“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” said Leonardo Da Vinci. Several examples of this abound around us.
Recently I heard a speaker use the example of zinc production in ancient India to elucidate the above axiom. It was an eye-opener for many of us that to overcome the problem of smelting zinc which volatalises at about the same temperature of 1000⁰, ancient Indians came up with a simple solution of ‘downward distillation of zinc vapour formed after smelting zinc ore using specifically designed retorts with condensers and furnaces’ so that smelted zinc could drastically cool down and solidify to zinc metal. There is evidence of industrial production in the Zawar area of Rajasthan in the 3rd to 4th century BCE, much much before China or Europe got into it. Isn’t this simplicity in design ?
Meditation is a simple yet sophisticated technique for clearing, calming and controlling the mind, which is anything but simple. It is through meditation that we can reach the highest levels of our consciousness.
Nature is simple, uncomplicated, rooted, grounded. Yet it is sophisticated through its majesty, fierceness, fury, serenity, diversity, inclusiveness, vibrancy, harmony et al. Earth Day observed on 26th March every year, when the lights are off for 1 full hour across the globe, or Save the Soil campaign currently being executed by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev or Chipko movement (tree hugging) of the Gandhian, ecological activist, Late Shri Sunderlal Bahuguna are all Simple yet Sophisticated solutions for protecting Mother Earth.
Here is an engineer-turned-defence scientist-turned NGO founder who is an ‘Anna daatha’ (food-giver) for nearly 20 years now, feeding 2 lac+ children every single day in a sustainable manner. Ask how ? Dr. Tejaswini Anathkumar, founder of Adamya Chetana, operating from Bangalore and 6 other cities across India
has stopped using gas cylinders for cooking of industrial scale meals. She has innovated some simple solutions to convert the huge amount of wet waste generated from the Foundation’s daily operations into pellets and briquettes which are used as fuel for cooking, heating water and other activities.
“Anna, Akshara & Arogya” are the 3 pillars of the NGO which is also implementing the ‘Green Sunday’ programme where volunteers plant trees every Sunday across the erstwhile garden-city Bangalore.
Dr. Tejaswini is so passionate about ‘Invest in our Planet’ (theme for Earth Day 2022) that since several years she has stopped using plastic bottles, containers and even paper cups and napkins. She carries her steel water bottle to all functions in a cotton bag right upto the stage, when she is to address any gathering. Experienced this when she addressed the 1st Women Company Secretaries Conference in Bangalore recently and felicitated some of us women (past and serving office bearers).
She also has a unique environment-friendly initiative where people can borrow upto 1500 steel plates and glasses free-of-cost for use in functions and events, if they want to avoid plastic and paper.
Another of her simple tips “Don’t snip off the milk cover packets. Instead slit it open which alone saves Bangalore of at least 50lac small plastic pieces being thrown into the garbage everyday !”.