Raju Ganapathy



Raju Ganapathy


Vagrant Thoughts, Waste

Vagrant Thoughts, Waste

4 mins

As I glanced at the newspaper, headlines that caught my attention read “1.2 L Ha forest lost in 5 years of NDA rule.” Whose rule was not as important as the fact that Mother Earth was stripped of her clothing. My thoughts dictated words into the following prose


......And the forests were hacked. Soils eroded. The water dried up. Shorn of their rights and privileges people migrated. Cities became more inhabited.

Not only the king Fisher, other birds too disappeared. Deers became, oh! Dear. Tigers without their prey, where will they go and slay.


Bhoomi stripped naked and shamed. Indra protested and said no rain. Surya fumed and temperatures soared. Varuna showed no karuna and the wind disappeared too.

Gods had proposed. A man had dispossessed.

It was then my friend WhatsApped that Pune was reeling under 42 degree Celsius, highest in the last 35 years or so.

As I headed to pay my daily obeisance at the “DISCO”unt Mart, to buy my daily Nandini milk, the only ilk of its kind. I was thinking if I eat to live or live to eat. I lost my senses once I entered the DISCO Mart, as I started dancing to the tune of the marketeers. “Buy one get one free” a new coffee product screamed at me. I consider myself an aware consumer and I read the label. The coffee was grown in Chikkamagalur. The original place where first of India’s coffee was introduced by the Sufi saint Baba Budan in the 16th century. I needed the daily dose of my morning cuppa and blessed the saint for this introduction. I got back to the label which further said 80:20 coffee and chicory. I liked my coffee with a bit of chicory and a bit milky. I basketed two packets of coffee and already felt smart.

As I advanced further “be natural” said a newly introduced juice product. As my eyes concentrated on the label once again, I noticed that juice was not from concentrates but from fruits procured from the Indian farmers. “Hail the Indian farmers” I muttered to myself as I slipped in two tetra packs of juice into my basket. I came from the school which put farmers first and had no qualms in yet again seduced by the marketeers. In any case, I was paying only for one and the company IC was paying for the other. I deliberately omitted the T for tobacco from the company’s name just to assuage the guilt feeling.

I advanced even more and there I was yet again seduced by the peach of a yoghurt offers. Of- course, this was not the “taste of India” by which I swear but for a discount, I didn’t mind switching my loyalties temporarily.

As I paid out and got my bill, I felt quite a ‘smart ass” to read that Rs 320.00 saved, this was the smart part and the ass part of it was I had come only to buy milk and here I had filled my baskets with offers as well. My brain noted that my wallet had drained.

The original question about eating to live or the other way around popped up as I headed home. I happily announced to my wife why I like hopping in the Disco Mart and said how I had saved Rs 320.00.

I also noticed that the household waste had increased what with the cartons, yoghurt cups and so on. Of-course the municipality had got smart and insisted on segregating bio and non-bio wastes. It was also in a public-private partnership (PPP,) a much-touted model for all things ailing our country, with a start-up called “clean up or be damned.” The city was being cleaned up with a vigour that can be seen only in the private sector. Many of its employees were on incentives to bring more wastes further and it remained to be seen if the city wastes got reduced or increased over time.

Covid-19 times

Stay home Stay safe screamed the header. We will do the leg work for you. Just place your order with us. Persuasions by the e-commerce deliverers. “Why not let us try this out” suggested my daughter and wife too seconded the suggestion.

Then the convenience shopping began. I also realised the dry wastes by way of the packaging had increased exponentially, unlike the COVID virus whose curve was considered linear. But I told myself, this kind of ordering only until the lockdown. Once the lockdown ends, I will cut down on waste and the waist too.

Reverse migration

As I see the pictures and videos of migrants leaving back for the city my heart aches for them. What is left for them in the villages, except ties with what they call as their homes? How will they find employment in their native? They left for the cities since they could not find any employment. Now, they are forced back by human folly.

We have rendered the earth waste.

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