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Garbage mentality

Yes, that's what came into my mind when I came across an utterly idiotic bunch of Indian tourists at the Eravikulam National park. We had to wait in a queue to buy the tickets for the short bus ride that was to take us to a particular point at the hill-top from where one had to take a 2 km trek further uphill to spot the rare and endemic Nilgiri Tahrs. It was a long serpentine queue, it being the holiday season. There was a family of about 10- 5 rotund adults and 4-5 kids in their teens-in front of us. For the entire one and plus hour of waiting time, they ate sundry items- from fresh corn off the cob, to chocolates, to biscuits, to buying and eating many other items from the mobile hawkers around.

Well, what really got my goat was the complete lack of civic sense and disregard for public property. In spite of perfectly operational dustbins placed at regular intervals, the family chose to fling the waste papers, empty cobs and water bottles all around the place. Even worse was the nonchalant manner in which the adults threw the garbage from where they stood to the corner of the road without a care. It made me want to just shake them up by their collars and fling them to the ground.

My blood boiled at the sight, especially when the same energy that went into littering in the direction opposite to the dustbins could have gone into putting the waste into a bin that was right under their noses. They made a complete mockery of the many bill-boards that carried clear messages against littering and warnings of a fine and imprisonment for those who defied the rule. I'd have laughed at the irony if I were not so distressed with the whole thing.

But, I'm equally disappointed in myself for not airing my voice directly to the uncouth people instead of just fuming from within and making loud remarks in a feeble attempt to embarrass and shame them into propriety. I thought of different ways of confronting them but couldn't bring myself to directly question them. The ever practical husband too cautioned me against getting into pointless debates and fight. In his opinion, such people cannot be brought to senses by mere remarks and arguments since they have the capability to turn the situation to a disadvantage for even the one who is right and just. So, I just kept fuming and went away from the scene to make life simpler for myself.Sigh! :-(

These people were not poor from the obvious display of chunky jewellery and expensive gadgets they had on themselves. They also didn't seem deprived of formal education. Now, who needs foreign enemies to butcher the country's pride and economy when we have such gems within? On a different note, just wondering, how did the authorities plan to implement the punishment of a fine/imprisonment when all we had was a poor woman attendant, who was obviously ill-paid too, to pick up after these rouges for their cold-blooded crime.

Is there any hope at all?

Comments

  1. I can imagine feeling just the same in your place, in fact having just the same conversation with hubby too :P

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    1. Its so sad, no? totally frustrating to share public spaces with such creatures :-(

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  2. Shiiii....people can be so disgusting...and this mentality cannot be rectified by any education...it would have been so frustrating for you but arguments would have quite impractical thing to do.

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    1. Really, the civic sense needs to be inculcated at home but I just shudder to think that here the children were already spoilt which means the next generation in that family will also continue this legacy :-0

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  3. this is the first time I am saying it aloud, but I am beginning to feel disappointed and have started losing faith in our country and people. I feel ashamed at our filthy and lackadaisical attitude. Why do we even need to be told to do the right thing? I would have felt the same as you did. There is this intense burning sensation from within to confront the wrongdoers. All that confrontation results into a big unnecessary debate, where finally you'll be the one to be shamed!

    Shame on us!

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    1. yes, it is becoming difficult to remain positive about the state of affairs in our country but what to do? we badly need strong and good governance!

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  4. These very people, if you send them abroad, they will live by the rules and maintain the basic cleanliness required .. this mentality is so bizarre. I was talking to some Desi's and they were like "I just want to go back home where we can spit freely!" .. I was disgusted within but just like you I didnt react but just moved on..

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    1. arrgh..they said that??? they need to be spitted on their faces!!!

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  5. These would be the very same people who when visiting a poorly maintained place would complain about the ill maintenance, lack of cleanliness and the kind. Even if you react and give them your piece of mind, they would not give 2 hoots about it.

    Until later,
    Keirthana :)

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    1. well I doubt if they can differentiate between a well-kept place and otherwise for they really don't know about cleanliness or in all probability will not be bothered about sub-standard conditions since they'd feel at home that way!

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  6. Even if u told them something I doubt they wd have understood or felt ashamed. To hide their deficiencies they wd have just targeted u in some way or the other & made ur trip miserable.

    p.s: I'm thinking, maybe if u had given them an empty plastic cover and told them most politely to put their garbage in tht, do u think it wd have worked;-P.

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    1. I had all the mind to put them along with their garbage into the dustbins and you are talking about being polite??? Maybe if I had held a bag, they'd have asked me to trail along with them to collect their waste if I were so bothered ;-)

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  7. Civic sense is in-built or enforced.Both were sadly missing.They are a blot on our society.

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    1. since it is not in-built for many in our country, maybe it is time for some strong and promptly executable laws, don't you think, sir?

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  8. You are right, Uma, it is the garbage mentality! We will clean our own house and throw the trash in front of the neighbour's house. And will even argue our stand. Basic civil sense just does not exist, maybe we are missing some genes? Totally second the comment above mine!

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    1. I know, the feeling is the same when I see people around spitting away freely from buses and other vehicles. This country really needs a overhauling.

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  9. Sense of responsibility towards the community and public property does not come with education sadly Uma. Garbage mentality indeed.

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  10. Really wonder what drives people to behave so irresponsibily .. Would this bunch do the same in a forgien country?

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    1. It's a viscous cycle I guess, Aarthy. People might think, there is anyway so much dirt, a little more cannot affect. For such a huge population and people with such mindsets, esp, we need very strict, and quick-to-implement rules.

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  11. in most of the cases i dont get into any argument and pick their litter myself and do the job, most of the people understand and dont repeat it, some make fun of me.. but for the few for whom it works.. i do it.. but i know how frustrating it gets..

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    1. Wow, Swati, you actually pick up their litter??? *bows down in awe*..I don't qualify to speak anymore on this!

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  12. Such people live with a mentality that everybody throws things all around, outside the dustbins, so what good will happen if we adhere to the rules?? They do not realize that if everyone starts thinking that way, all we'll get to see is huge mess!!

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    1. True, Radhika..it seems like a viscous circle!

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  13. Education could be one solution to such problems. But, what kind of education? Is it the knowledge based education that is thrust on the young?No, we need awareness based education. Most children are taught to memorize information and there is very little focus on understanding the significance of some information. I went through some of the government text books of class V and VI. They seem to be good in content, but very little is practiced. We are in the cell phone age with a mind set of primitive tribes.
    T N Neelakantan
    www.neel48.blogspot.com

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    1. True that!, Mr. Neelakantan..We need education that will open our senses and allow us a richer experience of life as a whole and not something that we need to memorize to get pass that coveted rank, college and university!

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  14. Distressing indeed but can be seen happening almost everywhere in our country. Some people need only the fear instilled to bring them to senses, which rarely happens:(

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    1. That's the sad part, it happens almost everywhere and yes it was very distressing to see it happen in a place that had natural beauty all around and despite having multiple dustbins to take care of all the litter! :-(

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