We, the Confused Generation

February 1, 2010 at 11:25 am | Posted in Environment, Introspection, Society, Thoughts | 27 Comments

Disclaimer : This post is not against any culture or society , but about me , about us, about our generation in INDIA

When I was in school , I always had a hankerchief in my hand/pocket. It was inseperable from me. I never used to forget it. And my friends admired and adored me for being so methodical about it. Proud I used to feel. Tissue papers were rare then. We used to see them only in expensive restaurants and we never frequented such places. Expecting tissue paper at a chat shop or ice cream wala was stupidity and people like me were considered elite as we always had a hankey to wipe our leaking nose and sticky hands.

Then we grew up. I moved to bigger cities and India moved to better economy. I realized that in bigger cities no one carries a hankey in their hands /pockets. Everyone uses tissue. Most places have tissue available and even if it was not there females have tissues in their bags , wet/dry face tissues. Hankeys look so dirty and so behanji style here. And I moved to tissues within few months of this realization.

All of us have seen this transition , in one way or other. How many of us have seen tissue papers , toilet paper , paper towels , kitchen rolls in ample amounts when we were kids. How many of our mothers use them even now. How many of us were wiped with papers when we were kids , but I am sure all of us have used paper to wipe the face and bums of our kids.

We moved with the trend. Some realized it and some did not. But what we did not realized is that we moved from a better setup to worse. In the process of moving with the trend or western society we learnt to waste paper. Washable cheap hankeys were better than tissue papers and instead of being proud and saying that I use them because I want to save paper , I moved to tissue papers.

Its not just about paper though. There are so many such practices that we accquired from west recently , because they are convienent or just cool but that are bad for the society and environment.

When we were children we never saw plastic bags inside dustbins. It has plus points that its easy to clear and less messy and easily transportable. BUT , a plastic dustbin under each desk with a plastic bag in each of it and we want to make this world plastic free ????

Aryan’s school serves snacks to kids in disposable plates,hygeine they say! Wow! I wonder how can small kids handle fragile disposable plates. I think it would have been better to invest in colourful plates once and emloy 1-2 people to clean those up everyday.

In Bangalore many roadside food vendors , place a plastic sheet over the plates and serve food over that plastic. Idea is to save the effort of cleaning the plates and customers too find it hygenic. Smart !! I felt when I saw it first , while walking by one on them. I was also surprised that the plastic sheets are made affordable even to them !! On second thoughts though I don’t feel the same.

I wonder how confused we are , we as in INDIA. We want to move with the trend and become modern ..err..western. In the attempt we are loosing some of our good practices. At the same time , we are concerned about environment. We want to save paper , ban plastic and save natural resourses.

I also feel that our generation is the only generation that can make the change. We trasitioned from previous stage to this one and now we only have to step back. If we make our kids used to what we learnt for the worse , we can never hope to save paper. And we need to start today. Good that I realized this atleast today πŸ˜›

P.S : Abha did a excellent post on this long back , couldnot locate the link though



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  1. Oh girl ..hugs for this post! U r abs rt .. we were just discussing abt this sday @ home .. the plastic bags in the trash-cans I mean 😦 Agreed it does account to cleanliness, but what abt all the damage its dng to the environment.

    The other simple solution I hv found is not to print receipts @ the ATM .. it kills me to find tonnes and tonnes of paper lying there 😦 I even took a pic today when I went to draw cash in the mrng .. the trash can is completely surrounded by paper, making the entire place one 😦 Tnis is something we cn easily do away with rt?

    And eh, though I hv moved on to use garbage bags, I hv still stuck to plain old hankey even nw πŸ˜› πŸ˜› Glad u made me realize I am dng something gud atleast πŸ˜€

    • True ! Yes , I never print receipts at ATM , but then it did not strike me because I rarely go to ATM , hubby does it mostly πŸ˜€

      Ofcourse you are doing good ! Keep going !

  2. Gosh…your post is like a mirror…I am looking at myself in it. It is really sad how we have made the transition so seamlessly into a bad territory and we see more and more people getting drawn to it.
    In our own small ways we need to turn around and say NO to paper, tissue for all it’s wonderful applications and also the Styrofoam disposable ware. It will be difficult at first but it pays to take that U-turn.
    What I have started strictly is to carry my own bags (cloth) to the supermarkets, saying NO to plastic bags when I buy just one or 2 items.
    We can do it !! Yes We Can !!

    • seamlessly ..thats the word neelum ! We never realized it and just moved !

  3. wonderful post dear! And i totally agree.. even i m zapped at how easily we have learnt to waste – not just plastic and paper, but the general attitude to re use before we refuse, is gone totally.

    • Thanks πŸ™‚

  4. Very true. In my childhood, when no one talked about eco friendliness, nothing was discarded; even icecream sticks and broken bangles were collected and reused for craft work or play.Now simple living is cosidered Utopian (no)thanks to manufacturers who create trends to market products and mindless consumers who follow them.

    • VEry true , we used everything and it had more to do with affordability I guess. Fancy craft products and all were not affordable and available as well and hence we were all creative with junk πŸ™‚

  5. So true … I have pictures of me in my uniform with a hand kercheif neatly pinned up at the top … and I used kerchief all the time until I moved to big city and I am ashamed to admit, I switched since I didnt’ want to be considered less hygiene.

    • Hygeine ..is what we tell us but its also convienence. Use and throw things are easy and less messy ..right !

  6. very true… nicely written Swati!

    The plastic usage needs to be cut down and we need to be a bit more consious of our surroundings as well.


    • Hugs Pixie πŸ™‚

  7. hey good initiative, we are also doing a similar kind or thing by producing paper mashe toys according to mordern india’s kids(which they like)to save both paper and plastic.
    it is maid out of he waste paper,it is non toxic, easy to handle

    we also organise birthday parties what we do is we have props like super man , bat man,dools etc made out of paper mashe,which we give to all kids to paint when they come to birthday parties,and then they paint it and take it back as a return gift with them,

    io thinkg at least it is better to gave a enviornment friendly return gift rather then givin some toy, which the kid will never even use

    we are delhi based,and also offering franchise in different cities

    intrested people can contact us at

    • Thanks ..will sure check it out !

  8. Good post yaar…Even now I give Hand kerchief to Aryan….but he mostly uses the tissues that they give in his school…..

    • Ya , I give him a Hand kerchief too but I do keep a tissue in hos tiffin as well πŸ™‚

  9. A fabulous post Swathi – something that we all need to think about. I’ve stopped the plastic covers on all the dustbins except the kitchen ones. And my daughter uses Handkerchieves πŸ™‚

    Still I need to do more – need to stop this dependence on plastic. As for food vendors etc whatever happened to banana leaves etc?

    • Thanks Poppy , yes some food for thought

  10. so so true! sigh! i am not one for tissues. yes, i have a small box of wet wipes for kiddie emergencies (never used for bum tho!), but rarely use tissues otherwise to wipe nose etc. i carry my hanky alright!

    try carrying the cloth bag too for small stuff atleast tho need to improve a lot on that front!

    i dont buy plain papers / sheets for Cubby’s scribbling. he uses old newspapers and magazines. he can have good stuff when he is making sense with his drawings and colours!

    and i found the post you were looking for! took me forever too! hehe



    • Thats awesome abha, you are just doing great πŸ™‚

      Aryan also uses back of used paper and flys from newspaper most of the times for his drawings , except when we do some sensible craft.

      But the tissue habit is so much my part now , even though I always give him hankey but still I do use tissue a LOT of times

  11. 3 cheers for this post!!

    • thanks

  12. Landed up here wandering through blogworld. Read a few of your posts. Hope you don’t mind. This one is very close to my heart. I personally feel that in India, we are mixing modernisation with westernisation, and that too for the wrong things. The West has a number of things to teach us but waste is definitely not one of them, be it paper or any other resource. We are learning the wrong lessons from them and then we think we are becoming MORE modern.

    Good post and thought. Enjoyed reflecting on it. I too am a culprit, many a times.. I am of the earlier generation though… so it is not only your generation that is confused.

    • Well said Mr Joshi , we are sure picking up wrong stuff with the myth of becoming more modern. Yeah the confusion started somewhere in the previous genration but its widespread now , since we have more access to the west now , in terms of travel and information as well πŸ™‚ Thanks for visiting my blog and reading πŸ™‚

  13. Errr. I use hankies. And napkins. And no tissues or wet wipes. *bursts into behenji wails*

  14. […] back I did this post about how we , this generation , has been moving from some good practices to bad ones , just in an […]

  15. […] back I did this post about how we , this generation , has been moving from some good practices to bad ones , just in an […]

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