Once upon a time farmers grew rice, wheat, other grains and vegetables and we managed to eat well. Then fertilizers were created and one more potent than the other. The same farmers managed to double their yields, sometimes triple their yields and we all managed to eat well. Then some scientists created genetically modified vegetables, grains, disease resistant strains and the same farmers again doubled their yield… we all ate well. Just now we start this new fad called organic and we want our farmer to go back to his first way and we are ready to pay double, sometimes triple the price to get organic food ! Cant think of a better joke 🙂
Then lets talk of water… civilizations flourished next to a river always. Cities came up next to rivers – the idea being the river will provide the water needed. We drank from the river, bathed in it, washed our few clothes in it and also excreted into it. All biodegradable, fish food. The water kept running and no one had to even boil the water. Natural sediments filtered it and made it potable. If a particular river was not drinkable water, we had enough technology to figure out where to dig a well and we got sweet drinking water from the ground. Then we discovered industries, we forgot to create drains and sewage treatment plants – we dumped everything into the river and polluted it. We continued to build floor upon floor cutting trees down and creating xyz wood, abc garden, park 123 etc etc and the woods, gardens and parks got contained to the small terraces outside your 14th floor apartment !! And then we went home to home and requested people to do rain water harvesting – spend money on RO systems to get sweet drinking water and waste just as much water as it purified, spend money on filters to clean a billion viruses …. you are still not laughing??
Ok here goes another one – your grand mom made sweets every diwali and the three other important festivals and you felt thrilled if you managed to grab two pieces. The food made in the morning did not last for the afternoon and what got made in the afternoon did not last for the night and anyway you ended up eating early because the kerosene/oil was expensive and you didn’t want to use much of it late into the night. Then thanks to Edison every home was lit up all the time and many many appliances made it easy to grind the sugar, the chutneys and store food for one day, two days, weeks, months ! Frozen pizza is a delicacy, sure. The sweet shops made it easy to eat a full box of sweets, the delivery boys brought every delicacy home with a phone call, smart marketeers gave you 25% extra chips for the same cost and everything fried went really well with a large diet coke !! We all became kings and queens because those were the only ones, once upon a time who could afford to be fat. Since we have democracy in most parts of the world and we have abolished monarchies we all chose to eat well and get fat – the most hilarious thing is every advertisement for pizza is followed by an advertisement for a sugar substitute 🙂 Then we lament, children are getting obese, women are getting obese, we need to “hit the gym” – hit yourself for being dumb !
You want me to go on? Ok the last one – our parents and grandparents were the slow generation – no email, no Facebook, no TV, no 100 channels, no soaps, no cell phones, no phones at all – just snail mail, railways and even before that just horse/bullock driven carts, no airplanes, no cars, no bikes. We got modern. We have flights that take you across thousands of miles in a few hours, Facebook that allows you to chat everyday with your friends, phones that connect you from anywhere to anywhere – but the saddest joke is we have a suicide every other minute because there is no one to give you a hug, we have 500 + connections but no real friend whose house we can drop in unannounced, we have no time to chat or listen to a bird sing (if some birds are left that is), Maggi relationships (2 minutes) and all the extra time created by our lightening quick generation goes in either having inane parties or doing more work. Then we say the world has shrunk, social media is bringing us closer – it is sad that you chat with a friend in Iceland, but don’t know your neighbor’s name and don’t want to know the security guard’s name or that his child is dying …. soon you will forget what a hug can do, what a few hours spent with another human being does for your spirit and the value of time spent with people in flesh and blood ! This is not a joke – this is just sad 😦
Categories: Daily Reflections