My resolution for the year 2015 was to live a simpler life. I may not have failed at it. I donated half of my possessions. Think about life cycle of everything. Understand that good design should take into account welfare of people and the planet. Realize that giving my money to a company who make products with no respect to quality, human living conditions and the environment is something to be ashamed of. A final straw on this journey for this year has been my India trip. It’s easy to forget about the world when living in America and surrounded by all sorts of excess.

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It was hard looking into the eyes of this child. He was sitting stark naked outside my relatives home covered in dirt. I bought so many things this year. And was feeling good about donating a few things.

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This photograph has my mother standing on a bed of rice grains. I come from a lineage of farmers. We have three crops a year. This year, we had one. CLIMATE CHANGE. Lack of rain. Drought. Mass migration of farmers to the cities looking for work. It’s happening to us for real.

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Grandpa’s backyard. We used to have ducks, turkey, chicken and peacocks in our backyard. We now have 2 ducks. The animals are disappearing. We no longer see bird nests in the trees.

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My badass mother. And my favourite model. She patiently showed me around the fields, taught me about the health of the farms, talked about the life cycle of products, went over some DIY home remedies, etc during this trip. She patiently listed to my rants about how we were destroying the planet. She understood when I told her I wanted to adopt a child. Nobody else does.

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Biodiversity needs to be celebrated. Animals are awesome ! I no longer see one unless it’s a tamed dog/cat or dead and cooked.

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I will always be a farmer’s granddaughter at heart. My heart sings when I am outdoors surrounded by nature.

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With age, comes beauty and wisdom. I must not develop the tendency to unlearn this principle in the name of vanity.

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My grandparents have a caster oil plant in the backyard. They boil the seeds and extract the oil periodically. Most ailments are cured by ingesting or applying this oil. Pill popping tendencies do not develop in such homes.

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Glass bangles can be as beautiful as diamonds. Most women in India have access to them. We women want to feel beautiful. I think it can be done without the extravagance and the excess.

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This guy is the groom. Given a choice, he picked the less extravagant options. Dressed down and refused to wear jewellry for the show. Proud of his choices. He constantly asks me “why do you need so many shoes”.

I have a few challenges for myself for 2016. I am going to do so much better than what I did, this year. Learn about sustainability and even try to make a difference. I learnt that air travel is one of the most polluting areas in terms of the emissions. You can eat local all year, become vegetarian, bike everywhere but that one flight to India makes up for all the emissions saved. My last expense for this year is paying for carbon offsets for the travel incurred. And getting my camera repaired.