By Gopi Udeshi
Message of prudent use of water and electricity was imbibed at an early age by my parents while raising us in megapolis of Mumbai (then Bombay) in India. Every drop of water was precious due to limited supply which was compounded by erratic power supply and delivery of water during certain hours of the day. It was not unusual for us and our neighbors to come up with conservation measures and unfortunately spend good hours of time to make best use of daily necessities.
Fast forward. In 1987 I arrived in USA, a truly blessed nation of milk and honey. It felt like we are as rich as those fabulously living wealthy, be they industrialists or Bollywood actors in Mumbai. It felt like a boy visiting for the first time Toys R Us, a mega chain of toy store in USA. We were jubilant, liberated from a scarcity of daily necessities. We led a life of consumerism and profligate Americans, accumulating more than we need and wasting more than we use. A sit-down body wash with a half bucket of lukewarm water in Mumbai became a long hot water shower or a luxurious bath. Cleaning utensils with constant running of hot tap water or using dish washer became a daily chore. Washing machine replaced hand washing of clothes and dryer replaced clothesline in the name of modernity.
COVID-19 brought many changes in life. For me it is introspection of our lifestyle. Now just two of us in the house, we make sure we switch off lights while moving from one room to another and if old habits come back, we remind each other to get up and turn off the lights. More so for the profligate use of water. Now we have installed flow control valves, use minimal water for daily chores like brushing teeth, shaving, cleaning utensils etc. On an individual level, thanks to our parents for teaching, by my small vow of ANUVRAT hoping to make positive impact on a global scale the ravages of climate change that we hear daily in one part or another part of the world.
Mrs. Gopi Udeshi works in a financial field and lives in Plainview, Long Island NY with her husband Suresh who works in an accounting firm. They have one son who is a dentist. She is continually active in many Indian organizations on Long Island.
People Also Ask … … ….
What is the Golden Rule of Jainism?
The golden rule for lay Jains is to avoid doing any harm (Ahimsa which means nonviolence) intentionally. Consuming more than needed, be it natural resources or manmade products do cause harm somewhere along the line. Harm, which is unavoidably done in the course of employment, normal domestic life, or in self-defense is accepted, although should be avoided if possible.