(This is the transcript of a talk given by my wife Kanti in 2018. Hope you all like the story she is telling here.)
All our friends and relatives have heard our story, usually in parts and in the middle of random conversations. For the first time, I have the opportunity to organize my thoughts and document our journey in a coherent manner. What has this got to do with zero waste? Waste is a by product of life. If this waste is becoming unmanageable, it means we have to look at the way we live.
Its been almost 25 eventful years and the only thing constant in our lives has been change. Both my husband Arun and I stand on the shoulders of our parents and are extremely privileged to be able to experiment so freely- whether it is our children, jobs or lifestyle. We have been called brave, stupid, myopic. But the fact is, by some chance, call it karma, we are in the unique position of doing whatever comes into our heads.
Our unconventional lifestyle began with an interest in spirituality. We studied, Arun more than I, a whole lot of Eastern and Western philosophies and agreed upon a common map to help navigate our lives. We learnt that we must first begin with self transformation and our field of action should be the family. To achieve this all the prescribed tools were already available. We started yoga, pranayama, meditation. Because we felt that school was a big drain on our time and mind-space, we took our children out of school.
From the beginning we were very clear that one of us had to be with the children. I chose to stay at home and Arun reluctantly had to work. He has always chosen jobs with care so that the pay is never too demanding on his freedom and for sometime now he has been working from home. This means that we live pretty much hand to mouth with no savings. We also have no insurance, no house, no car/scooter, no TV or AC or newspaper. But we have invested in 3 good cycles and sensible walking sandals. We have always lived like nomads. Shifted houses and cities when we felt like it. Because of this we have optimised on our furniture, kitchen, clothes and we don’t collect knick-knacks. We all like to travel but we don’t do much sight seeing. We attend many family functions and always prefer to do long distances by train. Exploring outdoor food options is our favorite pastime. In spite of that I spend a lot of time in the kitchen because I really do enjoy making stuff. We are fortunate to be blessed with good health and have not needed to go to doctors much. Of course, not taking this for granted, we continue our exercise and pranayama routine regularly. I’d like to share this anecdote here, with apologies to all my doctor friends: A man goes to a doctor, gets a prescription, goes to the chemist, buys the medicine, then comes home and throws the medicine in the dustbin. Why you ask? The man says, he goes to the doctor and chemist so that they may live by their professions, he throws the medicine so that he may live too!
(The concluding part of this talk will be published here next week)