MAR 2020  
Maneka Speaks
Live Mindfully

There are many things we do without thinking and in the process we cause great pain.

In my universe, the Ten Commandments have no meaning at all: thou shalt not lie; thou shalt honour thy parents; etc. My universe just has one commandment that takes in all: thou shalt not cause pain. In short: live mindfully. Check what you eat, where you walk, what you use, what you say, and what you aspire for. If you can do that, you will live the most wonderful exciting life and the universe will lay itself at your feet.

Leather, meat, eggs, milk-these are absolute no-nos. But there are some thoughtless things you do and that you could do without:


Do not buy, keep or accept bonsai trees:
These are huge trees that are weakened and stunted constantly by cutting their roots and not allowing them to grow. Imagine a pipal tree in a three-inch deep container and put yourself there. The Chinese used to bind women’s feet as soon as they were born and a grown woman would have feet that were less than two inches long. She would be in pain her whole life. That is how trees feel. The process is brutal, cruel, and unethical. Torn, brutalized, twisted into caricatures with wire, these trees suffer prolonged torture for years and sold to rich people who need to have something ‘unusual’ in their houses to prove what great collectors they are. People who make them-’huge trees on a tray’-are vicious and hungry for power and feel no connect to nature. Their excuse would be: ‘We give them free food and water, we protect them against insects, we apply medicines to their wounds, we control their weather, they have an easy life’. So do people in jail or animals in experimental laboratories.


Do not use horses for marriages:

These are female horses, specially bred white and they get sunburnt easily. Horses have very sensitive ears and mouths. Here, they are walked for miles every night to reach the venue, made to stand for hours till the baraat gets ready, and then exposed to unbearably high-sound levels with bands playing, firecrackers exploding, and people screaming around them for hours. So that they don’t bite and remain in control, spiked bits are rammed into the horses’ mouths, causing lesions, bleeding, pain and permanent injuries to their teeth. They are beaten regularly by their handlers during ‘training’ sessions prior to making them submissive. Is this the level of suffering you want during a happy time? Does it make you happier to torture this animal for no value addition to the marriage?  


A cage for the bird, a tank for the fish, and a leash for the dog?

A dog is a creature that needs to run, smell, and explore. Yet there are so many ‘beloved’ pets that have never been let off their leash when they emerge into the open with their owners. They walk at the speed of their owners’ will, do their business in a controlled line, and then go back to their flats. Is it not possible for you to choose a time to walk the dog in a park when there are fewer people around and even though it could be inconvenient to you, it means the world of happiness for the dog? Don’t forget to pick up the faeces, otherwise, people might object after a while.


Feed the birds but don’t give them bread:
Bread has no nutrition. It is white flour with sugar and it is filling. It kills their appetite and prevents them from eating their natural diet such as insects, fruit, and seeds, which keeps them healthy and allows them to grow. Eating improper food can rapidly cause incorrect bone development as well as malformations. When bread gets wet, it becomes sticky and can get lodged in the bird’s digestive system causing impaction and fermentation resulting in death. This happens even when the bread is small, dry or stale. Angel Wing is a malformation caused by improper nutrition such as from eating bread or bird seeds during growth. This condition is irreversible and the bird loses its ability to fly forever. It is NOT treatable. So, feed these birds with peanuts, sunflower and pumpkin, lauki seeds, some uncooked rice, and whatever fruit is in season, except citrus which they do not eat.


Fish tanks or aquaria at homes or in offices are vulgar and unnecessary: 
They simply scream that the owner is as cruel as the person who keeps a row of caged birds for their amusement. A fish tank is simply a coop for fish that have been taken out of their natural habitat where they travel for miles in groups. In a tank, they are confined to a small crowded area with fish of other species, fighting, and hiding for their survival, being fed the dried dead bodies of other fish as ‘fish meal’ till they too die in a few weeks. What is the sense of this? Most of our waters especially coral reefs are being denuded of these fish which are caught by throwing cyanide in the water. Not a single person knows anything about the fish they keep, they are fed by servants irregularly-especially the ones in offices, the lights are kept on while the office is open and then shut off for hours. There is a vested interest in putting up these tanks: each time a fish dies, the supplier earns more money and the office staff members take their cut. And for this wretched tawdry trade, we are losing all the magnificence of the seas. You need to protest whenever you see one.


Do not take cute pictures with wild animals:
It does not make you look powerful or attractive to be seen with a cheetah at the end of the leash or having an elephant bow before you in a temple or holding a snake. The animal has been beaten, drugged, and eventually it dies (especially the snake because its skin becomes very sensitive) after your photo op. Do not touch fish in an aquarium just because the caretaker allows you to. They can be killed by the bacteria on your hands. Petting zoos are no fun for animals and they certainly show that you are no animal lover-just a vicious exploiter of the weak.


Do not throw away your leftover food, fruit peels, etc., in plastic bags:
It might seem very hygienic for you to do that but in reality, the plastic bags go into open garbage areas on the street corners. The food smell comes through these plastic bags. While dogs might be able to tear off the plastic (not the black ones), the cows are so hungry that they eat the food with the plastic. Over a lakh cows die, monthly, their intestines get choked with kilos of plastic that come from your houses. It is better to segregate the food and throw it where it can be eaten by street animals and birds.

There is a beautiful poem called ‘Thoughtless Cruelty’ by Charles Lamb which should be in every schoolbook.

© TERI 2020

Nominations open for CSP Today India awards 2013

The inaugural CSP Today India awards ceremony takes place on March 12, and CSP developers, EPCs, suppliers and technology providers can now be nominated.

CSP has made tremendous progress since the announcement of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission in 2010. With Phase I projects now drawing closer to completion, the first milestone in India’s CSP learning curve is drawing closer. CSP Today has chosen the next CSP Today India conference (12-13 March, New Delhi) as the time for the industry to reflect upon its progress and celebrate its first achievements.

At the awards ceremony, industry leaders will be recognized for their achievements in one of 4 categories: CSP India Developer Award, CSP India Engineering Performance Award, CSP India Technology and Supplier Award, and the prestigious CSP India Personality of the Year.

Matt Carr, Global Events Director at CSP Today, said at the opening of nominations that “CSP Today are excited to launch these esteemed awards, which will enhance the reputation of their recipients. I am particularly excited to launch the CSP India Personality of the Year award, a distinguished honor for the industry figure deemed worthy by their peers.”

All eyes will be on the CSP Today India 2013 Awards when nomination entry closes on February 4 and the finalists are announced on February 11. The awards are open to all industry stakeholders to nominate until February 4 at or by e-mail to [email protected]

Matt Carr
+44 (0) 20 7375 7248
[email protected]