Homebody that I am, I am a frequent flyer. The very noble leave policies of my company mean I cannot take a leave pre or post a two-day weekend. “It’s called sandwiching.” the HR Manager explained with a dire look on her direr face. How do I take a trip to Delhi then, I prodded hopelessly. Take an EL (earned leave) she said. Or hop out of the flight, take a quick look around and hop back on to a return plane.
She didn’t say so in exact words but it boils down to a pair of flights every time I need to go home. My company is pleased with the solution but not so pleased, it seems, is Wordweb – the free dictionary I use on my Windows XP.
I always go around with an Oxford in my purse; it belonged to my Mom when she was in school and there are, you know, sentimental reasons. But to avoid a new Google tab each time I want a word enquiry at work, I downloaded Wordweb. It’s really neat and comes with use-in-a-sentence examples.
All was hunky dory till yesterday morning, when it suddenly popped up a question – “How many flights did you take last year?” There were multiple choices that said yours truly didn’t fly at all, took a couple of return ones or went all grand with more than that number. Viewing it as a survey question and being in a hurry to get on with my work, I selected the last and hit OK. Bang came a no entry message that declared me ineligible to continue using the software for I am the one the greenhouse and global warming chapters in your school Science books warned you against. Boy, was I stumped!
I found a workaround by running the setup again and sending in a fat lie the next time they asked – fly? What fly? Wouldn’t you know if I had wings?. Nullbit here comes up with some more workarounds you can use.
The weird factor forgotten, I admit they managed to rouse the drowsy environment freak in me. Reminded me of school they did, when we had a Green Delhi mission – we went around street play-ing, telling people of the havoc plastic creates, planting saplings and in entirety, making the most of our week off from 8 to 2 classes.
Pune is a far cleaner and greener city and I would hate seeing her spoiled. When people who have lived here for donkey’s years tell me they miss her forgotten culture and snort at the over-invasion of I.T., I feel upset. I smile when I then see them going for breakfast at Good Luck Cafe and chatting over buns and tea.
The Wordweb license may seem rather strange considering flights – now taken even weekly by scores of people – are a part and parcel of modern life. But the lesson they intend: cutting down on toxic emissions and keeping Earth the pretty blue planet we see in kids’ astronomy books – is worth a million bucks.
Today onwards, I am never using a plastic bag. I will carry a nice blue jhola or acquire a couple of Green bags from here. And I am not letting people I know use plastic bags either.