CAUSE A CHATTER, Knowledge Series, LIFESTYLE, top post on indiblogger

THE SUSTAINABLE DISPOSAL OF ELECTRONIC WASTE IN INDIA

Electronic waste is said to be a hazard for the environment. World over it has been a bigger issue as compared to India. Research indicates that electronic waste in India goes through many cycles of reuse, repair and resale. So, in fact, wasting is regularly deferred. In India mass collections of used electronics are repaired, refurbished, and re-sold to other businesses. Thus the waste is back into use. Producing new products from used parts or reselling your things to new companies is a good practice.

E waste

For example, an old computer monitor is always cited as one of the most polluting categories of E-Waste because of their leaded glass. But it is used in remanufacturing TVs. This extends the life of these electronic gadgets. The recycling of E-Waste, which can be chemically hazardous, is based on the value of materials. For example, a smartphone can have almost Rs.75 worth of gold in it. Such reuse of E waste is essentially a very creative skill. It is based in scientific knowledge. Most of these people who are doing it, do not have any degrees, but have learnt with experience.

They understand some basic aspects of electrical engineering, global electronics production, commodity trading etc. and they found out the useful rather usable part from any waste and reuse it. There is so much free-flow and movement in the used electronics economy that everyone who is involved in managing the waste explores whether a device or a part has another use or potential for use. The overall tone is of experimentation and exploration.

It’s about creative minds, figuring out how to make things which work or things which could be useful. This results in incredibly innovative ways of repurposing E-Waste. For example, laptop batteries were remade into batteries for children’s toys or mobile phone chargers. Some devices are repurposed to test other devices. For example, a small LED light can be used to indicate if a device is working or a wall outlet re-circuited and connected to a light bulb to test whether a circuit is working.

The professionals in the E-Waste industry, generally believe that nothing is useless. They have an underlying wise view with which they approach every item as having a potential use or value. Even if one person didn’t know how to use it, someone down the line would use them.

Everyone recognizes that waste is produced by the people or by the society. The things need not have to become redundant after use. The people need to approach things with a flexible view to their use and should be open to experimentation and finding a new way to use them.

Divide between people working in different segments of the used electronic industry ranges from small scale kabaddi walas to scrape dealers to large-scale traders, who travel internationally. The kabaddi wala mostly deals in regular recyclable, like, plastic, and paper earlier but added e-waste to their portfolio since electronics has more value than other recyclables . They are helping us to dispose off the waste in sustainable and responsible way but their important work is not recognized .

Our country and other South Asian countries which also have similar reused economies provide an important example for countries in the West. The developed world has lifestyles which is based on disposal rather than recycling. They are bigger culprit in harming the environment and planet earth. While we have a sound system in place with low rates of recycling and related reuse and repair. Even my kabadi wala, who did not speak English, know the term “use and throw” as “American way of life“.

There are burgeoning movements in the West now that support people to developing their repair and reuse skills. I am very hopeful at seeing these movements grow in the interest of environment. As far as India’s domestic industry is concerned, the government could provide more support to this informal sector and recycling enterprises with imaginations. The government can set up industrial areas with infrastructure to support the informal recycling sector . The industry experts can work with E-Waste recyclers by guiding and training them. This will help to provide a step forward that would reduce the wastage in the process of re-cycling. These recyclers definitely deserve our recognition and respect.

Sustainable disposal to save environment is the need of the hour.

It is high time, we show responsibility towards electronic waste disposal as a global community. Environmental pollution has reached to such a stage that our climate changes are threatening our basic survival. It’s time to opt for sustainable living and caring for environment. Let us celebrate every day as “environment day” by controlling our habits which harm the environment and planet earth. This is the only place we have to live. Let us join hands to save our home.

This post is part of #CAUSEACHATTER WITH BLOGCHATTER.

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LIFESTYLE, People

RAKHI AND GIFTING

The festival of rakhi is just a fortnight away and plans are underway to celebrate this festival which celebrates love and affection between siblings. Though traditionally, it’s said to be celebration of brother-sister relationship, but in my maternal home, we sisters celebrated it by tying rakhi to each other and making promise to support and be there for each other in the thick and thin of life. I am so happy that we could support each other in every situation which called for it.

Rakhi 2021 is special as it has come after the corona induced turmoil. Many families will be overcoming the loss of their loved ones but such festivals which are based on the mutual love and respect always bring positivty and happy vibes for the families. They help us to overcome the sad times. Let us welcome these festive times with open heart to bring in cheers.

In Indian festival celebration, gifting is an important aspect. In rakhi, the usual practice is that sisters bring in sweets to brother’s house and as they leave after tying the rakhi, brother sends them off with gifts. The love between siblings should not be measured by the money spent but feelings. Usually, it is seen that if some one is not financially well off, his/her gifts or sweets are not valued. I am of the opinion that their gifts should be given the same value and respect (if not more) as they have gone beyond their means to buy. The mutual relations should never be valued as per the financial status.

Though with time , we are seeing a commercialisation of gifting in a big way. But never let that emotional connect go away while selecting a gift for your loved one. A gift can be something which you think, your sibling is planning to buy for a long time but could not due to some reason. If you have the capacity to buy that gift , go ahead and give a pleasant surprise. Gifting consummable and usable items like bedsheets, jewellary, dresses, lamps, bags, books, plants, decoration pieces , personalized gifts etc. is good idea.

Rakhi 2021 is different than earlier years as one need not come out of the house to select rakhi, sweets or gifts for the festivals. The E-commerce have changed the face of gifting more so in these days of pandemic when traveling is restricted. One gets vast options to select from without stepping out, which is the need of the hour.

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LIFESTYLE, MyFriendAlexa2021

Those Four Wheels!

We sold our 10 years old silver coloured Santro in December 2008. The moment, it was taken away, the memories of the time spent in / with Santro flashed across my mind. February 9, 1999 was the day, when it became part of our family, our 3rd car in 15 years. I had not accepted it immediately. I did not like it’s manly, rugged look, though I admired the great space inside which was comparable to sea green coloured Maruti 800, my earlier very feminine vehicle.

The Fiat


We had the grand old Fiat before Maruti, and it was a great electrical marvel 🙂 It’s capacity to run you down anywhere on the road with its ever egoistic electric circuits is unbeatable. Yes, I would call its electric system egoistic, because the moment you forget about your last problem, they become active again. Anyway, it was a great friend of the car mechanics to keep their income flowing. It was with us for almost 6 years. We had many memorable trips in our white fiat. Few of them with the “stranding history” on road. 😋It had a peculiar habit: If you get it serviced just before going on a trip, it gets annoyed and start troubling . The garage mechanic will explain that it has “kachra in filter or carburretor”. Should it not be cleaned in the service? If you do not get it services, it again shows it’s temper while on road. It was typically behaving like a mother in law – Whatever way you care for it, it shows displeasure.


I liked the single front seat of fiat, as it lets you to be more romantic on the drive, unlike any other car of these days.


Now coming back to Santro, in last 10 years, it has taken us to more than 1 lakh km. We went to Musoori, Nainital, Manali, Ahmedabad, Bhuj, Dwarka, Jaipur, Ajmer, Udaipur to name a few places and thousands of miles in and around Delhi. It has also taken us to length and breadth of Gujarat in our last posting in Ahmedabad.


It has never given us any trouble..literally never. We have never stranded on any road either due to tyre puncture or breakdown in any of our sojourns. We had taken good care of it. Our keenness to follow the regular servicing schedules resulted in regular visits to company’s service stations. The regular spa-massages and oiling from Hyundai service stations across the country, wherever we had lived saved us from all the dramas Fiat did on the roads. And we never missed those dramas.


I only wish, its new owner takes good care of it and love it. May its association with its new owner be of happy travels all around !
Dear Santro, I had to go to market in a rikshaw after you left us. This was the only local transport available to the residents of this sleepy town in NCR, called Faridabad in those days. I felt so unsafe on its 3 wheels on the bumpy roads. But as I rode back after the my shopping in rikshaw, I started admiring the ride. While driving, I had never observed the changes and developement taking place around as the eyes were on the roads and not around the road. The slowness has its own charm, I guess. My Santro has taught me a lesson even when not being there….

The Golden Spark

I was just awaiting the “Spark” to add glitter to my life to get back to the wheels! Spark from Chevrolet was my next drive. The golden colour small cozy car was a gift from RB on our 25th wedding anniversary in the month of May in 2009. Spark has literally added glitter as I had many fond memories of local as well as long drives in it with friends and family. that was the time when both the boys were away to hostels and I had good friends circle. We had many driving trips to look back fondly. The most memorable trip in “Spark” was a visit to Badrinath. We were to go to Badrinath and Kedarnath. But unfortunately, roads to Kedarnath were blocked due to heavy traffic, so we could not go to Kedarnath. None the less, it was a very memorable drive.

We shifted to Ahmedabad from Faridabad in 2013. After the luggage was loaded and truck was sent off, we drove by road to Ahmedabad. Since, the truck was to reach on the third day, we had a relaxing drive with a stop-over at Jaipur. The good roads connecting the two capital cities made this drive quiet smooth. Many a times, we had covered this 1000 km distance in one day.

The love affairs with “Spark” ended when Chevrolet announced exiting India in 2017. This was the time, when RB hanged his shoes and opted for a relaxing retired life. He had disposed off his sedan before moving to Ahmedabad.

Our Red i20 – The Fun and Lively companion.

Retirement brings in a relief from hectic and busy life. We had opted for a relaxing life. Though I had changed cars every five years, I knew, now is the time to have long love affair with the four wheels. We bought a new i20 in bright red colour of Hyundai. With corona in place, this car is mostly seen in the parking. 😦 I am still fond of road travel and with Mr. Gadkari at the helm of affairs (as our road and transport minister), the international quality of road network all around is calling me to be on road. I am looking forward to the days, when I can be again on a road trips.

Three road trips are in mind –

1. Covering the Golden Quaderilateral.

2. A road trip to Europe .

3. A road trip to Thailand.

With so much uncertainity and risks , I am not sure, if I can ever take these. But I am hopeful.

I’m taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s My Friend Alexa.

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LIFESTYLE, Musings

Flourishing in the Times of Covid 19

 

It has been over a year when Covid induced trauma, isolation and grief entered our lives and overpowered all good things. It has taken away the socialising from human life and they say we are social animal. How long will it take to feel good?

The psychologist calls the combination of physical, emotional and mental fitness as “flourishing”. It’s opposite to “languishing”, which means stagnation.

As of now, we are languishing in Covid created jails and it has been a long long time when we feel to flourish.

“Languishing is a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It feels as if you are looking at your life through a foggy windshield”, explains psychologist Adam Grant.

Flourishing on the other hand is to take charge of all aspects of life and feel good about it. It encompasses the simple steps to recharge your emotional batteries, spark a sense of fulfilment, happiness and purpose. It will help in leading a physical, mental and emotional fitness. This is flourishing.

How can we flourish under these tough circumstances?

1. Express Gratitude – Remember our expression of gratitude by clapping for healthcare workers? Expressing gratitude helps us to improve our mental state and thus quality of life. 

2. Try something new – With so many master classes available online, try to learn a new skill. It gives a sense of satisfaction and happiness. Even if you are not so tech savvy, do not worry , do try something new at-home. Like a new dish, or refurbish an old piece of furniture. Just yesterday, I have painted an old brown coloured, faded plastic chair which was 20 years old. And I felt so happy after finishing the product.

 

3. Celebrate – My father’s 90th birthday came in pandemic. We had bigger plans but nothing much could be done under the circumstances. So, we did a zoom party and he felt as if whole family is there with him. Celebrating every small joy/ achievement/ victory/ event or any good thing around brings enthusiasm in life.

4.Find purpose in everyday routine – No, we are not talking about great philosophical things about purpose of life. Happiness comes if you plan to do a something new. Like reaching out to those who matter to you in life or completing a simple impact full task can bring a sense of accomplishments. Something as small as trying a new dish brings in some romance in life. Gardening is another hobby which helps keep in positive frame of mind.

5. Connections – This is the most missed part under pandemic. But whatever modes of communication are available, use them and connect with your loved ones in particular and community at large. With so many social media platforms available to us, it’s easier to connect. 

Let us make an effort to flourish !

 

Some pics are from google search. 

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Blogadda WOW, LIFESTYLE, Musings, top post on indiblogger

This Pandemic Has Changed My Home

Top Post on IndiBlogger

As they say, home is where the heart is! I believe home is where the soul is. Home is the place where you unwind, at ease, comfortable and uninhibited. A place to dream and act freely !

If we go by definition, a home may be a constructed house, or some other kind of dwelling, lodging, or shelter. It’s a place  where you come back to. It’s a place where you pack your bag to travel and when you come back, you feel the most comfortable here .

Before the Covid pandemic, people used to spend half of their day out of homes thus giving space and privacy to all family members.

I belong to the retired people category so staying at home was a routine. We are four people of three generations living under one roof.

My 89 years old dad has not stepped out of home since last 3 years on his own. He spends most of his time in his room, though mobile and independent for his age. He keeps himself busy in his meditation , watching his favourite shows/ movies on TV and dozing off and on in between .

Me and RB had decided to be  out of the active work force since mid 2018. I was a freelancer content developer and RB was a practicing CA when we hanged our boots to live a more relaxed life.

Cooking Experiments by Son-Dad Duo

My software engineer son is doing consultancy with different companies in different countries and has been working from home for around three years before it became a covid forced norm last year.

So, even before the pandemic, all of us are used to of spending most of our time at home. The pandemic brought lockdowns and restrictions which curbed the freedom to go out or get food delivered at home or go out dining,  off line shopping, movies, plays, outings with friends and long drives etc.

My first Covid casualty was my early morning yoga class, which I used to love a lot as it was a perfect start of the day. The yoga class had since been started in online mode and I am finding it better than the offline class.

It also gave house helpers much needed paid breaks. It was tough at the onset as I have made myself too much dependent on her. But I am always eager to find ways to solve the issues rather than crib about them.

The maids were banned by society management as per the government guidlines. But three of us have shared the household work and taken the responsibilities / accountabilties of  specific household work. All SOPs were in place and thus daily running of house became well oiled .

Baked Rice- Rajmah

My kitchen had always been a gender free space since long time now as both my sons along with their dad RB makes a good cooking team. Cooking is a life skill and all three ( sons and RB) knows enough to fill their tummies when need be. My sons  had  studied abroad after their 12th class and are well versed in cooking and planning a meal. Cooking for them is a stress buster activity.

As pandemic started and with no kitchen help, it was too much for me to handle all the three meals. This leaves me with no time to do my kind of things. So we divided the work. Now, dinners are organised and cooked by son – dady duo. In my family, breakfast and dinners are major meals while lunch is mostly non cooking options of fruits and salads, leftovers or bread kind of assortments. I had the responsibility of laying a full breakfast on table. I am a morning person, so breakfast is my favourite meal and I enjoy cooking it too.

The routine cleaning is also done with every one’s help. Let me be very clear about it, with no helping hand, we could only manage to do the basics and all other household works have been on hold. My household help rejoined in May 2020 and it was a day to rejoice. She has again been asked to go on leave with the commencement of second wave.

I had started going out for late night walk with my son around 10 in the night as there were lesser number of people so less interactions and more distances. Yeh kahan aa gaye hum ….

I have added some gadgets to help me in managing the essential household jobs. I have a dishwasher since a decade and it has proved to be a great boon in these times. A robotic vaccum cleaner brooms the house and a smart spinning mop proved great help in mopping the whole household. Washing machine has also become the basic necessity now.

Dusting is something which I have not done since long time now but forced to do in the absence of dear Kokilaben, my helper. I will not tell lies— I avoid doing it many a times. 😛

I find atta kneading very boring so I had added an atta kneader . No one in the family knows this art. Thus, house hold jobs are taken care of with the help of gadgets and division of work.

Another addition to my gadget galore is foot and leg massager as it really helps to warm up calf and foot muscles which are underused. 🙂

Our small balcony garden !

Not going out and being at home 24×7 puts lots of mental pressures on every one. We have dealt with it by dividing our personal and family time. This freedom to be your own self helps in keeping mental peace. Keeping in touch with extended family and friends also helps. One of the family activity is gardening. Besides, we have a daily session of cards after dinner and a long session of scrabble on Sundays.

With time, every one in the family has set up a routine. Every one has found a favourite corner too to do his/ her things. Though there are times when it feels suffocating to be at home and we just go out for a drive when the sun is still shining. Since I live in the outskirts of the city, there are still many vast fields and green areas around. Driving through nature relieves tension and opens up mind.

I miss the human interactions, dressing up and a well kept home everything which we used to take for granted !

Who knows, when will the life will come back to normal? But hoping the next year will be like 2019… open, free and full of sunshine!

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

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Blogchatter A2Z 2021, Down Memory Lane, LIFESTYLE, Musings, top post on indiblogger

Retired Life

Top Post on IndiBloggerRetirement brings shivers in a man’s heart and more so in his wife’s. But no one seems to be concerned about her. Everyone is unconcerned about the changes that will bring her world “topsy turvy”. 

If you are a working wife, chances are you are still going to the office, leaving the whole house to the “old man”. 🙂 (What else to say about a retired man?) The only change you will find is entering into a not so clean house, which is a very small price of his retirement as compared to the upheavals in the life of a stay-at-home wife or work from home professionals like me.

I remember a very unusual advice from my mom, when I told her about my decision to marry the man, I was dating. He was 10 years my senior. He didn’t look 10 years older than me. We both looked good together. I remember, whenever we entered any get-together, people always turn their necks to bestow admiring glances on us. 

But mom, my girl Friday warned me about the future. My mom told me, you will find it very difficult to handle his retirement as you will still be working, fully independent,free from household juggleries and a free bird. That would be the time, when children must have left the nest to find their own place in the big world. A prophecy from someone who was dreading her husband’s retirement after  few years. 😋. Papa retired  6 years after my marriage. How true she was, I realized it when it happened. 

I didn’t see it coming the way mom saw hers and also warned me too. I didn’t give it a thought then. It was still few decades away, I thought.  Anyway, when one is in love, the thought of spending lots of time together is nothing but more love. 

The decades gone by in a jiffy and it’s time for his retirement. I am writing from my own experiences of seven years now. 😋

I have opted to work from home from 2007. Market in online education was nascent then and there were many opportunities to choose from. I had my fingers in both the pies of being a professional and stay at home wife. The boys had flown away almost around the same time. 

As a stay at home mom or homemaker, the whole household is yours the moment children and husband go out to their “daily outings” of school/ college and office at least five days in a week. This is the time when one feels  being the real “ queen of the house”. You can do any changes at home without any interference or approval from anyone. Least of all the master of the household for the simple reason that he spends most of his waking hours outside and when he comes back, there is nothing much to be done in the day to day running of the household. I loved this situation as it gives me total independence and control on household affairs. On the first day of his retirement, his waking hours at home gives him all the time to poke his nose into all the affairs and I remembered mom and her prophecy.

The first casualty of his retirement was the freedom, solitude and my “me time” at home. I was working as a freelance professional and strictly followed my office timings. With him at home, “chalo Yaar chai peete Hain” sessions were affecting my time schedule of the day. My evening walks had gone for a toss and were replaced with evening long drives. They were somewhat romantic when we started but after a few rides, they became a fertile ground of starting a fight. The only solace was that it was a new one every day. Repetitiveness bores me to death. 😄  

Wise men or women have rightly said that “too much intimacy brings contempt”. 

The tussel of keeping a clean house started the moment maid rings the bell and he gets up from the ringing of the bell. The daily bone of contention is to stop him from walking on the freshly mopped wet floor. But his belief in “ chodte chalon nishaan” is killing my belief in a clean shining floor. 

It has been ages since I saw a neat and clean bed throughout the day. The moment it’s cleaned, he takes the newspaper and then perch himself there, slipping a little with time and then falling asleep. To counter the wrinkles on my bed sheet, I opted for fitted bedsheets. It has saved me at least to make bed every now and then. 

Another fertile battle ground for us is the selection of plants and placement of pots in our small balcony garden. Our plants now grow on our fights and not on fertilizer. It was decades ago when Dr. Jagdish Chandra Bose proved that soft music helps in keeping plants happy and  healthy. I can prove that a healthy fighting atmosphere around the plants helps them grow healthy. Being a smart operator, I thought of using this unfounding situation to my advantage. After all, everyone needs a routine. So, we have come to some fix some new rules in the household. 

  1. Everyone will make their own bed tea.
  2. We have divided the plants and took full ownership in the assigned area.
  3. Each one will take full responsibility of one meal complete with planning, inventory and guiding the cook.
  4. We started doing a lot of individual stuff.
  5. Developing creative hobbies.
  6. No interference in the household styling because I am too good at it. 

These simple rules have sorted most of the issues of having a retired husband at home.

I have learnt my lessons over the years but now life is good.

Now with the “Work from home” mode, I think many households are facing the same situation. I guess, these rules may find some relief in their day to day life. 

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Photos are from Google.

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