An Empty Parking Spot

An Empty Parking Spot
27/06/2018

An Empty Parking Spot

“I got complimented on my parking today. Someone left a note that said PARKING FINE” – anonymous.

Ever wondered what it must feel like to be a vacant parking spot? To listen to people arguing over who saw you first? How must it feel to be so wanted?

Everyone who drives a motor vehicle is familiar with the woes of finding parking. It’s always a gamble, setting out of your house headed to your workplace or the mall or even the supermarket. Will you get parking? Or worse, what if you do get parking but you end up getting towed?

Or the situation is reversed. You’re driving on narrow lanes, bumping into potholes, trying to drive around the occasional cow and find yourself stuck behind a parked lorry or taxi. You curse and honk away for all that you’re worth but its of no use because the driver of the parked vehicle is MIA.

And the rest is history.

India is notorious for narrow roads and more vehicles than it can take resulting in traffic jams whether or not there’s a traffic light. Statistics reveal that more than 40% of Indian roads are occupied for parking. Without designated parking sections like in developed countries, there’s no option but to park where there’s space available. This leads to congestion.

Things have really escalated if a trip to the movies with a bunch of friends turns into the Indian version of nightmare on elm street. Except this time, the horror is a long waiting line for a parking spot and its not elm street, its DLF Mall of India.

You’re not just late for the movie by a few minutes, by the time you find a good spot that is legal and not to far from the mall, you arrive right on time for the interval.

British start-up JustPark has been delivering top notch solutions to this menace in the UK through an app-based service. The app matches drivers on the hunt for a parking spot with available spots in in commercial and public car parks, and private parking spaces. Founded a decade ago, it continues to provide some relief and a quick solution to the rat race.

India’s answer to parking issues includes apps like Parking Rhino, Get my Parking and more.

But the simpler solution is to simply reduce the number of vehicles on the streets by switching to a carpool. From “I’m late because I couldn’t find parking” you could go to “I’ve been clocking in early for the past week, give me a raise.”, and that’s the kind of glow up you really want.

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  Movies with a Message

19/06/2018

  Movies with a Message

                                                                           

 “I’m interested in the impact my movies have on people and how it affects them, and what they like and what they don’t like- and what they take away from it. What leaves an impression you know?” – Thomas Jane, actor.

Movies are entertainment for the masses. Nobody says no to a good movie with a great plot, stunning actors and a happy ending. But, some movies are more than that; are more than what they seem to be. These movies take what seems like a mainstream story and discreetly insert environmental messages into its layers. In some, the green message is all you can see, and in others, it is lurking in the backdrop.

For example, the 2009 James Cameron helmed Avatar. It is an important movie not only because it is the highest grossing movie of all time, but because it shines the spotlight on one of the most critical issues we face today: climate change, environmental degradation, declining health due to pollution, and the list is quite endless.

In Avatar, James Cameron directs the movie so skilfully that we find ourselves sympathising with the indigenous and disliking the humans who are trying to take over their land…until we realise that we ourselves are doing the same thing to our own home. We are the villains in our story.

Avatar sends a powerful message in terms of what kind of situation the Earth will be in, a few centuries from now on. Thankfully, this masterpiece is not the only movie on the list.

Here are 6 other movies that glow with a green message:

 

  1. The Lorax

The Lorax is a delightful animated version of Dr.Seuss’ popular book of the same name. It tells the story of the Once-ler, who in blind greed, cuts down an entire forest and eco system to make his business prosper and reach new heights and little boy who tries to undo this mistake.

The movie quickly spirals into a thrilling adventure of a cat and mouse chase in the attempt to save the last surviving seed.

If you haven’t seen this movie, it’s a must watch for children and adults alike.

 

  1. Erin Brockovich

This 2000 movie based on the real life experiences of Erin Brockovich isn’t exactly an environmentally based film; however it shows the devastating effects of pollution and chemical waste on animal and human health.

With Julia Roberts in the lead, this movie is a winner on all accounts.

 

  1. 2012

As the title suggests, 2012 showcases the famous Mayan prediction that the world will come to an end in the year 2012.

It is perhaps one of the most watched movies after Avatar which deals directly with the environment.  The movie brings out the poignancy in human nature in the face of survival. With superb CGI effects, it will bring you to the edge of your seat in excitement and anticipation. It delivers the whole package.

The Mayans may have gotten their prediction wrong about the year, but to put it bluntly, we are giving mother earth a slow and painful death.

 

  1. Moana

Moana has the genius of Walt Disney Animation Studios with the voice of Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson. That should be ample reason to watch the movie. Although, there must be a few people who haven’t watched this beauty, if you already have, watch it again.

This time, focus on the smaller stuff. Notice the subtle references to how the earth is slowly slipping into the same state as the island Moana is so desperately trying to save.

Imagine, if the Goddess Te Fiti actually existed and became the red eyed demoness in her anguish and rage, tried to wreck the world apart.

Yeah, I wouldn’t like that much either. Also, the very sexy Maui is a crude representation of what us humans think about our technological progress and inventions. To Maui, his actions are justified in trying to bring glory to the lesser beings and playing hero. That didn’t turn out too well did it?

Now where have I heard of a similar story of people going out their way to make life easier and instead ended up turning the green, green earth all brown and wasted?

 

  1. Wall-E

Keep your tissue box ready for this one. Wall-E is the story of a lonely robot that is responsible for cleaning up the e-waste that was left behind on earth when the humans packed up and left to go and exploit other resources.

The sheer amount of electrical waste it desperately tries to clean is eye-popping.  And then to realise that if Pixar really wanted to make the movie look as authentic as possible, it needn’t have worked so hard on the animation. All they had to do was shoot the movie in an e-waste dump in some corner of a third world country. Same thing, really.

 

  1. Happy Feet

Surely everyone has watched this adorable emperor penguin starring offering from Warner Bros. But did you pay attention to the scene where one of the penguins ends up choking on a manmade item in innocent curiosity.

This is the reality of marine life that is constantly dying due to the waste that is being thrown into the oceans and they surface to the shore with their bodies stuffed with plastic.

With peppy songs and over the top cute penguins, this movie is a must watch for everyone. And if you have already seen it, well, watch it again. At least for the penguins who will soon be extinct.

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Episode 2

mother nature
12/06/2018

Episode 2

I can’t believe this.” I said. “You’ve filled my house with all the empty take-away coffee cups I’ve discarded over the past month?!”

Yes, well, I thought it would be a good way to show you what exactly you’re doing to MY house, and honestly, this-“‘Earth’ gestured vaguely with her hand. “This doesn’t even begin to cover it!” she raised her voice shrilly.

But-but you’ve made my house STINK!” I was losing my mind.

You’re making my house stink too, you know? You’ve been making it stink for over 100 years now! What am I to do about that eh?”There was a sudden rumble. And just like that, the only clock I owned crashed to the floor.

Earth looked at the shattered pieces silently. “Sorry about that. I didn’t mean to lose my temper.” Her shoulders sagged and she looked so miserable that I felt my anger evaporating.

You do know there are over a billion people living in ‘your’ house and dirtying it and you choose to fill my house with garbage?”I asked. “What’s the deal?”

She frowned and said, “I don’t know, I gravitated towards you because you looked pretty lonely, I guess.” She shrugged.

My insides twisted like a pretzel. “That’s below the belt. Even for someone like you. I am not lonely.” I hissed at her. “I just prefer to be alone.”

Hey, whatever floats your boat. But I wish I could be like you in that case, because you happen to be killing all MY friends!” she lashed out again.

I sighed. “All right. What would you have me do? Given your way, I mean.”

She looked up. There was a strange light in her eyes. “Actually, that was the point of my cornering you like this. It’s all part of my grand plan to take matters into my own hands and-“

All right all right, come to the point.” I said, interrupting her before she got worked up again.

Her eyes glittered. “One week. Give me one week’s time to tail you everywhere and teach you how to treat me better. I’m confident that by the time I’m done, you’ll be leaving a much smaller trail of chemicals and garbage behind you.’’

I blinked, speechless.

Do I have a choice?” I edged.
“Uh, no. Not at all.” She smiled cheerfully.

I huffed and turned towards the colossal heap of plastic overflowing over my mouldy couch. “Do I take that as a yes?” she asked, behind me.

I closed my eyes. Truth be told, I was rather alarmed at what she’d shown me. Is that how much coffee I drank in a month? With a sickening thought, I realized just how much waste I would’ve created all my life. I took a deep breath.

Okay. I’m in.” I turned towards her. “However, im gonna have to find another place to crash. I can’t take the smell anymore.”

Oh, I can fix that. Don’t worry.” She snapped her fingers and the smell disappeared.

I whipped around to see my room looking exactly like I’d left it in the morning. “Good old fashioned magic huh.” I whistled.

Yup. And you better get to bed early. Netflix is no longer an option. You won’t believe what I’ve got in store for you.” She said, clapping her hands enthusiastically.

Careful” I warned. “You might start a tornado or something.”

She rolled her eyes. “I’ll be back when you wake up.” She said, walking out of the door.

Wait! Where will you sleep?” I caught the door before it swung shut again.

She was gone.

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