SAVE WATER: LESSON LEARNED HARD WAY!

Every morning we hear the noises of women fighting for water outside on the road beside our apartment campus. It is a daily affair of metro cities in India.

The water crisis is acute everywhere in the country. Wikipedia gives a statistic that there’s 88% of the population in India had to access to an improved water source in 2008. So it is expected that the stats would definitely show a positive increase after 8 years, in 2016.

But who will believe that when people see the fights on the roads for water ? Let me explain our life story.

In our previous rented house, we were two families living together in a building sharing the same water source. But we could rarely get even 10 buckets of water in a day. Thankfully both of us were working people and we were only two in number. They were four. And we considered them to avail more quantity of water than us.

We bought different sizes and shapes of buckets and tubs to store water. Only in the morning, the water pump was being run and then I used to fill all the buckets before going to work as my wife used to leave for work earlier than me in the morning.

Sometimes we used to get less than 10 buckets of water too. That time we used to suffer more. My wife used to wash the clothes and keep the waste water intact to be used for toilets.

Huh!!!

But all those months were a learning process for us… It disciplined us. We understood the value of water much better than everybody else. In our present house, we have same water crisis but we never face the problem because we know how to save water by storing as well as avoiding wastage of water.

Watch this interesting video: “10 Tips for Saving Water in the Home

It is high time we all need to buckle up and stand for this cause with a slogan, “SAVE WATER TO SAVE LIFE”.

Stay Blessed !!!

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FARM TO FORK: AS HUNGRY MOUTHS WATCH

Yesterday, while coming back from a relative’s house after distribution of Diwali gifts, my car was standing still in the bottleneck traffic jam of Delhi. I was looking here and there to distract myself when I saw a little boy holding the hand of an even smaller girl, begging for food. “We haven’t eaten in two days, please give food. Give anything that’s food”, they repeated this one line constantly making me shiver by their misery. Torn clothes, caked with dirt, empty eyes and hungry faces over a body that was nothing but skeleton wrapped in a thin layer of skin (not flesh). Like all Delhites I tried to give them a pass, and looked the other way, but their innocent faces drew my attention to them (we are bound to ogle at disasters, psychologically proven), and I felt my airway close as I kept some money in their hands saying “buy something to eat”. Just then I saw a restaurant emptying it’s dustbins into a garbage truck. And in there was food, food in huge quantities. I wanted to open my window and shout, tell them to not just throw it all away, instead give some to the little kids, but no use, the traffic moved just then and the food was in the dumpster, and since then I am not able to get those two conflicting sights out of my mind.

Wastage of Food, it’s a very serious issue that we face. How can we tolerate such injustice that’s happening day in and day out in front our eyes, in fact, we are party to it? I won’t lie, I myself have left food on my plate after I felt I was full or sometimes just because I served more on my plate or didn’t like the dish. Lately, I have been trying to get rid of this habit. The problem today is not world population, cause there is enough food being produced to feed each and every mouth, the problem is wastage.

Hunger is the biggest problem humanity is facing right now. All man’s fights begin and end with this one basic need of survival. Imagine how uncomfortable you are if you go hungry for an hour or two. Now think about what it must feel like for a day, two days or more.

According to a recent report by UNEP and the World Resources Institute (WRI), about one-third of all food produced worldwide, worth around US$1 trillion, gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems. When this figure is converted to calories, this means that about 1 in 4 calories intended for consumption is never actually eaten.

Usually, food is wasted like this : 

  • Leftovers – this is usually because too much food has been prepared or put on the plate.(moms love, I know)
  • Partially used food – this includes food not used but also leftovers which end up at the back of the fridge but never get reused.(bachelors special)
  • Passed its use by date – applies mainly to dairy, meat, and fish which wasn’t used on time.(vegetarians and vegans got an edge here)
  • Food went off – smelt bad, looked bad, tasted bad – this food had a chance but was managed badly.(time to show off my smelling power)
  • Passed its best before date – this usually impacts things like bread and other staples that waste away in the cupboard.(yeah, when you see the fungi)
  • Badly prepared – never easy to say it but sometimes the food prepared just didn’t taste great. (sorry Mom)
  • Change of plans – this happens but if you can manage the food you were going to use quickly then it can still be part of your future !(that’s my thing)

We have even been taught to pray before each meal with closed eyes and joined palms, thanking God for the meal He provided. But INDIANS waste as much food as the whole of United Kingdom consumes – a statistic that may not so much indicative of our love of surfeit, as it is of our population. Still, food wastage is an alarming issue in India. Our street and garbage bins, landfills have sufficient proof to prove it.

Weddings, canteens, hotels, social and family functions, households spew out so much food. According to the United Nations Development Programme, up to 40% of the food produced in India is wasted. About 21 million tons of wheat are wasted in India and 50% of all food across the world meets the same fate and never reaches the needy. In fact, according to the agriculture ministry, Rs. 50,000 crore worth of food produced is wasted every year in the country. Just imagine the farmer who plowed that field, his wife who spread the seed, his son who watered them timely, his daughter who was beyond herself to see it harvest. Can you face them as you throw that plateful of rice in the bin?

Few facts you might not know about food waste:

1. 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted every year (OMG!)
2. Just one-quarter of all wasted food could feed the 795 million undernourished people around the world who suffer from hunger (wow)
3. Food waste in rich countries (222 million tons) is approximately equivalent to all of the food produced in Sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tons)
4. Food waste in Europe alone could feed 200 million hungry people (oh boy!)

Reducing wastage of food is challenging. It’s tough but not impossible, the only thing needed is that each one must bring the change. Solving world hunger requires people coming together from all career fields including agriculturists, nutritionists, economists, community builders, journalists and more. It has to be, it must be, a collective effort, a huge step taken in the same direction to end hunger and malnutrition.

The things that can be done to bring down food wastage:

  1. Shop smart and realistically: It sounds simple, but this is one of the most important things you can do. When you go food shopping, make sure you don’t buy too much food. “Plan out your meals, and make a detailed shopping list with the ingredients you’ll need, and when you’re in the store really stick to that list”
  2. When cooking, don’t over-serve food: The idea of massive portions is partly driven by restaurant culture, but it’s started to trickle into our homes. 
  3. Save – and actually eat – leftovers: In the same vein, make sure you save uneaten food when you either cook too much or you get too much food at a restaurant. 


  4. Store food in the right places: “Storing food in the right place is really underrated, It’s often surprising what kinds of fruits and vegetables want to be at room temperature versus in the refrigerator.”
  5. Avoid clutter in your fridge, pantry, and freezer: If we forget something’s there until it’s no longer good to consume, that’s a huge waste. Keep things neat and visible, and use the “first in, first out” principle: After you buy new groceries, move the older products to the front so you consume them first.
  6. Treat expiration and sell-by dates as the guideline: When it comes to expiration and sell-by dates, “Trust your senses instead of the date on the package. Trust your sense of smell and sight and taste,”.

  7. Keep track of what you throw away: Manage a waste log to keep an eye on what you’re throwing out, so you can prevent doing the same in the future.
  8. Donate to food banks and farms: Before you throw away excess food, look into food banks and charities where you can bring items you know you’re not going to consume before they go bad, and give them to people in need.
  9. Try canning and pickling: Canning is a great way to preserve food (especially fruit) and increase its shelf life for months.(I once preserved strawberries, they tasted yummy)
  10. Use helpful apps and gadgets: There are various tools and apps that aim to help people avoid food waste.
  11. Try composting, but don’t focus on it: Rather than discarding scraps, you can compost certain foods and turn it into nutrient-rich compost.

Remember, these small and little things, if kept in mind and brought into the daily habit can feed a hungry mouth, can warm a cold belly.

Easier said than done friends. Easier preached than practiced. Yet, efforts must be made and they will be made. I begin with myself, do you???

Bon Appetite!

ARE YOU A COMPLAINER?

Self pity or self indulgence is such an attitude in a person which never let that person happy about himself / herself ever. He or she could never be satisfied for anything in life. All the time what he/she talks about is his or her own problems, how he/she does, how he or she suffers. He or she complains about everything.

On final note I don’t want to discuss much about Self-pity which has been dealt very well by my co-authors the whole week. I did little research and thought this video can really be an icing on the cake.

So watch it carefully and stop complaining about everything in your life.  

 

Have a Good Night and Stay Blessed! ❤ 😉

PRAISE FOR PITY

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‘Pity me’, ‘pity me’, said the thorny cactus,

‘No beauty no charm,

The only job I seem to do is to harm.

Full of thorns,

I always earn people’s scorns.

Smooth glistening surface I wish I had,

Perhaps then would I have made all so glad.

Pity me, Ah! Pity me.’

rose-616013_1280

‘Poor me’, ‘poor me’, said the lovely rose

‘As soon as I bloom,

I welcome my doom,

Plucked and woven into garlands,

Pinned on the hair and pasted to the welcome chair.

Beauty and fragrance I wish I had none,

Only perhaps then would I live long.

Poor me, Oh! Poor me.’

zoo-hannover-66354_640

‘Pity me’, ‘pity me’, said the mammoth hippo

‘So difficult for me to establish a rapport.

Hardly can I move with ease,

No one can I easily please.

This body so huge,

Gives me no refuge,

From punters, poachers and ravenous hunters.

If only were I slender and small,

Could I hop, jump, skip and maul.

Pity me, Ah! Pity me.’

peony-1414875_640

‘Poor me’, ‘poor me’ said the tiny ant

‘Small, puny and insignificant am I.

No efficiency, no proficiency,

No talents to boast, no beauty to behold.

Endless trips to gather my daily bread,

Makes me stare at my life with dread.

So easily crushed underfoot,

I’m easily overlooked.

Not even will you find me in a zoo,

Where there are animals and birds of all colours and hue.

What a wretched existence! Poor me, Oh! Poor me.’

girl-1403425_640

‘Beauty I lack – how I wish for the looks of a diva!

Luxury so badly I miss – Oh! For that crowning glory of bliss,

Love I desperately seek – for the warmth of an embrace, a hug and a kiss,

Success eludes me to my disgrace,

All that is left is to stare at empty space,

Seeking solace to run this race.

Pity me, Ah! Pity me’, cried the fair maiden.

children-602967_640

Out came a bunch of jolly little kids,

Smelling the roses, the lilies and the orchids.

Chasing butterflies, uttering no sighs,

Hopping and laughing, running and singing.

Said one to the other, “I thank the Lord for my dark hue,

I praise Him for the cool drops of dew.

I thank Him for the blood in my veins,

I praise Him for His mercy never ends.”

colorful-1325216_640

Said the other in reply, “I thank the Lord for my blind eyes,

For keeping me guarded from all things unwise,

I praise the Lord for the breeze so cool,

When I sit by the blue waters of the pool.

There is no time to pout in self-pity,

When you witness nature’s bounty.

So, I just thank God for making me Me.”

SELF-PITTY, PLAYING THE VICTIM CARD

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. So I read a quote which said, “If you keep telling the same sad story, you will keep living the same sad life.” Self-pity is similar to a small damaged castle which gains everyone’s sympathy but at the end of the day keeps you trapped within its four walls. From its window you can see people feeling sorry for its damaged walls, but lastly, you get stuck there all alone, having no other place to go.

I still have a memory, clear as a crystal in my mind. When I was a kid I couldn’t participate in a running race competition due to a minor leg injury. I observed and enjoyed people empathizing and sympathizing me. I would go on blabbering about it. The injury became my perfect excuse for not being able to participate and win a trophy. That was when my father gave me a piece of advice which said blaming everybody else and every situation in life is great until you have got nobody and nothing else around you to blame, except yourself. This statement came true, people stopped listening and giving me a pass. Self-pity makes you hollow and empty at the end of the day. It doesn’t serve you in any manner.

Merely addressing a problem without propounding a solution is as similar as self-pitying yourself. Thus I will state a small practical example which will help you get rid of the above complication. Have you ever paid attention to the toddlers in a toy shop? How they find their ‘object of affection’ and refuse to let go of it? How forceful snatching of that object makes them even more stubborn? Well, that is exactly when they are offered some other ‘object of distraction’ like an attractive candy. They immediately drop their so-called ‘object of affection’ and become contented with that candy bar. Self-pity is the so-called ‘object of affection’. Try distracting your stubborn mind with positive aspects of life and let it become your ‘object of distraction’. Take the blame for your own defeat, handle the rejections bravely, say, ‘better luck next time’ when you fail to participate in a sports game due to an injury and just let go of it, break out of the castle and leave your failures behind. Life is unfair, I agree, but that is never a reason to let yourself become a victim of self-pity.

As we know that ‘Rome was not built in a day’, thus eradicating your self-pity might take some time. Keep practicing and training your mind until it falls for the ‘object of distraction’. Do not stop trying. Choose the braver path!


Payal P. Patra from Bhubaneswar, India is a law student, a vivid reader, and thinker.

NARCISSISM AND SELF PITY

I have an aunt, she is always so sad, even in good times you can see her long face telling you the story of her misery. Often at parties, she will pull one of us aside and the conversation that follows will be something like this:

“I wasn’t gonna come today, but I came anyways, these people have insisted that I must come. But you know what, I am so unwell, I am not able to eat anything, I have gone weak, even dressing for the party was a struggle”

I look at her, she was wearing a heavy silk saree, her hair was done by parlor, perfect makeup, her whole being was screaming that she had taken meticulous care while getting dressed. I sympathized with her, making sad faces, saying words of comfort, making her realize that I understand her plight. But to my horror, I saw her eating a very hearty meal, with all seven courses present. I dismissed the thought and placed my present on the table set up for gifts. She was by my side again.

“You see that gift, that is mine, it’s the smallest one here, but you know what? My husband’s business is not doing so well these days. Hardly any money is coming through, he is struggling so much. I am so tensed, he is under so much stress, I wonder from where will we pay next months bill.”

I was aghast to know that uncle was in a financial fix and was about to go to him and mention some loan schemes when I heard him telling his friends that he just bought a new Altis. My mouth fell open but I had to swallow my anger. Why would my aunt do that? Why will she call herself unwell when she was hail and hearty, why will she tell that uncle was in a financial trouble when his business was thriving manifolds?

The answer was simple, it was the presence of self-pity, to gain sympathy that in turn will lead her to get everyone’s attention, satisfying her narcissistic nature. People like her start to think the whole world should bend to their will and that they deserve everything (because maybe this will finally bring it to them). But just like the self-pitying individual, the narcissist will also find themselves unsatisfied. According to her, whatever she has is never enough, she deserved more, she deserved better.

Narcissism and self-pity are equally extreme and detrimental to one’s pursuit of happiness. Pitying yourself in front of others will only lower your self-worth and self-esteem. It might make you the center of attraction for a short while, but in long term, it will leave a very bad image of you in everyone’s mind.

My aunt needs sympathy but won’t give it to herself, she seeks pity from others by presenting them with all the sad facts they need to feel sorry for her. Those who feel genuinely sorry for themselves don’t need to talk about it. People like her begin to do some self-reflection and they notice the negative effects of their views and beliefs. But, in a fit of desperation, they go to the other extreme and begin to turn selfish and narcissistic.

Remember, you know how to reframe negative self-talk into positive self-talk. You alone have the key to unlocking your pride and honor, and you alone have that power to know, that to love yourself, you are not dependent on pitying yourself and asking other for sympathy.

Stay Proud, Stay Humble!

 

“WHY ME?” WAS MY LIFE

There was a time in my life when I really was a victim of this devil called “Self-pity”. As a young girl I believed that my family did not want me or love me. There were reasons behind a young girl feeling this way, but of course as an adult I know none of that was true. I am blessed with one of the best families.

So, what did I feel when I was under self-pity? Why me? Why can’t they love me? Why am I not good enough for them? Why is it happening only to me? Why am I so unlucky?

I would find reasons to make this self-pity even stronger. A little scolding from parents or my sisters and I would go into the shell. I would not share it with anybody but my little diary (that’s how I got into a habit of writing). Somehow I had made my family a villain in my mind.

Years later when I gained a lot of maturity and started staying independently in Bangalore – a few incidents made me present to the reality. Reality was that my family loved me the most. I had created such a strong shell around me that nothing could penetrate through it and touch my heart. Thankfully, something really transformed me to see the reality and then I could see how I was stuck in the vicious circle of self-pity.

The thoughts and feelings that you have always attract the similar thoughts and feelings from the universe. This is the law of nature. So, if you have thoughts of self-pity – you are only going to get more of it unless you do something to get rid of it. And to get rid of it – you need to first realize that you are indeed in the self-pity mode.

I usually make a conscious effort to watch my thoughts. If my thoughts reflect anything that makes me feel “Why me? Or Poor me”, then there is some action to be taken to get away from those thoughts. Mostly my actions are to get myself busy in some creative work or hobby. That helps me a big deal. And then when I am not pitying myself, I am better equipped emotionally to solve the problem.