Good Spam

October 19, 2007

Spam.  We all hate it.  Ever thought that a spam can make your day?  I didn’t, that is, until today 🙂

Last couple of weeks have been particularly rough for me.  Period of self-doubt, guilt trips, the negativity, inability to match expectations, not being able to handle situations positively and general despair.  And today I found this story in my spam.  It just struck a chord and well, ahem…yes, it just brought tears to my eyes.  Its probably just another story, but it just made me pause.

Here it is, exactly the way it arrived-

A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck.. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After 2 years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. I am ashamed of myself, and because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.

The bearer said to the pot, Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side that’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you’ve watered them.

For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house


Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. “You’ve just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them.”


Blog Action Day

October 15, 2007

(Today is “blog action day“.  I registered my blog today and hence I’m still awaiting approval.  However, since I can’t keep on waiting I’d as well go ahead with my post.)

Being brought up in a middle-class Indian household, there were innumerable environment friendly lifestyle lessons we learnt.  No, they weren’t explicitly labeled as things to do for a clean, green environment.  That’s the way things were done.  Period.  It was plain simple common sense.  If I look back and try to sum up the principles that guided out upbringing, I think Maa and Pa always stressed that as an individual or a family one should always try to-

1) Minimize the consumption of resources
2) Minimize creation of waste
3) Reuse as much as you can

Here are some very simple habits I’ve retained.  Nothing life altering, but something that can go a long way in reducing some burden on dear earth.

  1. Cloth bags vs. plastic bags

  • Use shopping bags and avoid taking plastic bags

     This sounds “Oh, so obvious!!”, but sadly one does not see many people adopting it.  And it isn’t just the uninformed, uneducated, even people whom you would expect to understand the issue don’t make this simple effort.
     Ladies when you swing your stylish handbags over your shoulder and gentlemen when you throw that backpack over your shoulder, how about slipping a couple of cloth or even plastic bags in them, just so that you can avoid taking new ones.  Or even better, how about making carrying a bag our very own style statement 🙂

  • Avoid using garbage bags

     Remember all that ‘spam’ you get in your post, all the old newspapers that go to the raddiwala, the plastic wrappings that you cannot avoid with some goods?  Do remember them while reaching for the garbags bags every evening/morning.  They serve the purpose as well as those brand new garbage bags 🙂

  2. Handkerchiefs, hand towels vs. tissues   

If you have a runny/blocked  nose, handkerchiefs serve the purpose as well as the heap of tissues.  As kids this is exactly what we did.  Why has using tissues suddenly become so cool?

 3. Cloth nappies vs. diapers

    Well, thats a tricky one.  There are arguments on both sides so I’ll skip the cloth nappies vs. diapers part.  But, parents can definitely make an attempt to potty train their kids early.  I’ve seen many parents who make this an- my kid, my parenting, my choice kind of an issue.  Well, I don’t know how to respond to that.  Only thing that I can say is, training the kid early goes easy on the kid and goes a long way in helping dear earth!

 4. Reuse water

    I never saw maa throw away water just like that.  She washed vegetables, fruits, rice, dal etc. in a vessel and used the water for watering the plants.  Yesterday’s driking water was used for cooking.  Washing machines were used with soap-saver option.  Half finished water bottles brought home from school were emptied in the potted plants.  There were innumerable small things.  The point is not to list what all she did, the point is she realized the importance of fresh water and tried to minimize it as much as she can.  And in her own simple way she taught me a lesson for life.

These are some simple things I could think of.  It isn’t cheap or uncool to do any of the above and it is  much easier on the environment.