying his water bottle in the alleyway. My antennae screamed, ‘opportunity’. So, i thought i’d get my practice going. After being nice to him I told him about the need to conserve water, and thought that the ‘fear of hunger’ would get him thinking.

So with a hushed voice i told him, ‘we may not have enough water. Even for food. Your mom cant cook food and you’ve got to go hungry”, i said. And mentally pumped my fist like Boris Becker after executing a neat unplayable backhand cross court volley !

And then, to my dismay i saw the boys eyes brighten. I knew there was something wrong. He just said, “Really?!?. Yay Yay Yay…If Mamma cant cook food then, we can all have Pani Puri. They use only mineral water’

My investigations lead me here.

My Water Conservation agenda has since been bristling. Battered down. But not watered down. Yet.

And by the way, that Pani Puri left me stirred. And shaken too. The agenda survives. For there is a fire in the well !

ad-judge !

A good ad has always had me stop. And take another look. Perhaps because of the past association with advertising. Perhaps because of the “i-am-creatively-inclined-belief”. When Niru sent in a set of ads i did not realise i spent almost 45 minutes looking at them.

So much so that it warranted a post ! Thanks Niru !

With a grand image of myself of being a reality show judge.. i went about choosing some ads which caught my imagination. There is no grand prize and i am a nobody ( not that reality show judges are somebody) and these creative works any day are much better than Rakhee Sawant’s antics. So, there goes the reality show myth.

Reality show myth! Hey. that was an ‘almost’ oxymoron ! I guess the show came inbetween !

Ok..i guess you know by now that i have been listening to too much of radio and my ramble will put the worst radio jockey to shame !

Here is the first one. On female infanticide. I smiled when i first saw this. But when i came back to see it, it wrenched my stomach. ( To think of infanticide that is..)

This one needs no explanation. Straight drive. Or rather, straight drill !

This was both hilarious and drove the point home very clear. And as we lose more trees in the name of development, someday the edifices of development could be our central themes ! By God !

This was my favourite ! I havent seen a better ad for diamonds. I intend showcasing this to missus ! After all, its another stone. Chose the right stone..! Gift a rock !! For a minute i imagined. I said ‘for a minute !’ Yes. Then i stopped !

Sunday Rant

Lazy Sunday. I didn’t know they had a day for laughter ! But then, since knowing they had a day for laughter, been trying smile all day. Now, that wasn’t seen as funny by many. How ironic !

The environment is again making the news. With the Times Of India running a series of front page articles on how we must change or the Himalayas will no longer be snow clad and our rivers will run dry. I am not sure how many people read it.

A friend, who now has gotten used to my rants on the environment, as much as the first page articles on the same subject in the TOI, http://premier-pharmacy.com said, “Perhaps they should say things like “if you don’t take care of the environment Pizza Hut will close down or there will be no TV show, no cricket etc !!. We need to sell it differently. Illustrate it in a manner which will reach people” !

Speaking about that, how is this ? I chanced upon it today. An illustration on global warming. Now, hope this is illustratative enough, M ?

Now tomorrow is Monday. That isn’t funny. BTW, The World Laughter Day is on the first Sunday of May. Always.

Never on a Monday. No wonder !

Have a great weak !

Green Card Payments !

The last day for payment of the credit card bill nears. And as the outstanding amount peers out of the bill and into my eye, i sigh. The thrill of the immediate pleasure of enjoying a comfort or a luxury when the card was swiped is nowhere near for comfort.

As the card statement stared at me from the table, my went back to the post on Earth day ! For some odd and strange reason ! And then a remarkable analogy struck me.

A credit card. It doesn’t pinch you when you buy the worldly pleasures using the card. It feels great to have the neighbours go green with envy. Its lovely to sink in the wallops of comfort that the product provides you. But what really pinches you is when the credit card bill arrives. What pinches you more is when you don’t have money to pay back.

Isn’t that exactly whats been happening to our environment ! We have been swiping our cards through generations. Our credit limits are tipping over ! And its pay back time. You know what, our record with the “Green Card” isn’t doing any good to our credit worthiness !

I was wowed ! That was a powerful analogy. Over here, with credit card interest rates ranging 35 %+, it seemed striking. What we are doing to the environment, is many times worse ! Using up all the credit limits, with no clue as to how we will find the resources to repay !

I think its time that we each one of us at least pay our part towards paying up the “minimum balance due !” Lest the credit card company decide to take punitive action !

Poohs Den has a competition on the environment and what we can do. Some interesting thoughts and ideas are over there ! Do pen your thoughts !

As i close this post, there seems to be one phrase that is still lingering in my mind.
“Punitive action” !

What on Earth ?

The 22nd of April is Earth day.

What a setting. There is a drought in Australia. Floods in New York. Water instead of Solomon Islands. Icebergs melting. The Himalayas shrinking. Failed Monsoons. Floods. Droughts. Cancer. Animals that our children can see in only in text books and CDs.

Well, I am wrong if i just present one side of the picture. Here is the other side.

Our high rises have grown higher. We have more light. More energy to help many things. Our rooms are brighter with a click of a button. We commute between places in great comfort in a jiffy. We have more things than we could have ever imagined. And there is more coming by the minute. We have more !

There are certain things that we cannot give up. Like houses. Industries. Like growth. No doubts about all that. The only questions that i want to ask is this : Have we thought of the costs that we are incurring. Have we thought about the future generations that will live on this planet ?

I thought of some reasons as to why we do not talk / think much about our wonderful home called Earth ? Here are my principal hypotheses.

a. There is no immediate ’cause and effect’ instances. For instance, if i put a hand in the fire, it will burn me. Which will hurt me. But if i toss plastic into the earth, or drive a car which pollutes more or keep an extra light bulb going, well i don’t get ‘hurt’. So i don’t see any cause and effect relationships. The “Whats in it for me?” factor is just way too clouded

b. We are too engrossed in ‘economy development’ and in the perception that anything that we do for planet earth must come at the cost of our development.

c. There is abject lack of knowledge and understanding at the grassroots level about how it all adds up and what one can do.

d. Immersed in material comforts, getting uncomfortable thinking of planet Earth is something that we would much rather do another day !

Well, well, well. There are problems everywhere. From Australia to America to Antarctica to Africa to Asia to everywhere. That’s caused by collective disregard for nature and our planet. We must understand that we are inheritors of a planet that we must pass on to our generations.

Often times i have heard ( and thought of it myself) : “i am a concerned citizen. And i am not doing any damage to planet earth. Well, take this test . I was surprised by the results it threw up for me. Lets understand what part each of us plays. I found that if everyone lived like me, we would need 2.1 planets ! Go Ahead. Find out your ecological footprint. Click on the logo below.

Environmental protection need not come at complete chaos to economics. It needs some thought, some work and commitment. But if we aren’t doing this for future generations, we perhaps are leaving them with such a black eye that they are never going to forgive us.

Action can begin at home. There are a multitude of things that we can do. And websites are replete with information. On how switching off a bulb can lead to saving. Cycling. Closing a leaking tap. Different forms of taking a shower et al can all lead to saving. On how driving lesser polluting cars, keeping away plastic, etc can save ! Click on the logo below or access other websites for more !

More importantly, we must cultivate in us a firm attitude of not taking our planet for granted. There is lesser and lesser of what http://www.buyambienmed.com/ambien-online/ mother earth can offer us. And our yearning for more has never stopped since the times of Adam & Eve. But this is the time. We are nearing a tipping point.

Must we go through a catastrophe to understand this ? Well, we have had one too many so far. What more warnings do we expect ?

Here are things that we can do.

Many an attempt has been a lost cause owing to the perceived magnitude of the operation. Lets start small. Small steps by millions of people across the world will add up to a couple of lesser holes in the Ozone layer.

a. Educate. Educate. Educate. Bring awareness about what is happening. Talk to children. At home. At school. At apartments. Talk to people in stores. Write on blogs. Newpapers. Message boards. The accent must be on helping people see the connect between private action and public grievance. Help people see whats in it for them.

b. Live & lead by example. If each one of us lives a life with concern for planet earth, that is a huge plus ! Its the small rain drops that add up to the big rivers !

c. Celebrate small successes. Green Houses, greener streets etc can come together and have small get togethers. People are watching and will of course, say, “if they can do it, we can too”. Talk about the small successes. That will give us much needed momentum. We need to weave in our concern for planet earth into everyday life and living.

Remember, small changes are critical. If somebody can change a bulb. Walk. Cycle. Close the tap. And be aware of it. And be happy about it ! And talk about it ! These are baby steps. Baby steps by a wide cross section can get us momentum. That will take us someplace else !

We could have all the money in the world, but what if we didn’t have the world ?


Today’s music by Tracy Chapman is something that talks about a new beginning. I have been so captivated by this song from the time that i first heard it. Here are the lyrics ! Sing along

The whole worlds broke and it aint worth fixing
Its time to start all over, make a new beginning
Theres too much pain, too much suffering
Lets resolve to start all over make a new beginning
Now dont get me wrong – I love life and living
But when you wake up and look around at everything thats going down –
All wrong
You see we need to change it now, this world with too few happy endings
We can resolve to start all over make a new beginning

Start all over
Start all over
Start all over
Start all over

The world is broken into fragments and pieces
That once were joined together in a unified whole
But now too many stand alone – theres too much separation
We can resolve to come together in the new beginning

Start all over
Start all over
Start all over
Start all over

We can break the cycle – we can break the chain
We can start all over – in the new beginning
We can learn, we can teach
We can share the myths the dream the prayer
The notion that we can do better
Change our lives and paths
Create a new world and

Start all over
Start all over
Start all over
Start all over

The whole worlds broke and it aint worth fixing
Its time to start all over, make a new beginning
Theres too much fighting, too little understanding
Its time to stop and start all over
Make a new beginning

Start all over
Start all over
Start all over
Start all over

We need to make new symbols
Make new signs
Make a new language
With these well define the world

And start all over
Start all over
Start all over
Start all over …