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Of late, the word “Green” has taken centre stage in all spheres of our life, particularly in debates and discussions – no matter what the debate is about. Green, as you know is not merely a colour any more. It denotes Mother Nature, our environment. After practically leading a war against Green and turning everything green into a burning brown, we are now talking and talking about Green all the way. Panic or a sense of guilt? Whatever, it is a good sign. At least we are aware of the lurking danger. So, even if the debate is about Secularism or Mars exploration, the talk comes around to Green. Let us hope this will bring in the desired effect.JOHNPOWATH-02

There is another word very much in circulation these days – “Diet.” Not very far from “Green,” “Diet” is also closely related to bad things in life – the very real danger of obesity and ill health. The word has thus become an obsession with us. After systematically destroying our own natural food habits and healthy life style, we are now performing atonement by chanting the word “Diet” as many times as possible. So we follow Diet Coke, diet drinks, diet biscuits and what not. If there is “Diet” attached to any poison, then it is fine.

I have been travelling to China for the last 22 years. Being a great lover of Chinese food and Chinese girls, I never miss an opportunity to visit that great country. As any other country, China has also changed. In fact, the level of the great changes that has happened in that country is mind boggling. There are massive flyovers and wide roads that have made movement easy and enjoyable. The roads are full of most modern, expensive cars, very fast trains, posh high-rise buildings, a lot of fast food joints, very modern airports, more English speaking people than before, huge shopping malls, a lot of modern gadgets, more passengers at the airports , bus terminals and railway stations with i-pads, and what not. Who would have imagined China, the Mao country of the Long-Marching proletariats, would one day change this way and make the capitalist America blush!

When I think of China, what always came to my mind first were the lean, incredibly fat-free, all-muscle men and beautiful and sexy Chinese girls – and of course the great Chinese cuisine. It’s all gone! China has changed a bit too dramatically. What worries me most these days is the kind of transformation those lovely human beings have undergone there. Suddenly there is a lot of fat. Children are becoming obese to the level of those in the West, the cradle of obesity. How could this happen! We all know the Chinese take a lot of green tea, eat less fatty food, are naturally obsessed with physical exercise and healthy lifestyle. What happened to those lean mean China men and women and children! This certainly is not the transformation one would want to happen.

Change is a tricky thing. Unless we are careful, it can sweep us all off the ground and destroy us. Change is when we have to be most choosy. The pace of life has changed naturally. Life has become very fast and time management is a huge challenge. That’s where we all lost our step for the first time. We welcomed the concept of fast food and solved a bit of that time challenge. But we chose to ignore what should have been equally or more important – manage time to put the body to work and sweat it out so that it works well for longer time. We ignored physical movements. Bicycles disappeared and fast cars saved more time. Computers and internet became our lifeline – as unavoidable as the oxygen we breathe. In fact, there are many would happily hold their breath for however long it takes if they are given a choice between internet connectivity and oxygen cylinders on Mars!



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