Posted by: akilamoni | August 3, 2006

For the perfect drink- add water, sugar, concentrate and pinch of pesticide!

So what am I upto these days?

I am travelling like crazy. I am travelling to places whose names cant be pronounced my co intern.

I am acting as his translator- his window to the rest of the world- by deciphering what people around him are talking in tamil. In the process am also getting him beaten up by conveying the opposite of what he means.

He wanted me to tell the cook that the food was good and that as they say in North India” Unke haathon ko choomna chahtha hoon”. Well in South India no one kisses anyones hand for good cooking. They say usually put it as “I will buy a golden bangle for the person who has cooked such great food.” And the prospect of my friend kissing the cook’s hand was beyond imagination. So I told blankly told the cook “Murthy Anna, Anish here wants to make a golden bangle for you”. Murthy anna gave Anish a dirty stare. Last I heard, Anish’s coffee had no sugar!!!!

Ya, and as the news mentioned yesterday, I am also adding pesticides to my drink!

People who have visited the plant, often ask us at the end of the plant tour, ” So where do you add the pesticides?”

There are friends who message me now, (who havent messaged in ages), “oye, kya be… whatzup! I heard you are adding pesticides”. Ya I just walked across the road, bought a gram of DDT and added it to Anish’s coffee when Murthy Anna missed adding sugar to it.

As I saw this particular social worker cry herself hoarse on National TV, I couldnt but help my sessions with my social worker roomies back in TISS. The saner ones of the lot, who happen to be my very good friends, would hear me out fully though they never fully believed me.

I was always seen as the blood sucking corporate, adding pesticide to a drink and making millions.

I had this conversation with a very close friend, whom I would label- intelligent.

Akila: ” So you think soft drinks are dangerous”
Friend:” yaya…very much”
Akila:”Why?”
Friend:”Because , hmmm, you know it is carbonated and causes stomach disorders”
Akila: ” so why do they sell soda on streets?Isnt that supposed to give ease from stomach troubles?”
Friend:”Ya, but they ARE DANGEROUS”
Akila:” okie, but why?”
Friend: ” No da, they add this substances to it, you know… its bad”

Several you knows later, I convinced him of what I thought. I think he agreed with me because he wanted me to stop talking!

My roomie from TISS had demonstrated outside the Palakkad plant. Knowing her, I asked if she truly felt for the issue? She said she was more fascinated with the idea of doing a dharna than anything. They were a group of budding social workers who had visited the Plachimada plant.
The minute they got down from the bus, the organizers invited them to shout slogans. And there it was in the papers next day- TISS STUDENTS PROTEST OUTSIDE COKE PLANT.

I think they forgot to mention somewhere in the column that coke recruits regularly from TISS!!!

If only this Nation would for once lend a ear for scientific facts, eye for details, a sense of logic.

If only it had a will of its own.

As I watched the news item on TV, I could almost imagine the consumer on the street thinking twice before picking up a drink- why? its got that stuff you know.

I could almost feel the nation swaying under the spell woven by the social worker.She claims that she is fighting for a cleaner nation.

I think she is just fighting for another 15 mins of fame.

The next time you drink/dont drink a soft drink- just remember drink it/dont drink if you want to. Drink it if you feel thirsty. Dont stop drinking it because someone is asking you not to drink.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. YOu know something!!!
    I was glad to read this post.
    Could see that you are getting into the soul of your organization/company. And thats great!
    Noones got a clean slate anyways.
    The only thing is , wherever we are, lets be good!!!!

  2. loved this post yaara..we are so hypocritic to the point of being mad…

    by the way..miss u all..

  3. You are right – everyone should have known that soft drinks arent health food anyways! To jump on the bandwagon now doesnt sound intelligent. But I guess what takes the mickey out of you is the implication that you are in cahoots with devil and they are all the whitish souls descended from heaven.
    But I have a few uncomfortable questions for you?
    1. Will you consciously state that Coke applies the same health standards to its Indian market products as it does in the UK or the US? No proof needed – your conviction is enough
    2. Well, a lab in India comes out with an accusation. And immediately, a lab in UK comes out discrediting the aforementioned lab. Pardon me, but I have enough management experience to see the connection.
    3. In a country where drinking water is a luxury(not for you and me but surely for those rural folks who walk miles for a pot of water?), does it make sense to encourage Coke and Pepsi to siphon off millions and billions of litres for a product, while it may or may not be unhealthy and may or may not have pesticides, is surely not a health drink?

    I work for a MNC myself and i know I am not doing my country a favour by slaving for a different country’s economy – and I daresay, I would stick to my job even if my MNC was found guilty of such malpractices as long as it doesnt affect my career. But I am an hypocrite and I dont mind admitting it. Are you the type who would resign from Coke if they are found to be applying different standars for India and Europe? If so, I will definitely salute your courage. if not, this post doesnt really mean anything

  4. not surprisingly, you chose not to answer!

  5. @raj:
    1) I didnt answer because I was confused reg. to which post you had commented on. I read the comments in my mailbox.So I waited till I checked my blog.

    now unto the rest.

    1) Well, I have spent enough time in the plants in Coke. I would drink their product….Thatz conviction enough for me.

    2)I really dont have an answer for this…will give my “just-2 – months-into-the company” reason!

    3)Okie.. Coke does take water… but I think there is enough proof that the water we take out is hardly leaving places with no water. We have statistics/figures/numbers for that!

    4):) well… I would first find out the scientific facts behind what is happening(like I did a few months ago), If I am convinced that the co. is doing the right thing and more importantly if I like what I do and am happy with my life….I would just continue doing my mundane stuff!

    5) Ya….mebbe the post doesnt mean anything! mebbe it doesnt have to. After all it is mundane stuff!

    6)If people want to listen to dirty stuff, they will choose to hear just the dirty stuff(even if it is false/not scientific) is what I have realised in the past few days!!!

  6. akila,
    that was a very honest reply. i appreciate that. But I’d say it is not about people who go by rumours and stop drinking PEPSI or TISS workers who just protest for the heck of it.
    1. People in Plachimada felt hell enough about the water situation to protest desparately. That protest may have been joined by organisations and individuals with selfish motives but that doesnt take away the raison d’etre of the protest, does it?
    2.I have problems with this “A accused me. He is hardly saint himself hence this accusation doesnt stink” kind of defences. Basically, you are taking the focus away from the issue and concentrating on the person. That is as rational as dropping PEPSI from your fridge just because XYZ said it has pesticides. Point is this sort of discredit the accuser is a tried and tested tactic in the world of management – which is why when that UK lab came out against CSE at this time, it stank of the typical management spin practices.
    3. No matter what we think, at the end of the day, COke is not a health drink and the water used to produce coke can be better used to provide a villager.
    4. Whether the accusation is true or not, I feel it is good that some people have stopped taking in Colas.

  7. okie…I was just wondering if you could give me some scientific proof of people going through hell in plachimada? if you do can you plz pass it on?If you are going to give me the 600 borewell theory, I will say right away it is false. If anything in terms of decrese in water table level etc

    hmmmm,well I didnt quite get what you were trying to say in the second point? But, If you could believe a CSE report without even seeing it/ checking if the lab has enough credentials, why cant you believe a UK lab report!!!!logical?(again…ppl want to hear dirt, they will choose to hear just that)

    3)Did we ever say coke is a health drink? okie letz ask you, is mango juice a health drink? letz try drinking mango juice everyday? Has rasna ever claimed it helps children become taller, sharper, smarter?
    Even the Gods felt that nectar is good but only in moderation!

    4)sure water used for producing coke can be used by a villager….actually water we waste everyday also can be provided to a villager….Now if you are going to write back saying…is the logical conclusion of the above statements that water used for coke is wasted anyways? I will say….”I asked you that first itself”!(just kidding)

    5) ah….the unscientific part of the human mind called emotion pops out….Good that you are happy(even if the accusation is false/true)!!!!

  8. You are missing the point again. It is not about me believing the CSE report or not. I never claimed that it is true or false. Point is about you trying to discredit
    a) Plachimada people – now, are you saying that they face no hardships and they simply felt a whim against cola companies and cooked up a storm? I dont have any proof but I dont believe that people would agitate that much – and that too against such a powerful company just to satisfy a whim. This is where you dont comprehend the problem – you seem to be naive enough to believe that Plachimada was all about a bunch of bored TISS workers hopping on a van and having a good day out there shouting slogans. When you start looking at it from that point of view, naturally, you wont ask the question why people – people – went on agitation. That doesnt always happen in India. If you again are naive enough to believe that it was the politicians who incited people against Coke, well, good for you. Even our politicians are not that imaginative to cook up a charge against Coke and then incite people against them. Really, it is a question of belief here – you want to believe that everything against coke is cooked up. Fair enough – but that makes you the same as the people who believe CSE report without knowing anything about the science behind it. So, why the sanctimonious post against them?You are as much an hypocrite as the rest of us. Its okay – almoste very single person on the planet is a hypocrite – but the biggest ones are the ones who then go about sanctimoniously calling others hypocrites – yeah, I belong to that category and I know it 🙂
    b)You are doing the opposite of people wanting to hear dirt – you want to hear only Gold 🙂
    Never mind, we will agree to disagree.

  9. You are missing the point again.

    #### so have I been missing the point so long??

    It is not about me believing the CSE report or not. I never claimed that it is true or false. Point is about you trying to discredit
    a) Plachimada people – now, are you saying that they face no hardships and they simply felt a whim against cola companies and cooked up a storm? I dont have any proof but I dont believe that people would agitate that much – and that too against such a powerful company just to satisfy a whim.

    #### so it means that a logical possibility is that it mite not exactly be the truth rite??

    This is where you dont comprehend the problem – you seem to be naive enough to believe that Plachimada was all about a bunch of bored TISS workers hopping on a van and having a good day out there shouting slogans.

    ###### That was just one incident which i quoted….if you think my entire views r based on those….am sorry ur quite mistaken…

    When you start looking at it from that point of view, naturally, you wont ask the question why people – people – went on agitation. That doesnt always happen in India. If you again are naive enough to believe that it was the politicians who incited people against Coke, well, good for you. Even our politicians are not that imaginative to cook up a charge against Coke and then incite people against them. Really, it is a question of belief here – you want to believe that everything against coke is cooked up. Fair enough – but that makes you the same as the people who believe CSE report without knowing anything about the science behind it. So, why the sanctimonious post against them?You are as much an hypocrite as the rest of us. Its okay – almoste very single person on the planet is a hypocrite – but the biggest ones are the ones who then go about sanctimoniously calling others hypocrites – yeah, I belong to that category and I know it 🙂

    #### I just said…drink it if u want to….dont stop drinking it becoz some1 else asked u to!!!!! so…..
    b)You are doing the opposite of people wanting to hear dirt – you want to hear only Gold 🙂

    #####If i were to be wanting to hear gold I wouldnt have been in the org…..

    Never mind, we will agree to disagree.

    ##### Yes….way to go!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: