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richasmukherjee.com

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blogchatter

The key to your e-book is just a carnival away!

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When asked about writing ambitions and book journeys, often, with a starry twinkle in their eyes, people reminisce about a fiery childhood passion, or a goal they have been chasing with utmost determination. My inspiration on the other hand, came to me amidst diapers and zombie like fatigue. A time which is associated with people not being in possession of their faculties was the odd time I chose to write my first book. When I had just delivered a baby!  Goes to show how different everyones starting point and respective journeys can be.

Of-course I was always in love with the written word, my most enduring love affair being with the books that lined the walls of various rooms I occupied while growing up (My father was in government service as a result of which we were constant nomads!). I wrote a lot of poetry and even published a book of some 50 odd poems that I particularly loved in 2017. Some short story experimentations saw me participating in writing contests as well, such as the brilliant platform by TOI. It helped me find publishers for my book and started me off on a road I had never imagined myself on. It has now been a year since the launch of my first book I Didn’t Expect to Be Expecting, which you must have guessed by now, is a humorous book on pregnancy and my second book, which is a humorous thriller is due for a September launch. It all seems a bit surreal even today. I still remember pinching myself when I went for my first book signing. I think it was the first time I cried out of happiness!

Something else that gives me great pleasure is helping writers who are sitting on the brink of their own writing journeys. It is an exciting but scary place and I’ve been there. And bing a fellow blogger, I’m especially delighted to be a part of EbookCarnival (Season 4) by Blogchatter. I don’t blog nearly as often as I’d like to, but I think blogging is one of the most organic ways of making your way to a book. And if a blogging platform is giving you the tools, know how and support to get you started, then don’t put that idea away to another day. Dive in to this experience and emerge with a book and a dream coming true all at once.

 

Ban the naysayers before the plastic!

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It is common human tendency to resist change. Whether you’re actioning it or witnessing it.  The most disconcerting part is the fear of the unknown, the unforeseen consequences of your actions or someones else’s, whether you have the tenacity or will to change things around. For what creature of habit likes to be inconvenienced right? I am no stranger to this predicament. But  important lessons of life are often hidden in the most innocuous places and uncontrollable circumstances.
The range of reactions to the plastic ban went from ‘yes this must be done’ to ‘isn’t there something else we can do which is easier’ to ‘this is all nonsensical and a way to harass ordinary citizens’. Whatever the public outrage/ empathy, I for one did not need to be convinced. I had always felt that plastic had its uses but callous mass production and inadequate disposal systems were helping it choke the earth. I was just too lazy to do anything about it and here was my chance. To be forced to do something I really wanted to do in the first place! Isn’t that wonderful?
What I didn’t expect though was the amount of resistance/ cynicism I would witness from people around me. Every attempt I made was met with a grunt, the most common objection being around statistical significance. ‘ What will a 3 member household accomplish by stopping to use plastic? ‘ Isn’t that a ridiculous mindset though? A small start is a start none the less. How will any movement or action achieve the desired numbers or action if this deterrent mindset is always in effect.
The comments bothered me for a while but then I shook my head like a regal stallion shakes off flies and insects and soldiered on! Trying, in every small way to make a change in my kitchen, the way we ate, packed things, ate out etc. Once you put your mind to it, there are a number of ways in which the plastic takeover can be controlled. Here are some of the things I’ve tried to do.
  • We have started carrying takeaway boxes and cloth bags where we anticipate that food will be packed or purchases will be made. Yes, paper is available but remember that we don’t want to put an extra burden on trees either and wipe them out in the haste to eliminate plastic. (This isn’t always easy and leads to some ‘looks’ as well but you just have to shrug it off!)
PLASTIC-BAN-GRAPHIC
  • I’m trying to transition all utensils and wares in the kitchen to steel or glass. A return to conventional kitchens!
  • All packaged goods use a lot of plastic. Till they can figure out a solution, I try and order larger units or then packs which have more recyclable packaging. Requires more planning but its better than seeing plastic skeletons all over the dustbin.
  • We have stopped purchasing any mineral water bottles. Whether it’s travel to work, school, entertainment, holidays, each of us has their own steel bottles. You have no idea how much plastic you will eliminate this way.
  • Unbeknownst to a lot of people, there are micro plastic fibres that blast out of and stick to all kinds of synthetic material when they are being washed. Now I know we can’t eliminate all such fabrics from our wardrobes, but it’s made me a more conscious buyer every time I’m at a store.
  • My daughter misses her straws terribly so I found her steel straws! The point is, research a little bit and you will find so many solutions out there.
My proudest moment came recently when I heard my 4.5 year old daughter calmly approach and explain to two adults (who were holding plastic bags) about how we must not use plastic. There’s a long way to go but I’m glad I’ve started small.

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