Saturday, 17 November 2018

The earth I want to see when I grow up

The Earth I Want to See When I Grow Up

Our Earth started out as nothing but a lifeless rock, a negligible piece of a huge explosion. Now, with one-hundred-ninety-two countries, their jigsaw put together as seven massive continents, a population of seven billion, with millions of scientific, innovative, artistic, unique minds, our planet is magical! I feel fortunate to live on Earth but it is still far from my idea of a perfect world.

As I write this, Michael Jackson’s ‘Earth Song’ plays in my mind:
“What have we done to the world
Look what we've done
What about all the peace
That you pledge your only son...”

The Earth today seems corrupt with raiders, prevaricators and fraudsters. I am not declaring our planet dishonest, because there are, indeed, abundant intellectual, honest, hard-working, sensible people who think, say and intend not only for themselves, but for others too. We need more such people. 

Our Earth is losing many species of fauna that are on the verge of extinction; with heavy pollution, life seems languishing; there is water scarcity; children are made to labour; people of low social status are denied justice, education and healthcare; earthlings are starving due to improper facilities; soldiers are dying at the borders because their nations chose war over camaraderie.

There are multiple dismaying dilemmas, and even though these do not directly affect us as students, or even as citizens of a particular country, these do affect millions of people who are disregarded and ignored. 

The future I wish for, will be unselfish, erudite, friendly, dauntless, brave and honest. It will have justice for all, education for all, services for all. It will preserve our environment from all reprehensible and perilous deeds that have supported destruction so far.

My future world shall have fresh inventions, and innovations, to make life simple. There would be flying cars and other levitating vehicles to make travel easy. Large water purifiers to decontaminate salty sea-water would be a boon as these could increase the percentage of drinking-water on earth.

I would want to see a lush green earth when I grow up. With so much pollution, our world looks more like the dumpster Uranus than a beautiful, life-supporting Earth! Where mile-long forests used to proudly touch the sky with their canopies, there now stand concrete masses destroying our ecosystems. The world looks better painted green and blue than grey and black, doesn’t it? 

Water bodies streaked with plastic; air coated with smoke; even our protector, the ozone layer, is backing out. Afforestation is the key solution.

Coming to the political issues of poverty and discrimination; I would want my future Earth to be fair and just. Millions of children are sent off to labour once they can firmly plant their feet on ground. But, we cannot truly blame the families; they suffer from such economic weakness that they cannot afford to have a source of income sit idle. Employment opportunities, free education, subsidised healthcare and daily amenity rates for the poor should be introduced by governments throughout the world, whether of the 43 monarchies or the 100 plus democracies. 

Countries with caste systems should scrap such illogical distinctions. People cannot be judged on the basis of their birth. How is it proclaimed a poor man’s fault to be born poor, or a rich man’s privilege to be born affluent? 

There is discrimination even on the basis of religion. One such appropriate example is of the never-ending conflicts between Hindu and Muslim communities. Even though India and Pakistan keep signing peace agreements, innumerable terrorist attacks keep occurring. Why? Primarily because of religious differences. 

Discrimination based on complexion is also quite conspicuous in our society. I do not understand why, people prefer light-skin to dark-tones. Why and how does one’s skin colour define anything about people and their personalities? All these specious sayings are garbage. Nelson Mandela was not fair; he was dark, and led the fight against apartheid in South Africa towards independence. 

We also hear a lot about body-shaming that leads, especially youngsters, towards low self-esteem because of their weight and body-type. Such mind-blocks must go.

These are only some major problems being faced by our planet, according to me. I believe in a green, clean, just, honest, democratic, educated and blissful future. I believe that we, the youth of today’s Earth, should not just say what we will do… we should do what we are saying.

As I end this, I find myself humming Michael Jackson’s ‘Planet Earth’ song:

“Planet Earth, gentle and blue
With all my heart, I love you.”


Sunday, 25 February 2018

Why Children?

Recently, I had been thinking about stereotypes and discrimination and whatnot. Then I realized that there is one more new stereotype that people (mostly adults) have made : 'Children can't do it'.

Why can't they? Who said kids can't do certain things? Is there some neurological problem with kids' brains?

Not that I or any of my family members has ever heard of any and my family is full of doctors.

I realized this at my birthday party. When I saw my mom giving away unnecessary gifts to our younger siblings, I felt angry. I was like, Why are they getting more gifts and not us (me and my friends)?

I asked mom and she said, Because they'll start crying and irritating if they don't feel special.

I thought that why is getting gifts a sign of uniqueness? And why only for children? And exactly how does an adult know that children will start crying? Can they predict the future or something??

All these questions poked their way inside my mind, trying to convince me that only the adults were doing this. 

But no.

I remembered that, only two days earlier, I had done that same thing. I was playing with my friends and younger sister. It was a ball game, which required high jumping and strength. I was the one who told my friends that she would not be able to do it, as she was a child.

Most probably 3/4th of the world thinks the same thing and does what I did. What my mom did. What adults do. We just say that 'Bachche nahi kar payenge'. But, may I ask all the people of India, 'Kyu nahi kar payenge? Is there a proper reason? Do you guys have any reason?'

So guys, please understand, children are not as stupid and irritating as we think they are. We just don't give our thoughts a break and kids a chance.

~ Anoushka Sabnis

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

A thought on Gender Equality

Hi! My name is Anoushka. One day, I was watching KBC (Kaun Banega Crorepati) on television and a thought suddenly passed by my head.

Well, I didn't actually let the thought pass by, I caught it and kept it in my head!  

I thought that in India, a lot of people in the rural areas didn't allow girls to go to schools or colleges to study.  Women couldn't do jobs; they thought letting a woman work would be a sin or something.
The problem was, boys were valued, girls were not. Honestly, I just don't understand what had the boys done (mostly before their own birth!) to make people think they are great (or mahaan).

Nowadays, in urban areas, both men and women work. But in the present times - in the 21st century - people have started valuing girls more than boys. People say, 'Hamare ghar me hum betiyon ko beton se zyaada badhava dete hain.' ('In our house, we encourage girls more than boys').

I am not saying that this is a bad thing, it is really good that people have started caring more about girls, who were once discrimated against.

But, that was not what we wanted. We wanted 'Gender Equality', right? 

And valuing us girls more than boys is not really helping with that, is it? I believe we should encourage girls and boys at the same time. Girls should work, boys too. Girls should cook, boys too. Girls should clean, boys too. Girls should study, boys should too.

I thought about this, and the next day, talked to one of my friends.

I asked her, 'Ok, listen, I'll give you two options. Choose one. Option a) only girls should cook and sweep; only boys should study. Option b) only boys should cook and sweep; only girls should study.'

I was really disappointed with her answer. She said, with a laugh,' Obviously, boys should do jharoo-pochha and cooking stuff. And, only girls should work!'.

I had thought, she would say that none of the options is appropriate; both should work and both should clean and cook.

But, unfortunately, my friend was not as open-minded and clear about gender equality as I am. I am not saying that my friends are not nice, but I admit that I get very serious about such things.

I don't know what you will think about this, but my formula is:

Girls x (Work + Household) = Boys x (Work + Household) = { same }

Thank you for reading what I have written. This is not like a practised write-up, it's just a thought. A thought which was flying with the microorganisms in the air...

Monday, 11 December 2017

Sunrise (poem)

As the pale yellow light spreads across the sky,
The morning bird chirps shrill and high.

The trees and flowers are painted with dew,
The butterfly wakes up, feeling beautiful and new.

And as people wake up slowly, rubbing their eyes,
Far in the Eastern side, they see the sunrise.

~ Anoushka Sabnis

Monday, 6 November 2017

Ping pong ball (poem)

I was playing with a ball,
A ping pong ball,
It bounced outta my hand.
I jumped and bumped
In grandma's chair,
On sleeping kitty I did land.

The ping pong, though
Which did not care,
Went bouncing through the air.
And when I reached
For the bratty ball,
It just showed all its flair.

It bounced in then
The kitchen, no!
And broke the porcelain.
All cutlery,
Went the same way,
Mum's favourite bowl, insane!

The next stop was
My bedroom, boohoo!
The ball was not in hand.
It broke my watch,
My bedside lamp
And a glass of water too!

I grit my teeth,
and clenched my fist
And said to me -
"If this ball
Breaks one more thing,
I won’t let it go scot-free!"

But suddenly,
I heard no noise,
And went to check all aroun’
There was the ball,
The ping pong ball,
Tired and lifeless, fallen down.

~  Anoushka Sabnis

Sunday, 17 September 2017

The old lady's mother (poem)

When I was born,
My mother hugged me tight.
Not a fear was there in life.

When I was a toddler,
My mother held my finger.
And I walked for the very first time.

When I was a 7-year old,
My mother taught me ten plus ten was twenty
And my knowledge developed.

When I was a teenager,
My mother kept nagging.
I was so irritated.

When I joined an office,
My mother invested a lot in me.
She was a great mentor.

When I got married,
My mother didn't cry half a tear.
We stayed happy all along.

When I became a mother,
My mother pampered me.
And I was on cloud nine.

When I became a grandma,
My mother was frail.
I pampered her in turn.

Now I'm 95 years old,
Coughing, stuttering, sneezing.
And her final bell has rung.

~ Anoushka Sabnis

Monday, 28 August 2017

Way to go, Tiddlewoo! (poem)

I wanted to go to Tiddlewoo,
To Tiddlewoo I wanted to go.

I asked a rabbit where it was,
But he just said 'Ho!'

I went ahead and saw a dog,
'Grr!', said he, oh no!

Walked further till saw the mouse,
And ah! 'Squee!' was synonym for no!

Board came, 'Tiddlewoo: 100000 km'
Sooo many zeros! Whoa!

Saw bird and asked, 'Tiddlewoo be where?'
Said she, 'Cheep cheep'  What?? Nooo!

I walked and walked and walked and walked,
Saw sign, 'Tiddlewoo: 1/2 km' Behold the lo!

Trotted me, walked me, sprinted me too!
And finally came Tiddlewoo!

What happened there, I remember it not,
But the place, ye know, was boilin' hot!

~ Anoushka Sabnis