Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Things break.

"If you know someone in Europe get a yoga mat from there," the chief instructor of our yoga class said, "From Germany. It's a heavy mat and expensive but it will last you for ten years, or more. The ones you get here won't last for six months. You know why this global warming and all that stuff is happening? You buy a Mercedes and it lasts twenty years. A Japanese car? Five years. You have to keep buying, they have to keep manufacturing...'

The first fridge we had was bought the year I was born: 1968. Every year I used to check my height against it. We repaired it for the first time the year I turned fourteen. We got a new one when mom tired of it, and when we could afford a new one of course.

In 1999 I visited in a small town called Phaltan in Maharashtra's Pune district. Phaltan is the only place in the world that grows cotton in summer and people from all over the world come to study the phenomenon. One of the reasons why it does so is because of a canal built in 1897. Talking about the canal, one local said, "Last year the local gram panchayat received a letter from England. It was from the engineering company that had built the canal. It said, 'We had guaranteed the canal for 100 years. The guarantee will expire next year. If you have any problems you have a year to tell us'."

It's been a long time since 'warranty' has replaced 'guarantee'. We don't 'use' things, we 'consume' them. Everything's disposable, nothing's supposed to last. The planet, after all, is just another thing to consume.

I would like to see the day when my son outgrows the fridge. I only wish my fridge would stop growing taller every other year.

Apologies: The last bit of this post didn't get saved the first time. But I guess it is not covered by the blogger warranty.

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