Lagaan

For the Bollywood challenged, Lagaan is tax. And I am not talking about Income tax, for tax can be on anything under the Sun. But even then, I was not prepared for this.

New Zealand, a heaven on earth, is known for its dairy farming, agriculture and wool. Since these dominate their exports too, huge percentage of its people are into these businesses. Which means, after humans, cows and sheep make up a majority of the country’s fauna.

The people had slumbered into a state of bliss when the government decided to shake things up. Due to the millions of cows and sheep across the countryside, they naturally release tons of greenhouse gases. These need to be controlled to slow down the warming of earth’s surface.

So the government decided to tax the burps and farts of the cattle. Imagine! There’s a serious meeting going on in the highest echelons of power when suddenly someone burps or someone farts on the job, and Eureka! Let’s tax those, says someone. And a law gets passed.

The people were pissed. However they were told to charge more for climate-friendly products, whichever they are. Cheers to that they said and gorged on climate-unfriendly food and burped away to glory.

However, the global consumers of New Zealand’s climate-friendly dairy products were not amused. In India the consumers protested. Indians are known to be creative in everything they do. It was not different this time.

They threw a big party for their own formidable cattle force and a gigantic feast was arranged. They were fed the most gas inducing nuts in addition to the usual hay. And the result was a symphony of earth shuddering burps and farts which shook the neighbourhood and resulted in an Ozone hole overhead.

However, some enterprising Indians are now exporting cattle fart depressors to New Zealand and are laughing all the way to the bank.

Yatindra Tawde

Image courtesy unsplash.com and Leopold Maitre

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The Bus

As man evolved, he understood that, compared to other animals, he was a weakling. This was apparent on his various hunting expeditions to provide food for his dependents.

In addition to many other parameters, he lacked in speed. Most of the time, his prey galloped away or ran away, and he was left panting by the wayside.

Thus his need to domesticate various other animals like the horse to gain speed. This was his preferred means of transport, whenever he needed to travel faster, till the industrial revolution, when mechanised vehicles were introduced in the form of cars.

But these cars ran on petrol or diesel which were in short supply, hence expensive.

He felt the need to transport a larger number of people at a time and thus a bus was born. Though it ran on the same expensive fuel, the higher numbers it carried made it economical. But this dependence on buses and cars for faster travelling meant burning of the highly polluting fuels which became one of the major factors of global warming.

Thus started the search for cleaner and inexpensive energy sources.

Electrical energy is cleaner and today it is taking baby steps towards electric cars but there are other cheaper energy sources too, on which buses and cars can run. Like CNG, LPG, etc. but man is never satisfied.

Which brings us to the news which I read today.

It seems UK has taken a very important step where they have test driven a bus run by poo.

Poo, did I say!

Coming to think of it, it certainly would be inexpensive as it gets generated regularly, mostly every morning. Of course, there are those unique specimens who generate it untimely. And then there are few who fall ill and cannot hold it in and have to rush to generate.

There are enough species who do this extremely important social work day in and day out and contribute to reducing the global warming. My salutations to the scientists who conceived this unique energy source, based on methane conversion.

The day is not far, when this poo generation takes the form of an industry where various species are lined together every morning to generate energy for the ever growing vehicle numbers.

Already I see the importance of certain middle Eastern countries going down and corresponding elevation of another country which already has such an industry lining the huge network of railway tracks all across the length and breadth of its vast geography. It just needs to be tapped and exploited in a proper way.

Yatindra Tawde