Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why bad is bad and good is good?

There is a thin line of difference between the venerated good and the defamed bad. This line happens to demarcate and dissect the two into two different essentia of opposite effects. This very line so often comes under the radar that it has become, by far, the most controversial topic even to the greatest of scholars and we tend to ignore the fact that they are but two chaste words from the dictionary. We live by the society's definition of what it thinks could be good and bad. None of us knows the soul of either.

Very often than not the two sides of a coin are pitted against the simultaneous existence of good and bad. Good simile, but then, come to think of it, the sides of a coin complement each other. They are inseparable. One ought to depend on the other for survival. One cant win over the other. They wouldn't be 'valid' in that case. Does not the same apply to good and bad?

The reason good remains good is because bad lets it bask in its own glory while courageously allowing to degrade itself. Something good could never attempt. Bad renders a platform for good to showcase its ingenuity and have the last laugh too, no matter at what point of time. Bad enjoys a greater part of life and when doom befalls, it gives a chance for good to make a fortune of it too. On the flip side good flounders for an entire lifetime just to be able to earn an entry ticket to heaven, if any. The Satan and the saint differ by just one alphabet!Take the instance of our filmi fundas. The villain takes the hero's girl whilst the two are happily running around trees playing dumb, thus giving a chance for the hero to prove his salt. And then it culminates into a hopeless war with the hero getting the damsel in distress back after kicking some ass (dumbly too). Don't know how they even sell. On a serious note, while not condemning being good I would want all of us to try and spare a thought as to what defines our own framework of good and bad.

Anything that gives us genuine joy, not at the expense of others is good enough and anything that doesn't is not. I cannot seem to simplify it more. A teenager budging to his/her parents' demand to pursue a course he/she is not soulful about just to see the parents happy is not good. A moron who constantly questions an old tradition which might not hold good in present times is not bad. A politician who drinks every evening, chain smokes, does drugs is not essentially bad. Winston Churchill came clean, running the country despite the 'bad' qualities. One should try and co-relate with the good parts. There is a demon and a dainty fairy in us all. It's about how many times we invoke each of them. Some might think the teenager is the most rewarding child a parent could ever have and sympathize with the loner in the latter case all the while loathing the moron. Totally risible.
It's one of the 'wtf' moments! We are not programmed zombies to say the least.Why should we move with the tides channelized by the peremptory society? To hell with the society. We only live once! What if we are pigs in the next life?

I personally think all non vegetarians are bad, uncouth people. Someone happened to ask me 'What about the non-vegetarian animals, are they bad too? It did occur to me that it's nature's way of maintaining a balance of the ecosystem. When a lion eats a deer its common, when a crane grabs a fish its natural. Yes. When a human eats an animal, its not a sin. What do we have canines for? What did our ancestors eat after all? Besides, we cannot disown the probability that figures from our mythology indicate instances of non-vegetarianism. Our very own Rama is believed to have been a meat devourer when in Aranyavas. This is one of the most debated topics in the web forums, with ardent followers of the Ramayan contriving the edible satieties as tubers and fruits eventually. When one side of the see saw gets heavy the other side weighs it down. That's precisely what we learnt about food chains and food webs in biology class right? However, we also need to be aware when and where the buck stops (humans turn a deaf ear to over-exploitation with nobody eating them up).

Indians are renowned for their unruly, brazen behaviour the world over. Owe it to not obeying rules, being 'dirty', corruption la la la. But it's just so functional that way. It's what we call home. We would never be any comfortable in other countries how much ever we crave them. There are instances of firangis falling in love with our history, butter chicken, and the vividness of the country, too, on the contrary. To each his own. It all depends on how we respond to a stimulus. Spilt milk is bad. Accepting that 80% of it is water is good. Some suggest the glass is half empty while some notice that it is half full.

p.s now I'm aware this one is a potential harbinger of diverse views and comments. In case anyone is wondering which tribe I belong to... none! I'm a selective patron of both. It's sinfully convenient!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Prerogative body-care!

There is something common between Penelope Cruz, Aishwarya Rai and Cinderella apart from the great looks. Yes. Luscious locks, lustrous manes and flawless skin. Who doesn't vouch for all those? Truth is, they are not just characteristic of the glamour or the fantasy world. Every human head comprises of the same dead cells, with a protein called keratin, that make up each strand of hair and every human body is covered with the same layer of epidermis (barring geographical and genetic barriers). A little awareness about the kind of products we use goes a long way in ensuring the perpetuity of healthy hair and body.

Reform starts at home. Let us try asking any lay person we know, or not, as to which shampoo/soap/toothpaste they use and 200% given chance is the product must be laden with toxic chemicals creeping unknowingly into the body and making way for unsustained transient 'benefits' to the user and the environment as well. We have till now come across news about plastic, improper waste disposal, pollution and global warming as the known propellers of the environmental downturn but I leave it to the seasoned writers to crib about that and rather choose to emphasize on this smaller but important side of chemical 'abuse'.

There is a plethora of corporate bigwigs producing brands, by grands, of personal care products across the globe. L'oreal, Garnier or Wella continue to be India's favourite picks of shampoos. What we don't know is they are all kinfolk, in the sense that they all contain super harmful chemicals called Sodium Lauryl sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) which are responsible for the foamy lather primarily. SLS and SLES, for starters, are surfactants. In common parlance a surfactant is a detergent based emulsifier used for washing clothes, cleaning floors and toilets and un-greasing cars. Imagine what it does to our hair! With the same intensity. Gross, eh? We squander scores of money to poison our hair. Go figure! Not only shampoos but soaps, toothpastes and other toiletries/cosmetics containing parabens (methyl and ethyl) aggravate the problem. When these chemicals come in contact with the body they increase the pH of the skin, reduce the surface tension of water and cause latent damages like early ageing, dryness, eye irritation, fuzzy hair and even higher diseases like early menopause, male infertility and breast cancer. Dioxane in SLES is a known carcinogenic compound. Upon washing away they reach the water treatment stations where most of them refuse to separate themselves from the water molecule mostly because they are not detected. This untreated water reaches our households and the cycle continues. On an average, each day millions of litres of such water is released out.

Yet we like to think we are not at much fault. People are stupid enough to believe whatever is fed to them. When we don't know, its pardonable to an extent, but when one throws caution to the winds and repeats the act even after being guided, it becomes a sin. Someone said 'To sin is human, to indulge is divine!' It doesn't fit the bill here though. The question is why do our governments allow the use of such bio-assassins? Simple - because it is cheap and easily accessible. Reason enough? Also these products are manufactured by the top notch companies and get approved by governing authorities like the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). To top it all they are glorified beyond imagination by matinee idols on the idiot box. Some one should walk up to those pipsqueaks and ask, 'Dude, did you even use it?' Of course it forms their responsibility to make sure the products they endorse are nature-friendly.

So how do we bail out? A simple pointer - make a note of the ingredients that go into the product. Key is not to get carried away by the name. Sometimes a 'green shampoo' turns out to be not even a mile close to greenness, as canvassed. But today, I know there are hardly any choices. Its difficult, yes but not impossible. There are alternatives like John Masters, Miessence, Burts bees and Aubrey Organics of which we might not have heard much of. These names are private entities set up by diverse people in lieu of promoting health and environment without pissing off Mother Earth. They incorporate the modified compound of Di sodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate in their products, in place of SLS, which is not as lethal as its arch rival. Plus there are other natural compositions that help nullify any negativity. Here's a link to the official site of that gives accurate ratings of products in different categories. Best part - they are against animal testing.

The only catch is we have to loosen our purse strings to afford them. Besides in Vizag there is zilch awareness and no 'douche' would spend Rs. 150/- on a soap just because it is fruitilicious. No shop here even holds a franchise for such things. In a good product the cost of production goes up on grounds of innovation and introduction of better compounds. Good things come at a price and there are a few good things left. There are ways to access too, nevertheless. We either get them from better cities, buy online or let Vizag to know for itself. Now, another possible doubt that may arise is that our bodies are mostly covered in germs, dirt and sweat. It might be some task for the 'sissy' soaps to get rid of them. We must understand that there is no tough or soft soap. Its either harsh or skin-friendly. C'mon, why don't we bathe with Rin Supreme or Exo dishwash bar? Bottom line: Go grab one asap!

On a higher note, let us all ban the use of plastic, not waste water, follow the method of carpooling instead of having the whole car for our own smelly feet, stop littering places not entitled to us in our will, discourage animal circuses and harsh zoos and act responsible towards every concern of the country. Its not just development. Its sustainable development. For today, tomorrow and many years to come.