Friday, July 23, 2010

The 15 Month Plastic Diet.Never Have So Few Owed So Much.

Daily additions to my Inbox bulge it to a demonic size . As a young lad given to good habits I used to ruthlessly prune it during the day, slimming it by evening to a more svelte 36 (Unread) 24 ( Read,Replied and waiting for Reply) 38 (Read but Undecided on what to do) . On reaching middle-age punctually I gave in to the temptation to reward myself with a pair of those custom-made must-haves: Indecision and Procrastination . Thus my Inbox now is the more generous and comfortable 36-24-562.

At home a worthy compatriot to my Inbox is the Bag 'o' Bags - essentially a large plastic bag that accumulates regularly,er, plastic bags of varying hues and microns.

And is now my muse for this post .

This modest asset acquired in just 3 months during a stint in a service apartment, was squirreled away in one of the kitchen cupboards, the spoils of many a campaign to the supermarket. Raised on this hedonistic diet it had grown silently inside the cupboard, resisting periodic expunging, into a torpid Thing of Gargoylic Proportions. Often, in the kitchen, I would swivel around on hearing a faint scraping sound, only to see Thing pushing itself silently out of the cupboard, toppling over and spilling its entrails like a zombie from Elm Street Nightmares.

One such cardiac moment induced an epiphany of sorts.

"The Thing should not be fed any more",I ordained. "No more plastic bags in this day and age". And so began the feverish quest to exhaust the Bag 'o' Bags, a quest which in hindsight would have made even Hercules pause and think. Moi being a man of action, a plan was devised overnight for the rapid use of plastic bags. Having always doubled up as bin-liners , they were now changed twice a day under the guise of hygiene. Friends visiting us (a few nice enough bearing a bottle) would typically be seen off with some Thing :) to carry back, in addition of course to pleasant memories, as a token of thanks. Those who didn't were not going back empty handed either. An interesting article from a magazine would be foisted. A small box of the ennai kathrika (that they happened to appreciate, many a time of their own volition) was thrust into the unsuspecting palm extended for a goodbye handshake. Even a rope of onions once came to the aid of the (departing) party. Why all this munificence?To use up a bag or (sometimes cunningly as it was in the case of the kathrika to prevent ennai spill) two.

Over the next few months no effort was spared to use up the bags. Hitherto undiscovered uses that tested the outer reaches of ingenuity was trialled('Gloves' when scrubbing sink of aforesaid kitchen spotless anyone?).

Monday July 19, 2010 was a Red ( ok, Green) Letter Day. Chez Chandra's became a plastic-bag free household. 15 months and 3 days to the day.

A sense of accomplishment ? Nah. I feel I have now earned the right to sneer. At all the fuss being made on cleaning up a spill in the Gulf.