Keeri who loved humans

Keeri who loved humans
Something to say?

Thursday, 11 January 2018

A Short History of Waste

I know -- I do go on about waste in our lives, waste of food, clothes, electricity, water... I suppose if you have witnessed want on all sides of you in India when you were a child, you are bound to get sensitive to waste. But today, I am concerned with the waste created by affluence and Maybot's ham-handed solution for getting rid of the plastic we create.
   It is interesting that Kerala banned plastic bags of above a certain thickness many years ago. At that time it surprised me that we in Britain had still not thought about it. Once upon a time, you could see blue plastic bags floating in the beautiful backwaters, entangled with the ubiquitous Water Hyacinth. Now the waters are clear again and that's a miracle. It did not take twenty-five years.
   Twentfive bl---y years to achieve, not something created, but a habit stopped. We don't have twenty-five years for this - the fish and the coral and all of our wondrous blue planet do not have the luxury of a May PLAN (like all of her other plans.) We need to do something TODAY.
    After all, all this plastic happened in this century, in fact, not so long ago. To this day, small shops in India wrap sugar and salt and groundnuts in paper cones. Saris in textile shops are often wrapped in brown paper. I am not arguing that we should start wrapping perishable food in paper. What I am hoping is that some clever chemist will come up with a bio-degradable material, which can imitate the useful qualities of plastic.
   That may be a long-term solution. Right now, why can't we stop the city-luxury of plastic coffee-cups? And plastic bottles for water. Surely we can all find drinking water within reasonable distance when we want a drink.Bring back the old water-fonts.
    Surely, someone should audit the many ways in which we create and dispose of plastic and design remedies:
    For instance, how can we stop cruisers and boats and yachts disgorging plastic into the ocean?
  Does anyone need to display a cup of coffee in the train, walking in town… Is this a badge of some kind of clan-thing?
  Could we not sell/ buy all fruit drinks in paper cartons?
 Just thoughts. But thoughts now, not next year, let alone 2042.
Is this Maybot’s escape  route? Cop-out?
 We can’t let Maybot and her friends do this kind of faux planning. We need to ignore that bunch and try to do this ourselves.

Sunday, 7 January 2018


Where's it gone? Just when I need it.

So many octogenarians have died these last three months. And I'm not talking about the celebrities -- they too are dying in numbers. For me, it's my childhood and youth slowly being wiped out.
   Rathi died last week, suddenly. She was eighty-five. She belonged to my childhood, went to the same school and lived nearby. Gentle and kind always.
   Raj was eighty-four; he died last month. I met him in Kampala and we spent time together -- Sunday lunches, Bridge with a group of grass widowers, tennis at the ARA (American Recreation Association)... He worked for the Department for International Affairs and I for the British Council -- they had a faintly incestuous love-hate relationship. So, between us, we had the British expatriate gossip tied up. 
   When I returned to the U K, he was still working in some godforsaken outpost. Simple man - you wouldn't know he did Law at Cambridge and was a judge.    
   In Kampala, there would be a tennis tournament now and then, the Oxford graduates against the Cambridge. They would be scouring the place to get enough people to play, but they never asked Raj, who played decent tennis. They probably assumed he would not be allowed within calling distance of the hallowed, arrogant premises. We had a quiet laugh.
   Over the last few years I saw Raj a few times, but with age and familial commitments it was laboured. His death reminds me I am in the ZONE too.
   And the NHS has skived off. A doctor's appointment takes six weeks if you want your usual doctor, who knows your frailties. What if I need a doctor in a hurry, like that poor old woman who could not get help for nearly four hours and died alone? And that other one who died in a waiting ambulance.
   Maybot insists 'We are not perfect,' that's all. Where has the woman misplaced her heart and her brain?
   I think I am in my eighties at the wrong time -- I should have been born earlier. Then I would have been old in a time when we had a health service we relied on. 'At point of need,'  remember? That woman needed care at her house, in her last few hours.
   Where is it gone? Our wonderful NHS, the pride of our welfare state?