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Archive for April, 2013

Funny thing that as the world gets closer and closer, the human race is withdrawing itself into a shell. The more that technology helps bringing people closer, the more deeper they slip into virtual cocoons. People no more meet and talk, they text each other. No longer do they drop into each other’s homes but rather go invading stranger’s den. Functions are too boring events to fit into hectic life schedules; be a virtual participant on skype. Be it a new born’s first smile or first baby steps, the laptop sees it first!

On a recent trip with family, I was amazed and perplexed by a youngster’s definition of happiness – her mobile phone! Music apart, she gets her dose of happiness from her chat. The same girl shrinks away from personal one to one contact. But feels safe and high in the virtual world, with the same interaction!

Made me think how technology is getting truly embedded in our lives. We are so dependent on it we are helpless without the tech smokescreen.

Even a toddler gets comfortable with a mobile phone before any silly rubber toy!

Is it that communication skills are dropping or that they are getting tech-tuned? Why do we need sterile circuitry to convey our innermost thoughts? Why do I blog, though most followers are my friends? Why don’t I meet them more often over tea and talk?? And when we do convey, why do we choose strangers? Is it the level of security that the virtual gives us that comforts us, and opens up hidden desires of risky nature?

But I wonder if a smiley on the phone can ever substitute for a real smile on a face in front of you?

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Rivers are drying up. Groundwater vanishing. And still we get water flowing out of our taps. I wonder at that miracle.

Our soils are depleted of nutrients and stuffed with toxic chemical fertilizers. The crops are dropping yield. And yet we get our plates full of food.

 The air is choking under the onslaught of gases we are producing from our industries and motorways. Yet our lungs are breathing away and keeping us alive.

Forests have been brought down to make way for farms and infrastructure. Yet we see glimpses of golden black striped hues and grey massive backs moving stealthily. Trees are hacked to make way for roads. Yet we hear the chirping of birds around us.

These, I believe, are the miracles of the times we live in. That nature continues to come up with a basket full of goodies even as we humans exploit the natural resources relentlessly.

But how long can even nature do the trick? How long before water stops flowing, or crops flowering? How long before masks become mandatory and oxygen available in labs alone? How long before we hear the last bird song?

Human population took more than 10,000 years to reach 1 billion, but in 100 years it has increased 7-fold. It has taken just about 12 years to add a billion more recently.

Just in a decade a mind-boggling 100 billion metric tons of top soil is getting washed down to sea. This is about 5 times the amount of top soil nature produces. No wonder the decreasing crop yields. We all know that freshwater which is all that we can drink constitutes a miniscule 2-3 percent of all the water available on earth. Rate of use of fresh water is growing at twice the rate of world population. By the year 2025, two-thirds of the world’s people will suffer from water shortages.

At 5 hectares per person consumption, our earth can support needs of mere 1.5 billion! India is planning for 8.5% growth rate, which means the demand on resource will double in just 8.25 years. Where will the food and water come from? We live on a finite planet with finite resources. Moreover, eco services should be shared with other organisms. We need other species for our existence on this planet. So tightly and yet invisible are the threads of this connection.

Will we take the step to use less and waste even lesser? Or will we continue the rapacious rate of consumption, expecting nature to bring out more and more goodies? More miracles…

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