I was still a teenager when I first encountered a bean bag and shyly tried to place my rump on it in discomfort before enjoying the feeling of sinking into a tub of luxury…well almost!
I remember thinking of the rather rich interior of what was at that time to my mind ‘signs of great prosperity’ in some admiration.
Some day I had thought to myself of having a home where there will be a place for a bean bag in a corner and perhaps a child lazing out on it.
I did never come to buy a bean bag and now I realize it was for good.
You see, a bean bag is stuffed with countless thermocol balls which will float around in our waters and laze around on the planet for years to come. There is no way of destroying these!
The problem of the bean bag is actually the problem of that very useful enemy of nature, the packaging material, the favorite with students and teachers for classroom projects, the white sheets of the versatile material which is in use alike for decorative and functional purposes – the thermocol.
According to BBMP, Bangalore also called Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, which is the body for the maintenance of the city infrastructure rising e-commerce has resulted in unprecedented use of thermocol which has in turn affected the city drains adversely.
Unplanned and thoughtless chasing of luxury has indeed led us to the state that we are in today. Look around to see the kind of avoidable waste we pile up on the planet every day, every hour, every second.
In our enthusiasm to over manufacture and over sell we have ended up creating a whole list of products and items which more harmful than beneficial, yet in the name of commercialization, marketing and profit mongering, countries, companies and individuals have contributed to the massive deterioration of the quality of the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and the soil we will return to. According to Elin Ostrom’s Theory of Commons, air, water, land and other items of ‘public property’ like the forests, wild life and so on are tragically owned by none, but used alike by all and therefore end up being exploited and plundered indiscriminately, the repercussions of we are living with already!
If you don’t agree please look up these links!
So do we have options? Here are some alternative traditional seats which require you to sort of semi-squat available in olden days including in my ancestral home during my childhood called the ‘palaka’.
That is if you entered the kitchen or the dining room in say 1980s, one of my aunts or uncles would simply ask you to pull a ‘palaka’ and get seated!
Now there is another variety which was used during special occasions like poojas, mostly to place the lighted lamp during festivals like ‘Vishu’, ‘Onam’ or when paying tribute to departed souls during ‘chatham’ the now almost forgotten ‘avana palaka’.
I did find some interesting ancestral cookware, which perhaps have only nostalgic value at this wonderful site
Am I denouncing all the benefits of modern living and glorifying the past? Well, you are free to have your opinion, but all I am trying to say is that we can be more aware of the waste we generate in the name of luxury and can certainly avoid products which have the thermocol balls which choke drains, kill animals, pollute water and are even a fire hazard! Perhaps an ‘environmental friendly’ rating on products will and should help.
Its Ugadi here in Bangalore, it’s new year and time for new thoughts, may be a little thinking of the world we live in will help all of us, cheers to that and Happy Ugadi, folks!