Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A matter of time

My twelve year old came home from school one day and stated that all the rough work he does, has to happen on waste paper. 'Waste paper' turned out to be paper which has already been printed on one side and rejected for some reason. Instead of throwing it, the teacher had told them to staple it in small sheaves and use that for all the calculations and other rough work they need to do. Pleased that he could do something so tangible for the environment, he badgered me for some. On learning that I had none right then, his face fell and then brightened when I told him that I would ask his father to get some from work.

It seemed eerily similar to another childhood, never mind the generation gap. The reactions were diametrically different though. I remember when I was twelve, my father would often tell us to do the exact same thing and we would be mortified at what our friends would say. We would argue with him about how we could afford fresh paper and how it seemed 'cheap' to reuse paper. Funny, what seemed so 'cheap' yesterday, appears so 'classy', so smart now.

My father is no more and will never know that his idea would be considered so laudable today. Who knows how many such ideas are waiting to be resurrected? How many ideas that seemed irrelevant then, seem vital today? Only time will tell!

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