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Journey of the Waterless UrinalSeptember 27, 2016
HOW TO BE A HIT WITH YOUR PARENTS! - by Gowri Omanakuttan
In this series of articles, we will debunk the seemingly eternal parental displeasure and attempt tp turn it into an environment of joy and harmony. I cannot remember the number of times I have been told “you don’t care about home, you just want to be with your friends/sleep/be lazy/spend money/change the rest of the world.” You would think that this would stop at least after your second job. Unfortunately, there are only two ways to end this, either your parents give up on bringing it up entirely or you concretely prove to them that you do care about your home and you don’t just want to be with your friends/sleep/be lazy/spend money/change the rest of the world.
Here is my story of how that changed.
It had been about two weeks since I started working with Reap Benefit (RB). My life had quickly escalated from days of endless hours of deep sleep to days of (at least 12) hours of waken productivity. Surprisingly enough, I lapped it all up like a little puppy would milk. My parents’ joy of seeing me work hard lasted through the first week and slowly, over the course of time, lost its novelty. This is not to say that they weren’t proud, but it was only a matter of time before it became passive. Work, on the other hand, was getting hectic by the day. Words and concepts such as Human Centered Design, Rapid Prototyping, Usage Point Optimisers, Arduino Technology and its allied others-that you would expect to find in the RB Preamble(if it had one)- automatically made me sound cool in every gathering that cared to ask me what work working with a company listed under Forbes 30 under 30 is like. Clearly, all this flew past my parents’ head after the initial acknowledgement.
During the latter part of training, the newly joined battalion of local problem solvers (that’s what we are called) were required to conduct audits at home. Already a few days past the deadline and with the looming pressure of getting sh*t done, I opened the Energy Audit document at 11 in the night and decided to find out exactly how much energy my family was consuming. I walked around the house and listed out all the appliances and devices that we have and its wattage(basically the amount of energy each appliance consumes). Clearly since I had given the impression that I didn’t care enough about home, I wasn’t the best person to have mapped out the usage pattern. So I woke my mother up, deciphered whatever I could from her half-asleep mumbles and did the rest of the calculations while my parents slept. To verify my own skills, I cross-checked my findings with the electricity bill and to my ego’s satisfaction, it was roughly almost the same. The next morning, I woke up feeling like I was in a position to tell my parents where their investments had gone wrong. And I did exactly that. I went on to highlight how replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, and generally reducing the unnecessary usage of lights even in the day would save energy and also money. Specifically pointing out exactly how much money would be saved over a span of a year even.
While I was pulling up closer to home that evening after work, my house seemed less lit up than usual. The incandescent bulbs had been replaced. And around the dining table sat my happy parents under the light of two LED bulbs drinking chai, asking me what my next audit was going to be. I had secretly won them over without my knowledge.