Received from a friend, Maj Behram Dadademery (Retd) – how very very true.

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained:”We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

The clerk responded: “That’s our problem today. The former generation did not care enough to save our environment.”

He was right, that generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilised and refilled,so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But they didn’t have the green thing back in that customer’s day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator inevery store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn’tclimb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.

But she was right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby’s nappies because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobblingmachine burning up 240 volts – wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not alwaysbrand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right; they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of the Scotland.In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn’t have electric machines to do everything. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn.They used a push lawn mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; they didn’t have the green thing back then.

They drank from a glass tumbler when they were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they didn’t have the green thing back then. Back then, people took the tram or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus instead of turning their mothers and fathers into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn’t need a computerised gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because they didn’t have the green thing back then?



  1. SK says:

    All this is fine. What we really did not have was ” the CONGRESS, BJP ,BSP ET AL ” Just think what things would have been really like without these Pollutants !!

  2. Seetha says:

    They did not have Facebook or Twitter or Linkedin. They had real friends whom they met frequently, with whom they could share their happiness; and a few whom they could refer to as ‘Best friends’. They did not have
    ‘virtual friends’ !!

    • Jai Atal says:

      Hello Seetha,

      My name is Jai Atal and I am the son of the late Captain Madan Mohan Atal. I remember growing up In bombay, Delhi, Cochin and a numberr of other places surrounded by lots and lots of people, parties and friends galore and so can relate absolutely to everything you have said Seetha.

  3. Dara says:

    We didn’t even have a Jairam Ramesh – didn’t need him.

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