I was watching “Home” one of my favourite films of planet earth, the most exceptional planet that we know about filmed from the sky. The opening sentence reminded me the painful truth: India is the first country on the planet that will dry up .. No more water will be found in our earth soon …But that hardly seems to bother the servants hose-washing cars on the street … So uneducated they (or their masters) do not even notice it’s so hot that half of the water does not even reach the ground, evaporates before, and that a simple pail filled with water would do the trick better, because of less evaporation and on top using a fraction of the water amount. But I think some people find it luxurious to waste water, precisely because there isn’t enough…..

It’s true that when I moved to Germany in the early seventies as a teenager I found all of the ‘natural’ movement a trifle strange: At that time in India nylon was the novelty and at Diwali time we would always have a news report somewhere of a lady burning up because her nylon sari caught fire.

The movement was hippie … This was a mere four years after Woodstock and everybody in the West was protesting against nuclear, against chemistry, against pollution, against society in it’s at that time traditional structure. Young people often lived in communes, a hippie reply to the communist ‘Kolchose’ …. a community that lives and works together in a farm. But these were more urban communities to replace families. There still are a few in Berlin today, even that revolution became a classic.

It is these people that protested against the old world that were Green. Green at that time was a severe protest against everything chemical. I was fifteen and simply adapted since it wqs the (new) norm (for me also) at that time.

One of my neighbours wanted to get rid of a tree in his garden and cut it … And found the word “Treemurderer” spray painted on his garden wall a few days later. Today you can’t just cut a tree even on your own property in Europe. You have to ask for permission from the local town hall and can only do so once authorized. Most European countries have laws of this kind, a logical continuation of what the Green thought is about.

And suddenly it’s starting to happen here in India as well. We felt it coming since well over three years and had starting developing our totally green “Ayurganic Line” … Only to find that we were far from being alone. The green beginnings were quite humble with a few fashion collections, a meek selection of organic foods between Dilli Haat and a couple of products to be found at Khadi Bhandaar. In fact Green in India is the real real unadvertised, unstylised, unfashionable, but yes ‘real’ green still .. One feels nearly like the ‘forgotten green’. This simply means we are not as yet quite as effected by pollution than elsewhere. I mean the awareness since the levels of pollution here are quite in sync with international levels if not (much) worse.

So here we are: “Green” a new magazine has just published it’s first edition, a whole new magazine applauding all initiatives starting from getting to office by bike to setting up a wind farm. Pinakin Patel, the Mumbai based furniture and lifestyle designer brought out a ‘Hara” villa, a natural(ly chic) green villa made out of nothing but natural things and needs to get plugged on to water and electricity ..  a great new direction of the new greenness because it is so super chic. And that applies to the whole world. There is nothing homemade about the new green consumer (I am) even if we have to stay practical: I have a daily battle in my factory with malis who prefer watering the grass at 3pm, which fits in with their work times much better than having to stick around and wait for sundown and … 85% more water watering the grass and plants.

I just hope each one of you reading this article will go and holler at the mali you see doing the same thing. You might be able to delay India from drying up by one second …. Collective efforts are what it’s all about. 

Posted by : Hemant Sagar at 05:10 AM