Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sid goes green

I came home the other day to a rather alarming sight.  Sid wandering around in what can only be described as a throwback to the grunt-n-growl days of Neanderthal fashion.Except for some ivy-green leaves strung together to form a frilly skirt that barely concealed his modesty, he was rather too visible to the naked eye.  "What the hell are you wearing, you freak?".  He looked a trifle surprised at my strident reaction.  "What, m'love? Don't you like it?", he asked, giving himself the once-over.  "Like it?! My god, it's ghastly"!  The raised eyebrow of surprise was beginning to    grate on my nerves. "But bubz, I really think they make my legs look good. Manly and toned but you know, not overwhelming - the skirt softens them up a bit".  I stared at him in shock, "Have you been answering the front door in that. Oh god, did Gupta Aunty see you...that's it, they're going to kick us out of the colony. We'll go down in the Air Force Naval Colony Hall of Shame"! As I ranted on about the horrors of being thrown out unceremoniously, he stopped me with a wave of his hand. "I'm going green, babe. You might have heard about it - it's all the rage!  I've been trying to make some changes around here. I don't admit to knowing much, but we've got to start making smarter choices - water shortages, power cuts, pollution-vollution, it's crazy.  The heat's just getting worse - not to mention your mood when the temperatures rise!"


"So your suggestion is that we wrap ourselves in leaves and eat nuts and berries.", I asked.  “Well, I know this is extreme, but I’ve really been thinking about this stuff and considering various options. Natural clothing is one of them”! He turned with a leafy swish and settled on the sofa. “Besides, they really make my eyes stand out, and don’t forget the legs!”.  He wiggled a toe at me and winked while patting the empty space next to him on the sofa. “Oh my god, do you really think you’re being sexy?! Stop that, it isn’t going to happen ok”!  He sighed in resignation, but continued, “Ok, this is just me fooling around. But there are other things I have been trying out.” I “humphed” in exasperation.  “Ok, let me ask you. How was your shower today bubz”, he asked. I cast my mind back to the shower head in our bathroom.  We had a faultily installed shower cubicle that didn’t adequately block out the water from seeping through from under the partition.  Instead of getting the cubicle fixed, Siddharth’s suggestion was to lower the water pressure and “45 degrees babe, 45 degrees! Turn the shower head, reduce the pressure to a trickle and preferably stick to the left wall so the water doesn’t flow to the right” After showering in this awkward positon for a while, the shower holder, having been subjected to the constant yanking of 45-degree abuse, fell off the wall, reducing the shower head to a hand shower, which was still alright.  Unfortunately hand showers tend to fall a lot and the face of the shower head started to loosen and popped out energetically every now and then, almost taking my eye out and hitting Sid repeatedly on the head. Sid’s solution – reduce the pressure to a trickle, thus not exerting the shower face, and finish your shower as soon as possible. “I know what you’re thinking. There’s a reason I ignored your requests (and then threats) about getting it fixed.  Reduced water pressure equals less water usage. Similar story for the problem with the kitchen tap – something wrong with the water pressure there too. Good thing! All the fans in the house don’t work past 1 on the regulator – less electricity usage! And I get the maid to contribute by cooking only every couple of days with quantities fit for a small army. Voila - less gas usage!” He tapped his index finger against his forehead, “You really did marry someone with the smarts, bubz”!


It was terribly warm and the whirring fan and the drone of the caveman in front of me were really making my mood-o-meter rise.  An accurate correlation Sid had made between the rising temperatures and my temper! A few deep breaths helped and allowed me to calmly respond, “Ok, I’m really glad you’re thinking about all this.  But I really don’t think extreme fashion choices or letting the house descend into disrepair or ensuring we get food poisoning from eating the same food every day, are really the right choices. I don’t know the answers really, but there are some things you are doing right. You saved the RO waste water the other day to use to clean the house, that’s something we should keep doing.  There are some brands that do have eco-friendly fabrics, we can check those out.  We can even go meet the colony president to see what sort of things can be done collectively by the residents”.  This last suggestion brought a gleam to his eye and he sprung up, “My god, of course. Let’s go now. We could revolutionize this place. I can see it all now. The neighbours will see me walk by and say “There goes that Sid “Green” Khandelwal, what a guy! I may even be voted society president! Let’s go now!”.  He darted towards the door in a leafy blur but stopped in his tracks when I yelled, “Baby steps, Al Gore! First pants, then prez”.  He gave me a look of disdain and muttered while walking towards the bedroom, “You little people. Holding me back, yup, holding me back!”

Note to readers: My “subtle” digs at my well meaning husband hopefully serve to entertain, but also highlight this larger issue that has been playing on my mind for a while now.  The environment is something we all need to get more actively involved in protecting, and I’m sure all of you have been affected by the drastic changes in our lives over the years. Do feedback in the comments section with any “smart” choices or things that you may do – some of us may never have even thought of these and may be inspired to adopt some changes and make better choices. It could be a great store you’ve visited with an eco-friendly line of clothes or recycling old wine bottles by using them creatively around your home. A smart holiday choice or anything really.
And of course, please don’t use Sid as too much of an inspiration by trying to exasperate your significant others!

7 comments:

arjun sambyal said...

Reem, i just read and viewed the movie in my head....great little read. the bigger picture is what we need to be looking at, and here in dwarka....the buildings!!! what a waste of rain water catchment area!!! the rain water just flows into the najafgarh drains doing little good other than diluting the sewage marginally, not even replenishing the water table. will catch up with you guys one of these days.

Anand said...

I always thought he was 'YELLOW' and not green

Reem said...

@ Arjun - thanks! Yes, Dwarka and most parts of the city have a lot left to be desired. I read that rain water harvesting is something that most buildings have been told to start, but the red tape and various govt agencies involved in approvals has made it very confusing for anyone to be able to implement. I heard Chennai has done a fairly good job with it and solved a lot of their water problems...quite a feat considering the situation there a few years ago.

@ Anand - what is yellow?! Oh and i should credit you for the RO waste water suggestion!

Reem said...

Oh and on behalf of Namita who gave her feedback on Facebook. Something she does regularly plus a suggestion on a common friend's green store...an interesting initiative...check it out people.

ha ha ha ha....hilarious! reem.

well on a serious note...couldn't agree more. one thing that i've started doing almost all the time is to avoid plastic bags (carry my own cloth bag for shopping veggies too).
did you know aparna in afwwa hostel...well she has her own green goods store...check it out: www.greenandgoodstore.com is an online store that promotes responsible consumerism.

Urooj said...

Nice...a pic of Sid in the leafy skirt would have made my day!

Reem said...

Hahaha Urooj! That unfortunately I don't have, but he does roam around in ahem, some deep green silky boxers...a good enough substitute picture? Though I do think it would be disturbing for you to have a pic of Sid in his boxers!

Mann Sahib said...

Very nice, great to see you spreading the 'green' word around. For starters, people could start with composting at home. Look it up here : http://dailydump.org/
I could probably give you the entire process cos it for sometime now.