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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Mr. Litterram!

“And…no. 189…done!” Exclaimed Mr. LitterRam excitedly. The only thing that gave him pleasure apart from spray painting the city walls (not with paint) was engraving his initials on the walls of every monument he could visit and spot. The spirits of those buried there used to mourn at his un-clean arrival but Litterram would be resolute. Armed with a small knife, he would write his initials or sometimes important messages like ‘I L U’ or ‘B Free’ on the walls that once looked healthy and clean as if straight of a paints commercial. However, who could stop Litterram! after all India is a free country, he would shout on the top of his voice and as a revenge, made sure that person would step on his banana peel!

It so happened that once day, Mr. Litterram, in his flights of garbage fantasies, stepped upon wrong victims- two angels of cleanliness who had descended from Hygiene Heavens to prepare a report on India’s never-ending, self-propagating, anti-decomposing and perpetual heaps of garbage. So, the two angels, disguised as humans, bumped into something, even more obnoxious than the rotting filth- you know who that was!

So, Litteram, who was happily enjoying his chocolate, peeled it slowly and let the golden and white pieces fly as if he were setting caged birds free with much sympathy. The angels, in a cool and requesting tone, asked him to keep his wrappers with himself but on this Litterram became furious. He spit the chocolate on the bench and then stared at the angels with fury of an injured lion. Then, at the top of his cacophonic voice shouted ‘India is a free country, understand?’ to which the hygiene angels had to opt for plan B. They said they were sorry and that as an apology, they would clean whatever garbage he does the whole day. Litterram did not bother and went to the park wall to pee, humming the latest hit song. All day, he gifted his city precious things like banana peels, chocolate wrappers, plastic bottles, plastic use & throw plates and of course, how could he forget his fav spot-the walls and the poles that gave all the dogs a solid complex. In the evening, when a tired Litterram returned home victorious, he laughed at the incident and went to sleep. However, in the middle of the night, something struck his hand- a soft thing, a bit watery and cold…yikes! He quickly switched on the night lamp and found that his bed-sheet was soaked in paan-stain and orange and banana peels were lying all around. He got up in horror but a hard thing touched his feet. He saw closely and found the shells of peanuts and pistachios were scattered all around…damn! He quickly went to the hall and saw a stink that was emanating from the area. The walls were wet and tiny golden wrappers were flying all around. He looked up and saw that the angels were laughing their heart out! One was even clapping with joy. He became furious and shouted at them, “What the hell? Why have you done this? Who are you to enter my house and throw garbage all around?”
Pat came the reply “Why, India is a free country, remember?”
“But this is my house, understand?”
“The country is yours too! So are the roads, the monuments, the parks, is’nt it? ” All of a sudden, he came into senses and felt deeply ashamed of the garbage he had been spreading all these years. He apologized and decided to Stay Clean and Keep Clean”, starting from himself, no matter if others don’t listen to him at first. They too will someday have their share of lessons!

PS- Guess what he did the next morning?-  He got a dustbin!

Check out his video-

Meet the great Indian Litterbug (by TOI)@ http://greatindian.timesofindia.com/

I agree to ensure (to the best of my abilities and circumstances) that this blog post remains accessible in an un-altered state for a minimum of one year.


30 comments:

  1. Hilariously written - but your point is driven home emphatically & effectively !

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  2. Hello Sir,

    Thanks a lot! I am really glad that you liked this take :)

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  3. A nice write up on what ought to be. Do u mind if i grab this opportunity to say what i feel. i do appreciate and will on my part encourage this drive which is in keeping with the ' Swach Bharat Abhiyan' yet i feel first things should come first. i believe every person should be responsible for keeping his/her surroundings clean without having that external pressure of being answerable to someone or without having the fear of some severe penalty being slapped upon you as it happens in many countries. It should come from within as it is well said ' Cleanliness is next to Godliness'.
    Secondly everybody needs to pay attention to ' Dignity in labor' in it's true perspective . By taking a mop and cleaning a spill in the train or picking up wrapper that a child has dropped one is not going to get reduced into being a safaiwala...he or she should not wait for the attendant to come and clean up the mess or let it remain till the train reaches the cleaning yard. Well this is just one example i have cited. When u will look around you will realize Ankita that no matter how educated we have become in our minds we still maintain a petty bourgeois or rather feudalistic mentality. This job is not for us to do...well if the person is not around and we have spilled our own coffee...there is no harm in wiping it off. Or if the common area is left unattended to because the housekeeping staff is sick we must pitch in.
    Look at all those common areas...especially those staircases and govt buildings and u will know what i mean.
    i am wondering how many more education do we need to make us break free from the shackles that still has us in it's grip?
    Do we really need a Orwellian ' Big brother is watching you' type to make us do what we should be doing naturally. Even a dog before sitting down brushes with it's paws the areas on which he is going to sit. And we call ourselves human...
    Once bitten twice shy i am residing in govt quarters and my neighbor and me we share a common staircase. It's three years now and i am still solely responsible for the cleanliness of that common passage. i sweep and mop daily while my neighbor passes by. We exchange pleasantries but not once has she expressed any inclination to share this responsibility. At first i thought i will ask her but i just let it go...thinking one day she might. But as usual i realized she too is struck with that same disease that many of our ladies here are. And that disease i have a name for it, ' Madamgiri' . How can she be seen with a broom and a mop...she is a ' Madam' after all and there are people to do all that kind of menial jobs. Nah ! she is not holding any office but her husband is but trust me on this...it is a rather very bad disease and has become endemic.
    On my part i just pray that i don't get infected by it.
    So my dear until we stop discriminating and realizing the dignity of labor no dustbin can ever remove the crap.
    We first need to understand “KAAM KOI CHOTA YA BADA NAHI HOTA , CHOTI YA BADI HOTI HAI TO INSAAN KI SOCH”

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    1. Hi Shivani

      Thanks a lot for the thoughtful comment. i agree completely with your views. It is basically an egoistic mindset, class as well as caste factor that prevents most people from keeping surroundings clean. I often see kids and pple coming from well educated and rich families have little or no sense of public cleanliness. This is depressing.

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  4. Beautifully written as usual, Ankita!

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    1. Hi Katrin

      Thanks a lot dear! i am so happy that you liked it :)

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  5. i jsut hope people take notice and DO something

    Bikram's

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    1. Hi Bikram

      Thanks! I wish for the same too :)

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  6. Great story and moral! It's very depressing when people treat the earth like one big garbage dump. Thank you for visiting our blog on The Villages in Florida. We appreciate your nice comment very much!

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    1. Hi Lowell

      Thanks a lot! i am so glad that you enjoyed the story! yes, such idiots deserve a strict punishment.

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  7. Oh, I hate those who carve out on trees and monuments. You are right, we have to feel that everything belongs to us, only then we can make people responsible.

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    1. Hi Saru

      thanks. yes, we need to bring a change in the basic attitudes.

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  8. Hilarious. Hope people get the message.

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  9. Hello greetings.

    Very hilarious story with a lesson in it.

    Although our Prime Minister initiated the program to clean India and many ministers, politicians, movie stars and celebrities posed for newspapers and TV channels, all neatly and smartly dressed with clean brooms and exhorted the public nothing was really done. There is filth and garbage lying all around India. The real filth lies in the slums of India but none of the politicians or celebrities went there for cleaning. They only cleaned the clean places for the sake of publicity. They think the public are fools.

    Corporations and municipalities which are suppose to do the major cleaning are sleeping. They don't even provide waste bins on the road side, there are no urinals in parks and public places, no proper drainage, no proper garbage collection methods and so on and so forth.When the agencies entrusted with this work are least interested, it will be too much to expect the public to cooperate.

    Under the circumstances, India will continue to have numerous filthy, stinking places.

    You are one of the few people in India who really want a clean India.

    Best wishes

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    1. Hello Sir,

      Thanks a lot! I am really happy that you enjoyed reading this post! U r very right, most celebs who are involved with this cleanliness mission, are publicity hungry and politicians too, are basically interested in votebanks and sycophancy.
      Thanks!!

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  10. You have written in a funny way...
    But this entire littering habit annoys me like anything...
    Let the change begin from us!

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    1. Hi Loco

      Thanks! I am really happy that you liked it :)

      Yes, it is really very annoying, sure!

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  11. Creative story, Ankita.
    Sadly, it's true. We have many Litterrams unfortunately.
    Even "literates" are in the group...
    Hope they read this & have some sense.
    We want SwachhBharat.

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    1. Hi Anita

      Thanks a lot! yes, let's hope so!

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  12. Message well conveyed, a hilarious story with a good moral!! Since childhood I always used to wonder why things never changed around me - in spite of all the notices, sign boards, etc - many people never bothered to understand the point of cleanliness in the society!! But I am really happy that these campaigns are spreading the message wide and clear which makes people think before they litter.

    Good post Ankita!!! :)

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    1. Hi Charan

      Thanks a lot! I am so happy that you like this! yes, people just do not bother and even after such campaigns, only a small percentage of population gets the message. That's indeed sad.

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  13. This is a sweet story, but conveys a deep message ... loved it :-)

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    1. Hi Amrit

      Thanks a lot! I am glad you liked it :D

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  14. A good take on the prompt...nicely written:)

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  15. Superbly written Ankita! Enjoyed reading this!

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    1. Hi Divsi

      Thanks a lot! I am so glad that you enjoyed it :)

      Delete

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