Showing posts with label Civic Duty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Civic Duty. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Theek Hai? [360/365]

What does a critically acclaimed statesman and one of the best minds of the nation have in common with all the other semi-educated, completely corrupt, socially inept elected representatives? Verbal diarrhea.

Today, Mr Manmohan Singh became the butt of a million jokes when his off-hand comment was inadvertently transmitted by the national broadcaster - Doordarshan.

He uttered the word 'Theek Hai' (loosely translated into 'Is this ok?') after delivering a minute long speech asking the nation to maintain peace after many days of public anger against sexual crimes.

While I admit I was surprised a man of his stature would show such disregard to something as grave as the issue he intends to solve, I think this remark will go straight into the Wall of Shame of Politicians who talk with their over-sized foot in their mouth.

Twitter and social media was ablaze with the phrase. The phrase revealed what most Indians suspected all along - The fact that no one in power really gives a crap for what we want.

The damage was done and while heads will roll for broadcasting the unintended gaffe, the nation surged with fresh anger against the remark. If the PM and his puppet master thought this speech would have pacified the millions, what it ended up being is a PR disaster.

Unfortunately this remark also proves what most outsiders have long thought about Indians- the 'anything goes' attitude that we are infamous for. While we are seething with righteous anger, I question those who have placed themselves on the moral high horse.
How many times have we gone out of our way to help someone without a selfish reason?
How many of you have done what is right even when it was not the most convenient thing to do?

The silence will be deafening.

In a strange quirky way, his remark is eponymous of what every Indian thinks, feels and believes by.
So what if that girl was brutally raped?
She is just a statistic and by this time next year, her family will still mourn her loss and we would have long forgotten the fight.

Sub chalta hai, theek hai?


Sunday, December 02, 2012

Dont let it bother you.. [337/365]

Earlier today, an employee from a city-based IT major met with a gruesome end.
25 year old Ameena Sheikh, working with Mphasis was killed instantly when she was hit by a taxi and run over by a city bus.
Now accidents are not uncommon in this city which has absolutely no civic sense but the news of this one shook me.

One look at the dingy subway which looks like it was dug out of a lump of concrete with shady men lurking in the shadows and you'll understand why she avoided the subway. This is replicated in nearly every subway and shaded overpass in the city. Sky bridges are nothing by glorified billboards with scant regard towards the old and differently-abled.

Reading the details of the incident, I sighed.
She tries to cross the divider, whose height was recently increased to discourage similar adventures and snags her burqa. She bends down to untangle it and is hit by a speeding taxi, in a stretch of road where he was not supposed, and she could have died the instant her head landed on the other side of the road, where a local commuter bus ran over whatever remained of her skull. People from the bus gather to watch, and Yeddy's convoy was diverted to another route. It barely mattered to him.

At what stage of our evolution did we loose our humanity, and our common sense?
I've been in cabs where the drivers have sped through traffic and on highways. I've cautioned and counseled many against speeding and when that wouldn't work, just asked for another driver. Recently I traveled in a mini-van that was speeding through a highway packed with inter-state trucks and motorbikes. Clutching the handle on the seat in-front, I was praying with my eyes wide open. We weaved through 5 kms of traffic in about 1 minute. For the cab driver, that was just another 'trip' completed.
He was competing with another cab driver and wanted to make it first to office so that he gets first preference for the next 'trip'. Nevermind the fact that he was groggy or that he was ferrying 15 terrified passengers silently praying for deliverance. That was the last time I got into that cab. Not that I believe I will never meet with an accident when I travel myself but because I can at-least control how careful (or careless) I am when I drive.

Ameena was just a statistic for the traffic department and while the cab driver and the bus driver was arrested, I doubt if that will change anything.
The minister has denied that there are anti-social elements in the subway. The commissioner has confirmed that there could be a possibility that things can improve and has promised to increase patrolling on that sector. There goes another constable's vacation request!
Can this remind pedestrians to not use their phones while crossing roads?
Will this teach taxi drivers to drive carefully?
Will this change anything besides the irreplaceable loss that her parents have suffered?
NO.
The company she works for will give her a minute of silence and her friends and colleagues will miss her for life.

The cops and the minister will forget this. The commuters who saw her mangled body and fragments of skull will probably never.
So don't let any of this really bother you.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rubbish! [304/365]

So what if we still don't have a comprehensive waste disposal system in place, we won't stop living it up. After a weekend of festivities our prudent authorities have confirmed an outbreak of avian influenza. Simply great!

I love chicken and although I eat it a lot less than what I used to until 2 years ago, I still think chicken is an integral part of an Indian's diet. Seeing how a pandemic like this struck at the pockets of the small poultry farmers and tourism in other Asian countries, you'd imagine India would have taken care to see it didn't occur here.

But then India has never had a comprehensive disaster recovery plan when it comes to natural or man-made disasters. We do have wonderful fiction on paper but when it comes to putting it out in action, we fail. So today Neetha declared that chicken is going to be off the menu for a while. Panic struck me. I had to educate her that there is no way that we could get it when we aren't exposed to infected poultry.

I can imagine how this is going to affect millions of people who depend on poultry in and around Bangalore. People are inadequately informed about the virus and since the government isn't doing enough to spread awareness, an outbreak like this leads to public hysteria.

It doesn't help that garbage is covering half of our streets. Years ago, Surat was in the spotlight for an outbreak of plague. While the city has managed to clean up since, you'd think our award-winning civic agency would've learned a lesson or two about public hygiene. It shouldn't really take an American newspaper to put a mirror for us to change.

I've said it before and I'll say it again- the blame lies on us.
Half of us elect people who won't disguise their greed and myopic public vision. The other half simply won't vote. The elected then rule with absolutely no fear of a recall and impose themselves on us. We complain. We threaten. And thanks to our electoral system, we loose our resolve to unseat the corrupt.
Repeat cycle.

If you haven't voted until now, I won't force you to change your habit.
But remember that by not voting for the right person/party, you loose the chance to change.
You become a mute spectator to mutiny that you could have prevented.
You put yourself at the mercy of scumbags that were voted by illiterate slum-dwellers whose only interest was in free packets of biriyani, booze and Rs 500. Or mixer grinder, fans, TVs and laptops if you are in TN.
But ofcourse, you won't need any of these since you are indignant and dont want to vote.
I won't force you to vote since you think you are not going to be affected regardless of who is in power.
But this I will tell you- By allowing one corrupt politician to be voted into power today, he/she is going to do everything in their power to remain there. They will loot as much as they can lay their eyes on. They will covet every rupee that you pay in taxes and you own. They will create laws that will affect you- the guy/gal who didn't vote for them. That's right, they wont discriminate. They will loot and swindle every anna paisa you have until you are dead. And then in five years, they will come back with packets of biriyani and empty balloons of promises and win their votes and you won't be able do squat about it.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Segregation. What Segregation? [291/365]

Lost in translation
Kuwait
Back when I was growing up, one of the most distinctive aspects of a residential area would be a grand mosque every 500 to 800 mtrs, immaculate streets which were swept atleast once a day, a cooperative (aka supermarket), plenty of tiny grocers and atleast one police outpost for managing the area. This was the blueprint and baring a few areas, you could bet your shorts that you'll find all these and more in each the dozen residential areas in the tiny oil-rich emirate.
Ofcourse, there would not be a single piece of garbage lying unattended and abandoned. None of the distinctive trash bins would overflow and littering did attract a huge fine. Even their huge fleet of trash compactors were clean and never had pieces of garbage sticking/hanging/flying out. Well, you could say that they had the luxury of millions of petrol-dinars.

Bengaluru.
Circa 2012: Every street corner, every vacant/semi-vacant plot, every disused footpath is stinking evidence of how our politicians hate us. Its not as if we have been producing more junk now, but its just living proof of how myopic our administrators are. Strangely, they appear to have excellent vision when it comes to securing their own families.
Landfills are not inexhaustible and even a 5th grader could tell you how long it would take a landfill with a limited capacity to fill up with the millions of tons garbage that is dumped everyday.
Ironically, we were called the garden city, silicon city and the city of a thousand lakes. A city where pensioners found their paradise on earth. I remember Bangalore as a city which was air-conditioned all the year round, with evening showers every day and wide tree-lined roads with very little pandemonium. Ofcourse, I could go on and on about how the past was wonderful.
When the local civic agencies announced the segregation with much fanfare, I was doubtful. None of the trash-collectors were aware or briefed on what they would need to do. A huge majority of the apartment complexes didn't have recycling units within their premises and no one knew how to segregate. Neetha and I educated our watchman on garbage segregation and even labeled the three bins so that residents would not mix the trash. A week later, even with a huge label, I saw an 'educated' lady from our apartment throw her sanitary pad in the bin marked 'Wet Waste'. What's the point?
I tried circulating an helpful note on segregation hoping that would clear the cobwebs of doubts from our hon'ble fellow residents. I am yet to see how that worked.
Today, as I went to work I saw the trash collectors wheel in their trash carts with 4 different bins and dump them all in one huge stinking pile. So much for segregation if the trash collectors themselves decide to mix it back. I wonder who's the wiser here.
As garbage begins to pile up, again, it is anyone's guess how this will end- In the grand time-tested way everything else works in Bangalore, this will also die a quick death with a politician who will arm-twist villagers to let all of us take a dump (pun intended) right at their doorstep. And soon, we will have another controversy to fawn over.

Recently we became the first city in India to have exclusive cycle lanes. Politicians and movie stars vied for a piece of the spotlight when it was officially inaugurated. Barely hours later, the euphoria died down and our motorists decided to park, drive and pretty much deny cyclists their lane. Big deal! Try denying right of way to a motorist in traffic and you'll live to see his fury. Today, the cycle lane is missing much of the paint, the signboards are drowned out by the 'No turn' boards and you'll cars, motorbikes and every other motorized vehicle known to man parked in these lanes.


Why is it so hard for us to adopt green living?
We hate recycling except if it is fancy polythene bags. We won't bother carrying our own shopping bags when shopping and we are reluctant to reduce the trash that we generate.
What's wrong with us, really?
We fling our garbage bags off our kitchen windows and balconies into the nearest vacant plot (aka landfill) and it is off our minds. This has to change.

Democratically, we are a very placid nation. And for this reason, the people in Kerala are a world apart because they won't hesitate to bring down their leaders (physically and otherwise) if they aren't happy with them. Which is one of the few reasons why the State has grown in leaps and bounds in the last two decades.

With dengue and related diseases on the raise, it appears that our holy cows are not the only creatures benefiting from this unexpected windfall.

I'm disheartened with the fact that we have a bunch of no-good geezers and intellectually-challenged goons leading us. This we gotta change.


Friday, May 04, 2012

Namma tappu alla [124/365]

source: sodahead
Yes, I'm finally learning Kannada.
15 years after I got off the boat, I finally decided it's time to polish my Kannada language skills in the land of endless traffic, insensitive autorikshaw drivers, by 2 coffees and bisi belle baath.


The title of today's post translates into 'Not my fault'. Something you'd hear very often here in Bangalore.
One of the most common headlines that you'd read in a tabloid and evening newspapers are how civic and law enforcement authorities spring into action when amenities/infrastructure is disabled or disrupted in localities where there are VIPs staying. (Read one such here)

We complain if civic amenities are not fixed and we complain when they are fixed.
We like to say how VIPs exert influence upon authorities to fix things in their localities, yet we will want to stay in those very same localities.
We love to say how the VIPs use a lot of resources, yet when we find a house in such a locality we will pay anything the landlord/broker demands just because we have influential neighbors.
We are a tough lot to please.

I've stayed in a locality that was once the home of a former PM.
The locality had everything a town would need - Four schools, two hospitals, two colleges, two theaters, two fuel stations, good roads, fire stations, police stations, bus stations and every possible amenity that you'd want in a good town. Of course, the family had every business in that locality either named after them or for them. Over the years people noticed how having a famous son of the soil in your neighborhood was a great thing. Dozens of apartment complexes, supermarkets, companies and world class highways  sprung up. The locality and his glory expanded to cover the growing population. While it's residents basked under the shadow of the heavyweight political family, they would always want to complain if they didn't like something.
So as you can see, we are a tough lot of hypocrites to satisfy.

Predictably I haven't stayed in Delhi. Yet.
I've heard wonderful stories of how it would be common to rub shoulders with the rich, powerful and khadi over lunch, dinner and chai.

Over the years, I've had to confront authorities to fix leaking taps, broken streetlights, and stray dogs. They have complied and I think it was just the way I approached them that made the difference. And no, I've never paid a bribe to get these done. Blaming the rich and powerful every time a water pipe springs a leak, a pothole gets covered, a telecom cable gets laid, and streetlights fixed on time is unfair to the upper echelons of society.

Not their fault. 
Especially if you are basking under their reflected glory.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

One day for Earth [112/365]

Greenpeace Cycle rally, Bangalore
Two years ago, when I wrote about the World Earth day, that was because of a popular campaign to switch off all lights for 60 minutes.
Good intentioned supporters of the campaign believed this would be the way to go and hoped this would lead to better awareness of the movement and would encourage citizens across the world to use their resources wisely.

2012: Nothing has improved.
The earth is in the plonk middle of what can be termed a definitive climate shift. Earthquakes and natural calamities are getting ever more devastating and millions around the world are suffering its after-effects.

What's strange is how reluctant we still are.
I've seen how sea levels have increased across the coasts in India.
Bangalore, down south, used to be known as a 'pensioner's paradise' and a 'city of gardens' for it's incredible weather and green cover. But over the past decade and a half, I've seen how the climate has changed. Summers are harsher and longer. Winters are bitter and short. The monsoons have been erratic (if any) and getting more unpredictable. And the story is pretty much the same in any part of this country.
The reason: Successive governments with vested interests and headed by individuals with absolutely no intelligence or inspiration and suspect motives. Politicians who started out honest but were anything but. And people who voted them to power and kept them there.

But it doesn't necessarily have to be only politicians, but common people too.
Case in point: Our apartment block has been facing severe water shortage, much like any other part of this city.
So much so that we had to buy two water tankers every day for the past two months.
This inspite of the fact that half the block is empty since their occupants are vacationing. So, what you have here a disproportionate usage. Breaking down this phenomena further, out of the six apartments that do have people staying (incl mine), three have 15 people each and the three remaining have only 2 people each. Given that we still do not have individual meters to calculate water usage, we are all paying the same amount for the water that has been used. Which means, the apartment that has 15 people will pay the same as the apartment that has only two. Get the drift?
Now, the plot thickens. We were astounded at how six apartments could still consume 3000 ltrs of water in a day, even when 14 apartments are empty. We decided to check for any leaking pipes. And we found the cause of all that consumption. One vacationer left his bathroom taps running. We had to summon a locksmith to gain access to his house and close the taps. His nonchalant and unapologetic response was "I'll pay for the water".
Well, thanks Einstein.

Eventually, its not about the money. But of the sheer amount of water that was wasted. Over 2000 ltrs of water a day for the past 20 days that he's been on vacation. 
Many of us are culpable to gross negligence too.
Many apartment owners in my apartment block own more than one vehicle. And some of them insist that they bathe their vehicles with atleast four buckets of water. Per vehicle. Every day.
This is the usage that we can see. I can't say they would be more discrete with using something as scarce as water for their other domestic chores. We theorize that since we are paying for the water, we have the right to use it as much as we want to. We also theorize that we can't make a change just by ourselves. We all forget the power of one.

People proclaim 'We can't save the earth'. Not possible.
I can save the earth. I don't have to be a rebel but an example.
The earth is the only place we will get our water and every other resource that we use. And abuse.

Until we get to point in our daily lives when we are able to recycle every single resource, use it wisely. Not because you are paying for it, but because you have just taken off that much off the planet.
The need is now. Earth can't wait for our consensus. I need to act. You too.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Able and Willing.. Part 1

Community Service to many of us is a farce. An event where we get a paid day off.
While many who volunteer their time think they are doing a favor to those who are underprivileged, I think it's the other way round. They are doing us a favor by letting us be a part of their special life.


The ThomsonReuters Foundation, tied up with 25 NGOs, each a pioneer in their field. Unprecedented in scale and involvement, we'll have 2500 employees taking part in 250 projects across 4 months.

In a series of posts, I'll attempt to pen down my experiences with the 19 projects that I will be a part of this year.

Sept 17th, 2011.
'Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day....teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime'
Unnati works on empowering those sections of the society that is underprivileged and undermined in more ways than one.
With 12 enthusiastic volunteers, we were overwhelmed at the sight of over 200 candidates at the Centre on a bright and balmy Saturday morning.
A quick briefing and a short slideshow of the program cleared any doubts that my team had.

But what really impressed many of us was how streamlined the entire process was.
Interview on such a massive scale is always a logistical nightmare. However in Unnati, fully completed applications are screened for authenticity and tagged for any one of the 12 vocations taught at the NGO.

The kind of candidates that we saw impressed us too. Guys and girls who you'd otherwise not bat an eyelid if you passed them on the street were there, wanting to learn, work and be able to stand on their own feet. Nearly all of them reached Unnati because they had friends/relatives who were taught at the NGO.
Most of them were humble and open to instruction, criticism and feedback. Some were hell bent on working in a particular vocation, even though they lacked the skills. We had to persuade them and explain to them why they would not suit a vocation.
But all of them had an amazing attitude about life, smiling even though in abject poverty.
For the 150 odd candidates that did crack the interview, Sept 19th is just the beginning.
The team at Unnati that made a difference!

Towards the end of the day, we all had a wonderful time. Many of us saw ourselves in the candidates we interviewed.
And on our way back, we promised ourselves that we would want to be there when the 70 day course at Unnati finishes on the 3rd of December.

Karunashraya - Hospice
Sept 18th, 2011.
'All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.'
The hospice for patients with cancer in it's advanced stages struck a very personal chord with me.
Having seen what cancer can do with a person and his/her family, the work that Karunashraya made me pause and ponder. Pain is an incredible thing. Something that you need to experience to know how much it pains, cancer is a painful death sentence.
Having seen my dad and his sisters loose their battles of cancer was painful. Scary even.
At Karunashreya, I saw death. Apparently the mortality rate at the hospice is as high as two deaths a day.

The history of the NGO is inspiring. Having gone through a corrupt bureaucracy, the NGO does manage to strike a delicate balance between altruism and sound policies.
We got to learn how the hospice functioned. What I noticed was how almost everything in the hospice was designed and done in such a way that death looses it's sting. 
Each of the 'guest' is allowed to wear their own clothes provided it is comfortable and easy to wear/remove, every guest is allowed to walk freely around the facility, every guest is given their choice of meal three times a day. And when the time comes that the guest has to 'depart', he/she is given a dignified way through doors that open directly into the veranda and wheeled to the 'Prayer room' where the relatives can accept the mortal remains.
All this is done so to make sure that none of the inmates see the bodies going out, even though all of them are quite sure that their turn to leave is not too far away.

Our project was to provide succor to the staff and nurses and relief even if it was just a day, from the gory reality of death around them.
Ranging from ages 18 to 25, you'd hardly notice anything different about the staff here and any other hospital. Dig deeper and you'll find that they all have a passion for selflessness. Polite yet steely resolved, working with terminally ill people require nerves of steel.
Would I want to work with Karunashraya again? Definitely Yes.

Sept 21st, 2011.
"For me, inclusion is about a community where everyone is recognized for their differences and everyone is recognized as belonging – not only in our schools, but in our communities."
As part of my third project, we had to plan and execute a gathering of 25 different NGOs that work for differently abled individuals. 
The first picture that comes to our minds when we talk about social service are images of individuals who are anemic, unintelligible and unscrupulous.
Having met 25 different NGOs involved in healthcare, employment and among specially abled individuals, my perception has improved. 
With over 2000 registered NGOs in the city of Bangalore alone, it is anybody's guess on why we need to pool in our collective resources. The need is certainly there. Being 'challenged' (or the more politically incorrect term 'disabled') does no longer mean that you should be begging for your living. With the wealth of resources that many of these NGOs have, getting a good job/living a respectable life is only a matter of connecting to the right organization.


With the NGOs promising to network and connect in a better way in the future, I believe we were able to hit all the right notes with our project.

Next Stop:
The Freedom Foundation


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Don't turn off the lights..


Reams of News rolls and megabytes of celebrity endorsements have managed to get our Mother One Hour.
Yes, It is finally that day of the year when we decide to turn off the lights and all things electrical.

Its Earth hour today and in India, its from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

What struck me as odd was one particular comment made by famous Bangalore choreographer, when he said ".. I plan to lock up my house and hang out with my friends at a pub."
So does he not already do that on Weekends?!

We take and we take, all that we are and we consume and aspire to consume come from our Earth. It is not like we are importing any of the raw materials from Mars or Jupiter. Much to the chagrin of most manufacturers, the Earth is not a bottomless pit of good stuff.
While we have the luxury of electricity for our smallest needs, there are scores and millions of villages in India, where its Earth Hour every hour of every day (Except during elections).
To our poorer village cousins, this eloquent exercise of turning off our dependence on electricity is a fancy way to show off. Pretty much like how we (most ordinary Indians) think when Millionaires and Hollywood A listers decide to donate $20,000 to charity. 'Argh, whats the use?'
Right from the moment we wake up, why even when we are asleep, we are an ungrateful lot of consumers. We pretend that climate change and consumerism is not linked and prefer to bludgeon the poorer in our nation suffer.

Amidst all this brouhaha of coercing people to turn off the lights for 1 hour, how much are we changing?
Its not like we are going to shut down the internet servers or the air conditioning or stop traveling on vehicles that guzzle fossil fuels or even stop our single minded determination to plunder Earth in as many ways.

Its just 1 hour. 60 minutes. That's how much we managed to negotiate. I've heard of 8 minute abs, but 60 minutes? Are you kidding me?

Lights off will not lead to less energy being pumped into the grid and experts question any savings that this worldwide effort will contribute. Infact, in an event that will probably see at least 50 million people participating, experts consider any savings or a dip in demand to be wiped off by the significant surge of energy required to fire up thermal and gas stations after the global initiative.


However, its the thought that counts. But poor levels of awareness and acute dependence on anything electrical fails the purpose.
An average American that I spoke to didn't know what the 'Earth Hour' was. She was aghast at the concept and wondered how the world'll communicate and thought that 1 hour was "excessive"

I've got nothing against campaigns that herald change, but a globe that is divided yet united by our dependence on fossil fuels, no campaign is strong enough as the changing the way we live, travel and work.
Many drops make an ocean, perhaps we need to understand that many rivers make a ocean.

We cannot let our ignorance absolve us of our civic duties.
I fail to understand how our media loves to pick and choose what they want us to know. Within moments of the death of Micheal Jackson, Millions around the world wept and grieved, but 3 years on, ordinary Americans are woefully unaware of the Earth Hour.
An entire month was dedicated to playing hits of Micheal Jackson, but our Mother gets just 1 hour.

We have only ourselves to blame for the way we live.We leave our computers switched on at the end of the day. Why can't we spare a few seconds to turn off the monitor.
We like to let that fan running, that air conditioner cooling, and that lights turned on even when we are not in the room for long. Sure we can afford to pay our utility bills, but do we ever realize that what we are wasting is something that we could have saved but will never come back? The light that I left on, all night, just deprived another family of its energy needs.

All is not lost though and like diamonds in the rough, we have rare examples of people who are getting increasingly eco conscious. Its a small movement but a momentous beginning. Patches of communities off Las Vegas and other parts of the world who live off the grid, generating their own power using solar and geothermal energy, growing their food and living a eco friendly life that can be sustained.

Doomsday predictions will come true, not because God wants us to suffer, but because we are living off a planet that ain't getting any richer or bigger. Unlike businesses that expand, our Earth is not going to magically merge with another planet.

Climate change has its proponents and opponents. Most in the developed world think the current climate change is part of an ongoing cycle of how the earth is. They quote ancient ice ages and warmer times as their defense, but conveniently forget that every major change in global climate wiped off almost all of its inhabitants. Probably, they haven't been to villages and towns in countries like South America, Africa and Asia. Climate change is a reality here. And we cannot wish it away.

Come to think of it, the Earth is pretty much like most Indian voters. Our elected leaders stoop to conquer and once they get the seat, they are pretty much on a rampage. We get plundered and they get rich. We are helpless until the next election.
We plunder and loot the earth we live in, and all is hunky dory until that drought or unexpected flooding hits us. We won't bother to check our abuse until we are hit with a natural disaster.
'Every dog has it's day'

But of course, most of us live in a cocooned life of existence that is on autopilot.
And as always, we believe bad things like this will happen only to other people.

If I could have a slogan, I would say:

STOP! Go Slow. Earth in desperate need of your corrective ACTion.

For now, Enrique could croon away ... "Don't turn off the lights...."


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