Getting back to the basics

“O Children of Adam! Take your adornment at every place of worship and eat and drink (what you want), but do not be extravagant / excessive / prodigal or wasteful . God truly does not love those who are excessive / prodigal / wasteful / extravagant (Arabic: musrifeen)” (007:031)

We all thought we are moving forward with the pace of this world when we started ditching certain those things that were considered ‘too old fashioned’ like using bags made of cloth and wires, storing and reusing plastic bottles and newspapers for various purposes. I grew up as someone who would religiously collect all the papers, notebooks and anything plastic and wait for the annual exams to get over to sell them for a good price at the local paper mart to enjoy my summer vacation. But just like everyone else around me, I started frowning upon my mother who still saves those yogurt cups and milk packets ‘for some future use’. It has been almost a routine for me to dump all those things at the trash whenever I go for a vacation to Chennai.

My mother in law almost screamed out of disbelief that I was actually throwing away a big, two liter empty oil can into the trash. So was my mother. I had a tough time explaining to them that storing those things in my one bedroom apartment and top of all, finding something like an old paper mart is almost impossible and I had no choice but to throw them away. I know that there are many like me, who have a little feeling of guilt while throwing away something like this but, helpless.

Living in the UAE means living a midst gigantic malls and a big, Global Village open for 6 months in a year having offers and discounts going on once in every three months. Also, we are used to shopping at places like LuLu and Carrefour where finding something in small quantities is impossible. Resisting the temptations to buy a beautiful showpiece or a crockery set is extremely difficult and somehow something deceives us to go for that piece though it is absolutely unnecessary for our little apartment. All this piles up to a huge waste when we see that showpiece broken into pieces when I drop it down while dusting.

Now, it is high time I do something about it, since I cannot go on with the guilty feeling eating my head. As a family, my husband is a very frugal person and detests to see his hard earned money getting wasted on anything. So, I know I can make a tiny little difference in this world not by doing anything great, but by not wasting anything. It is not an uncommon site to see an illegal worker digging into the trash to see if there is anything of use to him. It is a shame that we let human beings like us to dig into a pile of dirt just to get that can of coke for him to make money. We can instead think of ways that our trash can actually become some form of charity.

I have big aspirations, and let us see how far it goes, insha Allah.

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