A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Because I am angry and sad..

Posted by Pepper on June 14, 2012

Of all things that bother me about our nation, one that tops my list is the ‘I only care about myself’ attitude. People will screw you a million times over, just to race ahead by a few steps. Well, that is an extreme statement. Talking about less extreme examples, I see cab drivers bringing their cabs to a halt in the middle of the road when they see a passenger. And then they take their own sweet time to move ahead. Perhaps their old engines take a while to splutter to life and come to speed once they are turned off. This adds to the snarling traffic jam. Why not stop in the corner so that other vehicles can pass? Why do you have to stop in the middle of the road, obstructing traffic? Oh right. It is because you don’t care about what others have to go through. Why should you take the effort of moving on to the side?

And then I see people littering all over. A lot of times, I have seen people in little shops lining the road, cleaning their floors and sweeping out the trash directly onto the road. I feel appalled. Why do you do that, I ask them? They say it takes too much effort to collect the trash and put it into the bin. Okay, so to save that minuscule bit of work, you will dirty the streets? Clean your own home, because it belongs to you. It is your personal abode. Dirty the road because it is not your personal property. Who cares if others have to wade through the dirt in order to walk? Your own homes remain clean and that is all you care about.

A month ago, the sister and I were observing a family of four. After having eaten some bananas, the kids handed the peels to their parents. The parents said “Yahin par phek do” (Throw it away right here). Horrified, the sister and I picked up the peels from the road and looked around for a trash can. When we couldn’t spot one, we pulled out a plastic bag and put the peels in it. We told them we will carry them back and discard them in the trash can at home. All this was done in front of the family. We then told the kids that littering on the roads is not right. Beside that, anybody can slip on the peels and have a bad fall. All of us should try and keep the roads clean. The kids nodded quietly. The parents, a tad embarrassed, told us, they had asked the kids to throw it on the road only momentarily. They were planning to pick it up from there themselves. Of course!

My mom, who was witnessing all of this, told us it is useless talking to people and explaining to them. They will continue to do the same things.  The sister and I argued with mom and told her, useless or not, we will do it. These kids are the future of our nation. I cannot watch their parents encouraging them to litter. If they have to hear from a stranger on the road, so be it. Perhaps it will make no difference to them. Or perhaps it will. The 0.1% possibility of it making some difference makes it worth it.

And then there is my biggest pet peeve. Spitting on the road. Have you noticed? 9 our of 10 auto drivers spit on the road. Most of the times, it is a disgusting red paan and gutka filled spit. Almost every auto I travel in, I tell the driver to not spit, whenever I see him doing it. I try my best to be polite. I resort to begging.  Some of them listen to me, but since they are chewing gutka, they have to spit it out. They can’t swallow it. So what should they do? I don’t know. I tell them to carry plastic bags and spit into them, but at the back of my mind, I know how unfeasible that is. Beside that, it is not a very environment friendly option either. And if there is no way out, then they shouldn’t be chewing those nasty things at all. Unless they are doing it at home. I ask them, why don’t they spit in their autos? Because they know it will dirty the auto. So then why not worry about dirtying the road. Just because it does not belong to you the way the auto does?

When I was a child, I was told that people who behave this way have to be pitied upon. They lack education. They are ignorant. They do not understand hygiene. But as I grew up, I realised that is not true. In most cases, I see educated citizens having the same kind of disregard for anything that does not belong to them. If those people did not care about hygiene, how would you explain them cleaning their homes, while dirtying the roads? How would you explain them not wanting to spit in their autos? I really do not know why Indians have the ‘I only care about myself and my personal property’ attittude.

Let me get to the reason behind this rant. Two days ago, my dad slipped on a banana peel. He didn’t notice it because it was hidden beneath layers of dirt. He fell down, head first and hurt himself. Badly. His lip was torn. His glasses were flung across on the road. He bled profusely, soaking up handkerchiefs. When he got home, we were beyond horrified to see his wounds. Not only was his lip swollen heavily, the contours of his upper lip seemed disfigured. It was a ghastly sight, one that we couldn’t bear to see.

His wounds are now healing, but whenever I think of it, I can’t help but seethe. If only I knew who it was that threw that peel, I would drag him out by his hair and thrash him till he begged for mercy. You walk over me a hundred times, and I might take it. If you mess around with my parents even once, I swear I will tear you apart. When it comes to my parents, I am that protective tigress that has  knife like claws and a threatening fang for added measure.

It was my dad who fell the other day. It could have been anybody else, including the family members of the person who threw that peel there. Why don’t people realise that? When people spit out on the roads, they might not care about the disgusting stains it leaves. But how can they escape the pathogen filled air that they create? It might get to their dear ones, if not them. People in our country can live with this ‘I don’t care about you attitude’ only for so long. Ultimately, every action of ours has a consequence that we have to bear ourselves. The day we understand this fully, our country will be a better place.

Advertisements

66 Responses to “Because I am angry and sad..”

  1. R's Mom said

    Gosh, hope uncle is fine now…

    As a parent there is only one thing I have realised ‘your child will do EXACTLY what you do’

    So, R and I travel by BEST bus everyday to reach her stop….during the starting days (sometime last year when she got admitted to school) I would keep the bus ticket with me and throw it into a bin near the busstop…

    One day, R asked me why ‘and I told her that if everyone started throwing kachra here and there, the place would become dirty’

    Now, R does it all by herself, even without me telling her..she throws the ticket into the bin everyday..one day she saw an old man just throwing it down and said very loudly ‘Amma, yeh uncle kyun kachra karte hain’ and that guy looked pretty ashamed of his act..

    After a few days, we saw him again, and he looked at us, smiled and threw the ticket into the bin..so thats one convert for you !

  2. anjeneyan said

    I got the link to your blog from Sharell’s. It is quite interesting and well written.

    With warm regards.

    Anjeneyan

  3. Hope your dad is feeling better now. Take care.

    😦 Same feelings! Aiyyo, this spitting thing.. I have seen ‘educated’ people spitting just because they want to spit.In our roads finding a dustbin is a big problem.Even if you find one, all the garbage willl be lying around and the bin will be empty!!!

  4. I understand your anger, a few years back i was in india and there is a service lane behind our house , well its behind the 5 houses where we put our rubbish and all, I mean when i use to live in india it probably did not matter to me , but after going from here it did look bad, so I got a little concrete bin made up and instructed the people in the house the make sure the rubbish goes in that bin.. I did talk to others in the lane , only 4 more houses and beleive me they are all rich people to afford to have a 4kanal house and all.. and it costed me jsut about 1000rs i think or less to make that bin,

    well the other four houses have still not got that build and the rubbish is still out there so when it rains or too windy it flies everywhere .. its the metality of CHALTA HAI that matters , its normal to eat and throw..

    I hope your dad is doing ok now ..please do extend my regard to him … take care

  5. Dear dear Pepper,
    You write as I feel and I seethe,burn ,boil and fume and then alas I feel depressed and sad that our nation called Bharat which was the LIGHT OF ASIA has been reduced to this state!
    I am much older than you.I grew up in a very clean and beautiful town TEERTHARAJ  of northern Bharat where we had a very simple and very unexciting up-bringing.Being 3 children of parents from really two very very different linguistic regions of Bharat we had a very secure and safe childhood and got the best of both parental cultures.You may recall a comment regarding this  I had once made to one of your articles earlier.But today that city has ‘gone to the dogs’!

    You have stated everything that is not going right in our great nation.
    And of course you have to remember our leaders -who are leading the nation to doom.They have forgotten that EVERYTHING PASSES and yet they wish to rob the people of the nation and stash away their ill-earned cash in foreign banks.
    They are the cancer of Bharat!
    And the sooner they go the better it will be!
    I believe that they AUR such ‘paapees’ that even YAMARAJA does not wish to touch these lowest of low!

    Youngsters like you will have to ‘take up arms’ against such horrible happenings but I really do not know where and how we shall begin.

    My heart and soul weep and my anger knows no bounds as each time I am in Bharat I see the situation worsening.

    I have had battles and fights with each and every ‘rascal’ who tried to break some simple rule while on the road or even in shops while buying stuff.
    In fact on ‘looking back’ I realize that the malaise had set in and had started long before we could ‘see’ what was actually happening on the ground.
    I recall picking up fights with fellow train passengers because they sat on other people’s reserved seats and berths.On complaining to the ticket conductor he would very passively remark something o no consequence.
    That would make me even more angry to no avail and my mother would warn me to be careful of ‘goonda reactons’ from such scoundrels!
    The cancer had already set I but we were too naive and others to bothered at all as long as nothing touched them!

    These days I have made it a point to talk to each and every person -young and old – educated/uneducated – whoever ‘lends his ear’ to such situations as you have described graphically and in righteous anger.
    I try to whip their conscience but at times do wonder whether they have one at all!
    This I do in taxis,hotels on the road,on flights,inside shops and everywhere irrespective of everything and everyone!

    People have forgotten that whatever  we do will definitely boomerang and with double force.
    And still people have sold themselves today to making quick profit and not caring for the consequences of their actions.
    Their only motive and motivation is to make money and at any cost!!!

    I have experienced umpteen incidents where I have lost my cool and screamed and shouted to the horror of my children and better-half and willing spectators but have found that it is a lost cause.
    But then seeing something wrong happening right in front of one’s eyes cannot be ignored!
    Again and again my mind and heart fill with compassion for the suffering masses of Bharat who have been exploited and are still being exploited today by the ‘political and powerful’ people of the land.
    Many of them are ‘well-educated’ and yet are the scum of scums!
    Examples are the present ruling ministers in power!

    I would any day prefer to talk to people whom we bracket as illiterate and uneducated.
    I have more than often found them to be wiser and saner than persons who have highly-paid jobs and are considered high and mighty because of their money and connection clout.

    Pepper- I shall join you and support you in all your efforts if you start a movement however small to educate our people on the principles of our Bharateeya life and that I consider and believe fully to be based on DHARMA which is ETHICAL LIFE-TO ACT WITH MORAL AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILTY!!!

    Are you prepared to start something on these lines???
    A PEOPLE’S MOVEMENT FOR AWAKENING OF SOCAIL CONSCIOUSNESS!!!and let all young and old from all walks join in!

    I do hope and pray that your father is recovering from his fall an that he gets well soon.

    Please remember that during monsoons our roads in Mumbai become a ‘death-trap’ for pedestrians because in many places the man-hole  covers are stolen for they sell well due to the material being iron.
    The father of a friend had a fatal fall because of an open man-hole some years ago and passed away a few days later and the poor friend had problems even at the hospital to get back his father’ body.
    Pepper – in Bharat today where do we begin and where do we start to set things right?????
    There is no place and nothing that is simple today in Bharat.

    I shall recount another time the trouble we had to undergo to get the birth certificates of my children from the hospital where they born.
    And recently a friend who lost her husband had to pay a heavy sum to even get the death-certificate of her husband as he was a foreign national but died suddenly in India!
    They have no compassion even for people who are in sorrow.

    I believe very strongly that in Bharat we have moved away from the principles of SANATANA DHARMA and have lost all fear of retribution-KARMA and KARMICPHALA which is most scientific.
    Hinduism being so all-embracing and wide has been completely misunderstood ,mis-interpreted and now today being bent out of proportion to suit one’s own ‘morality’ that is IMMORALITY to gain anything and everything at any cost!!!

    We shall have to start with the young and re-start EDUCATION OF OUR PEOPLE ON THE TENETS OF RIGHT ACTION AND RIGHT THINKING.
    Do reply to this mail and let me know what you think and let us all join to FIGHT THIS GREATEST OF FIGHTS FOR OUR JANANI -OUR JANMABHOOMI!!!!!

    With all my good wishes to you.

    • Pepper said

      I *heart* your comment Vijaya. I do recall your earlier comment in which you spoke about your hometown, and I can just imagine how hard it must be for you to see it deteriorating day by day

      You’ve no idea how much I fear walking on the roads in Mumbai during the rains. The flooded streets do not show the open manholes and the papers are full of cases that involved fatal accidents because of those. Those are times when I wish I could ask my parents to not walk on the streets at all. Alas, that isn’t the solution. I hate those men who, to fill their pockets, endanger the lives of so many people! This is what I said. It’s the attitude that prevails. Every action of our countrymen has to be associated with ‘personal gain’. We don’t seem to care about each other, as long as our needs are met.

      I see you share my anger. All of us have a common battle to face, one that is going to be long one. At the moment, we keep doing out bit by talking to people around us, but clearly, we need to do something more significant.

      Corruption seems to be seeped into the Indian DNA. I would give anything to be able to make a difference. A “PEOPLE’S MOVEMENT FOR AWAKENING OF SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS” sounds like exactly what we need. How do we go about it though? I don’t think I can do much through my blog. I have limited readership after all. Beside that, I don’t know how effective an online campaign would be though. Signing petitions doesn’t take much. Sweating it out on the streets and working towards change is really what we need, what few people are willing to give. I do hope to think of something that will let me contribute more significantly. Any ideas would be welcome.

      • Dear Pepper,
        Thanks for your reply and we can see that there are numerous people like us who really do care but we feel that we are all alone and do not know where to begin!
        You are a person who has ‘seen the world’ that is you have lived in the west and now are back home in Bharat.
        For people who have only lived in one part of the world  is like living in a well.I recall a Hindi poem which goes something like this- duniya gol-gol si hei Aur ghaas-phoos ki bani huee hei’ because it was just  a little fledgling  bird that had seen only it’s nest!!!
        Those who have lived abroad know that civic laws are really followed and in a civil society anyone and everyone  can fight for his/her rights.But at the same time they have to do their duties or they will be booked for certain.
        In our Bharat we have Democracy which I call Democrazy where one can do what one wishes without fear of being punished.
        Our corrupt ministers are the greatest examples starting from the PM.They are not afraid of anything and anyone.
        And this is the behavioral pattern followed by the ‘common man’.If he gets caught he can buy the police with a few rupees.

        There was a time in the history of our Bharat when  we did not have to fight for any rights because everyone performed duties and so rights naturally fell into place!
        Due to terrible invasions and colonization as early as the 7th century of both our land and minds (our indigenous system of education was destroyed and with it our native empathy and intelligence got lost) we have become completely ignorant  of who we were and what we are today!
        We have to ask ourselves -WHO AM I?and then we shall get answers!

        For instance I shall relate a real episode when I was In my home town an there was this little sweeper boy with his mother whom I asked where he lived and what was the name of his town and what was his nationality and I drew a complete ZERO.His only ambition was to eat and one can understand tha Sanskrit saying-‘bhubhukshita kim na karoti?’What will a hungry person not do?
        And then I started wondering as to why this is the situation in our great land???It is due to US because we the advantaged ones did not pay attention to the ones in the poorer and disadvantaged circles.
        If you read the Purusha Suktham it gives the birth and classification of our 4Varnas and clearly states that those having ‘buddhi’-Braahmans,shakti-Kshatriyas and dhan-Vaishya classes have to be responsible and see to the well-being of the other classes.With the invasions we were suppressed and lost out on all that and ignorance set in.
        Nowhere is it stated that one class is superior to the other.
        This TRUTH is also clearly stated in the Bhagavad Geeta.
        But today the Hindu also does not know this truth and he accepts that the system is BAD.He accuses his own heritage and repeats what the invaders ‘accused’ us of.That of the terrible caste system that perpetrated inhumanity on the weaker classes.They did this to manipulate and divide us.And this continues even today.
        This very caste system gave people security and vocation handed down through generations from father to son.
        And today everyone wants to become an engineer /doctor/teacher without having any aptitude nor love nor dedication and the only driving force being MONEY!
        You may wonder as to why I am digressing and deviating from the issue that actually stimulated you to write this article in the first place.No I am not!
        I find a ‘pattern’ in our behavior-‘misbehaviour’ of today which is a direct result of complete lost ignorance caused by such historical facts.

        Our nation is a Hindu majority nation but how many Hindus know as to what it is to be Hindu?It is the GREATEST PHILOSOPHY that has an is still giving LIGHT to th world.

        Lekin aaj ‘Chirag taley andheraa hei!!!
        Today the Hindu is the most ignorant and yet he feels that just by following a few rituals he will please the Gods.
        This is not spirituality of our Bharat.Our DHARMIC philosophy instilled love for the motherland and this is NATIONALISM.It cuts across all borders of class,society and religious teachings.

        You and I and all of us have to first set an example as you and ‘the sister’ did with the banana peel but in addition I would suggest to get in touch with any and every education institution where people like you could go and give a few lectures on social behavior BUT to me it is DHARMIC PRINCIPLES that have to be at the foundation of each and every being that will guide him/ her irrespective of ‘crime and punishment’.
        Each has to perform his dharma -right action!
        Perhaps forming a small group of sincere enthusiasts in every locality/building would help.
        We will have to talk to the ‘bais’ who come to work in our homes.
        To help out with their children with some home-work and then take that opportunity to inspire them and reward them.
        So inside the home ,out on the roads in the buses and trains- in the shops,with the chaatwala,with the sabziwala EVERYWHERE -start with a smile AND A NAMASTE and then TALK and slowly work our way to our goal-RIGHT ACTION WHEREVER WE ARE!!!
        And also write letters to the local municipal office and pursue them with a will of iron.
        Pepper your blog has already begun with a BANG and never say die!
        We are ON TRACK!
        I am including a link for you to see on the other great problems that are engulfing Bharat.

        satyameva-jayate.org and the author of this blog is doing great work.He name is Shantanu Bhagwat.

        We have to join together our individual strengths to fight this other MAHABHARATA YUDDHA  and BHARAT is our KURUKSHETRA.All my best wishes and love.Do keep up your fighting spirit!

        Begin forwarded message:

        From: vijaya cmouli
        Date: June 15, 2012 11:01:29 GMT+02:00
        To: Vijaya Pant
        Subject: Pepper!

        Dear Pepper,
        Thanks for your reply and we can see that there are numerous people like us who really do care but we feel that we are all alone and do not know where to begin!
        You are a person who has ‘seen the world’ that is you have lived in the west and now are back home in Bharat.
        For people who have only lived in one part of the world  is like living in a well.I recall a Hindi poem which goes something like this- duniya gol-gol si hei Aur ghaas-phoos ki bani huee hei’ because it was just  a little fledgling  bird that had seen only it’s nest!!!
        Those who have lived abroad know that civic laws are really followed and in a civil society anyone and everyone  can fight for his/her rights.But at the same time they have to do their duties or they will be booked for certain.
        In our Bharat we have Democracy which I call Democrazy where one can do what one wishes without fear of being punished.
        Our corrupt ministers are the greatest examples starting from the PM.They are not afraid of anything and anyone.
        And this is the behavioral pattern followed by the ‘common man’.If he gets caught he can buy the police with a few rupees.

        There was a time in the history of our Bharat when  we did not have to fight for any rights because everyone performed duties and so rights naturally fell into place!
        Due to terrible invasions and colonization as early as the 7th century of both our land and minds (our indigenous system of education was destroyed and with it our native empathy and intelligence got lost) we have become completely ignorant  of who we were and what we are today!
        We have to ask ourselves -WHO AM I?and then we shall get answers!

        For instance I shall relate a real episode when I was In my home town an there was this little sweeper boy with his mother whom I asked where he lived and what was the name of his town and what was his nationality and I drew a complete ZERO.His only ambition was to eat and one can understand tha Sanskrit saying-‘bhubhukshita kim na karoti?’What will a hungry person not do?
        And then I started wondering as to why this is the situation in our great land???It is due to US because we the advantaged ones did not pay attention to the ones in the poorer and disadvantaged circles.
        If you read the Purusha Suktham it gives the birth and classification of our 4Varnas and clearly states that those having ‘buddhi’-Braahmans,shakti-Kshatriyas and dhan-Vaishya classes have to be responsible and see to the well-being of the other classes.With the invasions we were suppressed and lost out on all that and ignorance set in.
        Nowhere is it stated that one class is superior to the other.
        This TRUTH is also clearly stated in the Bhagavad Geeta.
        But today the Hindu also does not know this truth and he accepts that the system is BAD.He accuses his own heritage and repeats what the invaders ‘accused’ us of.That of the terrible caste system that perpetrated inhumanity on the weaker classes.They did this to manipulate and divide us.And this continues even today.
        This very caste system gave people security and vocation handed down through generations from father to son.
        And today everyone wants to become an engineer /doctor/teacher without having any aptitude nor love nor dedication and the only driving force being MONEY!
        You may wonder as to why I am digressing and deviating from the issue that actually stimulated you to write this article in the first place.No I am not!
        I find a ‘pattern’ in our behavior-‘misbehaviour’ of today which is a direct result of complete lost ignorance caused by such historical facts.

        Our nation is a Hindu majority nation but how many Hindus know as to what it is to be Hindu?It is the GREATEST PHILOSOPHY that has an is still giving LIGHT to th world.

        Lekin aaj ‘Chirag taley andheraa hei!!!
        Today the Hindu is the most ignorant and yet he feels that just by following a few rituals he will please the Gods.
        This is not spirituality of our Bharat.Our DHARMIC philosophy instilled love for the motherland and this is NATIONALISM.It cuts across all borders of class,society and religious teachings.

        You and I and all of us have to first set an example as you and ‘the sister’ did with the banana peel but in addition I would suggest to get in touch with any and every education institution where people like you could go and give a few lectures on social behavior BUT to me it is DHARMIC PRINCIPLES that have to be at the foundation of each and every being that will guide him/ her irrespective of ‘crime and punishment’.
        Each has to perform his dharma -right action!
        Perhaps forming a small group of sincere enthusiasts in every locality/building would help.
        We will have to talk to the ‘bais’ who come to work in our homes.
        To help out with their children with some home-work and then take that opportunity to inspire them and reward them.
        So inside the home ,out on the roads in the buses and trains- in the shops,with the chaatwala,with the sabziwala EVERYWHERE -start with a smile AND A NAMASTE and then TALK and slowly work our way to our goal-RIGHT ACTION WHEREVER WE ARE!!!
        And also write letters to the local municipal office and pursue them with a will of iron.
        Pepper your blog has already begun with a BANG and never say die!
        We are ON TRACK!
        I am including a link for you to see on the other great problems that are engulfing Bharat.

        satyameva-jayate.org and the author of this blog is doing great work.He is Shantanu Bhagwat.

        We have to join together our individual strengths to fight this other MAHABHARATA YUDDHA  and BHARAT is our KURUKSHETRA.All my best wishes and love.

        • Pepper said

          You are right. Living in the West has changed my perspective significantly. Earlier, I was more immune to the wrong doings. Today, I am a lot less tolerant. I want to work towards change. I may not have been so passionate about this had I not spent some years in a foreign land.

          I like your suggestions. We do keep talking to our ‘bai’. And trust me, I think she is a lot more earnest and conscious of social issues, than a lot of other rich and educated citizens. Other than that, I don’t mind rounding up members from our society and organising a ‘clean up’ drive. I suppose it would help us connect with like minded people who are willing to work for the cause.

          Talking to chaatwalas and sabziwala’s might be hard. Some of them do not want to hear a word. But I’d like to consider that to be a challenge. I need to learn how to not lose my patience.

          Will go through the link. Thank you.

  6. hAAthi said

    Oh gosh pepper, that is really horrible. How is your dad doing now? Speedy recovery, for him..and the minds of people in India. Sigh, but its just such a widespread deep rooted mentality, I wonder how long it will be before we can transform.

  7. Bubblegum said

    Very True Pepper. And, when we will start doing things ‘right’ may be kids will learn. It starts from ‘I’ and set an example.

  8. Smita said

    Hope uncle is better now!

    Totally agree with you on each point. To make a change we need to realise that we are at fault and every change counts. I appreciate your effort the way you spoke to those kids, somebody has to speak out to make others understand!

  9. Pari said

    I so understand your plight. I have been involved in embarrassing situations where I have tsk’ed loudly at people who throw chip bags, etc out of the train window or those who spit hanging out of the door (females)…and they have given me a blank stare like “I will kill you if you utter a word” or “Why the hell it matters to you?” I see to it that people I hang around with (friends, colleagues, etc.) do not do such things; I do not let them throw a piece of paper on road. But how much do my actions help? Paan/gutka stains of freshly painted walls, corners of building, roads, are a common sight. Unless we take a fine or some similar stringent action…nothing is gonna work..some of us will continue the fight and others continue littering the place and not following any civic laws! Driving laws..well..that will be another epic chapter. Wonder when will civic sense be instilled in 100 per cent of the populace! Hope your dad is doing okay.

    • Pepper said

      Oh I get that murderous look from people too. But I usually ignore it and say it to them despite that. My mom thinks it is dangerous to meddle with people like that. But it’s got to be done.
      Oh yes, driving laws is another epic chapter. I don’t have the courage to even open it. 😦
      You seem to be doing a good job with your friends and other known people around you. Somehow, I always found it easier to correct strangers.

  10. DI said

    I will be positive about the whole thing. I guess we all hate this, but there are definitely more people out there now, wanting to do their bit, and hoping that it would contribute to something bigger eventually. And it will, but it will take its time. And there is nothing more you can do than to do your bit, encourage others to, and then wait and watch. The progress is gradual, but it is there.

    • Pepper said

      I do try and be positive too. In fact, most people around me think my optimism is a little unrealistic. But sometimes I think I put on a facade. Deep within, I am getting more and more disillusioned. It is not just about having a civic sense. It is about everything. I don’t understand why Indians are so self centered. Simple things like driving in the right lane, despite driving (extremely) slowly. It obstructs so much traffic, and I cannot, for the life of me figure out what they will lose by keeping on the left. They don’t do it because they don’t care about the rest of the cars on the road. Our uncaring attitude is so deep rooted. I don’t know how it will change.

      I know there is some tiny amount of progress. There is a small percentage of people who aren’t like that, who are working towards change. But when I compare them against the rest of the population of our country, the number seems too insignificant. The progress is so slow, it makes me wonder if I will see any change while I am alive. Perhaps India will awaken one day, but in all probability, I won’t be around to witness it. That makes me sad.

      • I so understand your anger and frustration about the civic sense of Indians and our self centredness.
        I stay in an area where it is very common for people to just dump their garbage at the most convenient spot outside their house.
        When we moved here, we got the municipality workers to come and place a huge dustbin at the end of the road. We requested them to come and clear the garbage daily and they do this even now. For the first few weeks, everyone religiously walked to the end of the road to dump their garbage. But then they went back to their lazy ways and now we have 3-4 dumping yards for the garbage.and to think it just takes another 2 minutes walk to keep the locality clean.

        And much as we would like to place all blame for our dirty state of affairs on the government , lack of education etc,the truth is that we are all responsible for the sorry state of affairs. Check out the http://theuglyindian.com/
        I love their homepage where they hit the nail on the head by stating that we are just dirty, ugly indians.
        just seeing what these guys have done to help clean bangalore makes me optimistic.

        On the other hand, I would like to explain the reasoning behind driving in the middle of the road.
        When I was learning to drive, I would move to the left of the road as I used to drive really slowly.
        but when driving on narrow roads,my hubby would yell at me to stick to the middle of the road. I would yell back that i was obstructing traffic
        But his reasoning was that with really bad or no foothpaths/sidewalks, it is common for pedestrians to be walking on the road. With cyclists, 2 wheelers and pedestrians taking up the sides of the road, my chances of hitting these people are much higher he said and insisted that i stick to the middle of the road.This because he had a particularly bad experience after he hit a 2 wheeler( who was at fault because he just moved onto the road without looking out for oncoming vehicles).
        but I still stick to the left as I would prefer to be extra cautious rather than be honked at constantly(I still drive slow :))
        the incessant honking on Indian road deserves another long comment BTW 🙂

        • Pepper said

          I think I am in love with the Ugly Indian website. They have hit the nail on the head, indeed.

          And sweets, I understand what you are saying about driving. What I am talking about though, is an entirely different scenario. I see taxis going slowly in the right most lane (one that is supposed to be the fastest), not even the middle lane. They do this for no reason. And I am talking about Mumbai’s Western Express Highway. There are no footpaths and sidewalks on a highway. Neither do you have pedestrians to dodge. So I really see no reason for going so slowly in the right most lane. I stick to what I say. I think they just don’t care about the trouble they are causing to others 😦

          • I know. I know I I am not stating that the sad traffic scene in India can be explained away because of our sad state of foothpaths etc.
            Just that people who want to sometimes follow the rules/do what common sense tells us to do may also fear doing so because of other consequences.

            I am not denying that Indian drivers are inconsiderate.Drivers going slowly on the right most lane of highways are most certainly inconsiderate.
            even more inconsiderate are drivers not moving to make way for a wailing ambulance.
            But I have seen a little improvement on Bangalore roads atleast. Drivers seemed to understand that an ambulance with a patient in it does have a greater urgency to get going than their need to reach home/office.

  11. I have been laughed upon, innumerable times, for trying to get people to stop littering the streets. I have picked up bottles thrown from a car, raced next to it and given it back to owners to teach them some sense. The only thought I have, when someone tells me that my effort is futile, is that even if 5 people are going to change their mind about littering, maybe it will save a life, maybe it will save a tree or it may just keep a corner clean. This attitude is a disease that we need to work on at the roots. We know the reasons. Population, poverty, lack of literacy blah blah. The important point is what are we educated people going to do about it!…Till then, I guess let us just do what we’re doing. One person at a time!

    • Pepper said

      I am laughed upon all the time too. Glad you don’t let the laughter deter you. Totally agree with your comment, wholeheartedly. I wish I’d be hit by a brain wave, that would tell me how I can help resolve these issues in a more effective way.

  12. Scribby said

    the day people will understand the consequences it will be too late and I’m not being pessimistic but a realistic. I go through such rage every time I step out of the house..even if we’re in the car we get annoyed with people spitting and littering the roads..it hurts me…my heart really does ache to see all this…and why only roads..in the malls,multiplexes go anywhere..people don’t change their style of living…In cities like Mumbai at least wearing a helmet is compulsory hence most of the times bikers won’t have to option to spit…come here and see 90% of the bikers spit all the time they are driving…

    I know how wrong it is to dirty the national property,to litter on the road,to throw away the food waste from a moving car…but it seems that there only handful of people like us who know this and follow..others seem to live in some other world! There are so many times we have ate something in the car and had carried the waste in carry bag or the food carton and thrown it in the home bin…..have also carried Chirpy’s soiled diapers in the car home because we couldn’t find a bin around…so how difficult it is? not even a bit but then only we seem to be doing all this!

    that’s what gets on my nerves..nobody cares..even if they’re are not educated in this matter and if people tell them,they still don’t care…and the much bigger problem is I really really don’t have a single clue how to curb this problem..this is our country’s problem….I also get angry when I see the same people behave while abroad..follow the rules to the T…just because they’re charged on spot? or whatever the reasons…but they behave! Of course you must have witnessed that!

    Any way, I hope uncle is doing okay now..that was definitely not acceptable…Hugs from me to you!

    • Scribby said

      on totally different note..why you not around on my blog these days,huh? 😦

      • Pepper said

        I am sorry! No reason behind that. I just blog hop very randomly these days, must have missed out on yours 😦 Will keep dropping by pakka!

        • Scribby said

          oye it’s okay generally poocha tha…since you were one of the regulars 🙂

          any way we have to talk..long pending call,you see 😛

          • Pepper said

            Don’t embarrass me by reminding me of the pending call 😛 I have no idea why I procrastinate to the extent of never doing things..

            • Scribby said

              may be because it is about talking on phone? I mean if it were to chat F2F it would have been different?

              • Pepper said

                Ofcourse! F2F is soooo much easier. I am not too much of a phone person, that makes it that much harder to dial a number and call 😦 But hey, I really do want to talk to you. So let me get to it soon.

    • Pepper said

      *Big hearty claps* for you Scribby! I feel so proud of you for taking all the precautions you can. I know I will use you as an example and tell others that ‘my friend even carries soiled diapers in the car if she can’t find a bin’. That is commendable.

      Yes, people don’t care. Sometimes, when I tell the auto drivers to not spit, they pretend to agree with me, just to shut me up. One time, the driver didn’t spit while I was around. The moment he dropped me off, he drove ahead and spat to his heart’s content. I happened to see it because I stood at the spot I was dropped, instead of getting into my building, the way he would have expected me to. I wanted to cry, because he seemed so sincere when he told me he won’t spit again.

      So I know, telling people rarely works. But it is something I am not going to give up on. Hugs to you too!

  13. OmG is your dad ok now pepper? I hope he gets well soon.

    Have you noticed some NRI’s in the bay area? They tend to behave properly in a non Indian place but once they are in an Indian store or in a restaurant they behave exactly like the people you are talking about. I hate that double standards and to boot people keep telling me why I spend so much time keeping my home and surroundings clean when it is a rented space? 🙄 😡

    • Pepper said

      People ask you why you keep your home clean when it is a rented space? God! I just can’t tolerate the Indian attitude of caring for what belongs to you, ONLY!
      😦

  14. seema3 said

    Hope your dad is fine, must be shocking for all 3 of you to see him like that…In India, sadly everyone thinks for themselves. Even educated ppl who follow a certain lifestyle in US will go and litter and honk and do such stuff in India.
    There should be a law for loitering and such things.

    • Pepper said

      I am sure there is a law Seema. How does it help though? Officials will only consider to be a new money making venture. See people spitting/littering, then just charge them a measly Rs 100. Fill your own pocket and let them off. Indian laws are pretty pointless. 😦

  15. I hear you Girl, I do. Kudos on picking up the peel. Giving them disgusting looks is about where I might have stopped. Civic involvement isn’t particularly an Indian society trait. We are happy being ruled while someone else tells us what to do. It would take either a huge or a small but consistent move to get this mindset in. To top it, I don’t think it would be supported by civic authorities either. Regardless, Pepper, there are only two things that break the pattern and initiate action – Carrot or Stick. Why is driving in the US far more orderly than in India – the Stick – insurance costs, tickets, 3 tickets and DL gets suspended, there are Sticks everywhere. Take Singapore for example – littering fines…..there u go – Sticks again ! Can’t think of significant carrots right now, but real estate prices might be a sufficient carrot to keep neighborhoods clean, yards mowed ( not in India, but you get my drift), etc. Cases like the Ugly Indian are few and far between. If you are keen on taking this to the next level, you might want to team up with them and then bring in more volunteers, perhaps ? There is strength in numbers. But IMO, it will finally take the Stick to keep society in line. My $0.02

    • Pepper said

      I do agree with you. I think we need more sticks. How do we get those though, in a nation as corrupt as ours? People here get away with murder, and I mean that literally. All it takes is a few known ‘connections’ and a little bit of money. People here wouldn’t fear their DL suspended, cos they know it would never get to that. In order for sticks to work, we’d force need to get rid of the corruption, to an extent atleast.
      Let me check out the Ugly Indian. Thanks a lot!

  16. Abhivyakti said

    This post brought back the memory of an interesting train Journey we had the last time we went home. Me and my husband were traveling back to Delhi , it was only a 4 hour journey. Our AC tickets were not confirmed and we thought it will be fun to ride the sleeper chair car as the weather was very pleasant. I rue the moment we decided to go on that adventure. I thought people will be taking there assigned seats but the number of people in the bogie were at least 3 times its capacity. There was no place to get up or even move. And all these people traveling without tickets had mobile phones on them , could they not simply afford a Rs. 80 ticket? We were discussing how cheap Indian railways still is and that is how people fool the system. There were even some fights about lack of space to put luggage and it would be a big scene when someone had to get down as they had to make their way out of the mayhem. But the worst part was when we reached Delhi, people started coming in without letting anyone go out. There was a moment of panic when I thought there will be a stampede. My husband had to shout for us to help a lady with a child and luggage. There are old men, in their 50s pushing and shoving. I wonder if they would have behaved this way if this women was their daughter? But as you said, no one cares and that is the sad part. I vowed not to travel in sleeper ever again. We were both feeling sick towards the end. I feel sad to see the stark comparison in the US, where people usually wait for everyone to get down before they try getting in.. it would also be faster. If we could just be a little considerate.

    Sorry for the long comment, I was just reminded of that incident.
    Hope your dad feels better soon.

    • Pepper said

      Thanks for sharing your story. I had quite a similar experience while traveling from Mumbai to Dahanu (a place 3 hours away). We were forced to travel in the sleeper chair car because those were the only available tickets. The train was so crowded, I thought the compartment would explode. Only later we realised that most of the passengers were traveling ticketless.

      Ofcourse, it is a far cry from the US. But then, with those ticket scanning machines present at every entrance and exit there, there is no scope for such things. In India, I doubt they have the resources to do such things. The upcoming metros are built on similar models, but again, I don’t know how many million years it will take for them to be up and running across the length and breath of our country.

  17. ashreyamom said

    i completely agree with ur post pepper…

    when i was in school, as part of Scouts and guides, we used to go ans clean the neighborhood surroundings. it used to be regular. inspite of telling people not to throw papers on road many times there is no use. they just said that it was ok, as we students were there to clean regularly. 😦

    at least i make sure that, me and people who come out with me don’t litter the place.

    i got reminded of ” Lage raho munna bhai ” scene where a man keeps spitting on wall and the Tv advt. of ” tourism development” where Amir khan says “attiti devo bhav”. we should ashamed of the act.. we need to feel all the places are ours..

  18. Ashwathy said

    It’s a surprise how…. all these people who cheerfully dirty the roads here….will go to a foreign land and obey the rules implicitly while there! 😐 Such hypocrisy, I tell you!

    Really hope ur dad is ok now…

    • Pepper said

      I guess Indians do not do it in foreign lands because it brings them shame. Nobody litters on those streets. Beside that, even if they are hard skinned and not easily ashamed, they fear the hefty fines they will have to pay. In India, what will deter them?

  19. metherebel said

    I hope you are dad is fine now.

    It is depressing when you see even the (so called) educated ones throw garbage every where. You often see people throwing waste to from their car windows.

    It is an attitude that what good would it make if I alone throw thrash to the bin while the others are throwing it all over the place. Unfortunately most of them think this way.

    • Pepper said

      Right. That is another argument I keep coming across. That the city won’t be any cleaner if they don’t toss out their garbage on the street. But guess what, it WILL be cleaner by 0.0000000001% and hell, that counts!

  20. Deeps said

    Goodness gracious, pepper! Hope your dad is better now.

    You’re so right, Pepper. It is so frustrating when peopel dont get their basic civic sense right. They dont realize, or simply downt want to realize how much their behaviour could affect their children. And the bigger mistake we do as fellow people is when we just resign ourselves to such callous attitude and go about ignoring it.

    You did the right thing by making those kids understand about keeping their surrounding clean..I hope their parents would be more careful and sensitive towards their surroundings and ensure the same with their children. I hope everyone of us would be.

  21. pixie said

    Gosh!! I hope Uncle is feeling better!! Hugs Pepper!
    What a horrifying ordeal!
    We have absolutely no civic sense as a nation sadly.
    As a nation, we are very good that way – we blame everyone else but ourselves for our own actions… 😐

  22. I hope your dad is doing better now…

    I will explain with an example what my thoughts are on this issue. You know how people throw hair, wrappers, anything in fact, out of their windows? And the person living on the ground floor is the one who suffers always. Even if they complain in society meetings nothing changes.

    One Indian immigrant living on the second floor brought this habit here and used to throw random stuff out of their windows. My friend living in the ground floor went and spoke with them. They said it is their children who do it and it is out of their control. Talking, written complaints, nothing worked.

    So my friend wrote to the council office. In 2 weeks time, the council sent a letter to all the flats directly above his flat warning them against littering with legal action(court hearing, fines, lawyer fees, etc). The reason they also quoted was that my friend had a 2 year old baby at home and if the baby swallows the litter it will become a health and safety issue. Thoughtful eh?

    The problem stopped right away! No massaging people’s egos, no cat-fights, no headache. It is one thing to create awareness, it is one thing to voice your opinions on such matters, which we all must as aware citizens. But if we want a fool-proof solution, we most certainly need the backing of authorities. People don’t create muck because they want to, it is purely because they can get away with it.

    I have always told off people littering when I lived there. They stop it then thinking ‘kayko mach-mach’. Unfortunately they continue doing what they do.

    • Pepper said

      You gave the perfect example. I so wish we had some authority that would work so effectively in India. Even if we complain here, we are the ones who are harassed. There is no action taken. We end up wasting time, effort, energy and money. 😦

  23. Shashi said

    A very good post. I think many people think problems of the country are because of overpopulation. And only the authorities can instill some discipline into us.

    As one of the commenters has rightly pointed out, children do exactly what we do. Another point is – adults also do what children do. If I see a child throwing the chocolate paper into a bin, I will also think about doing the same.

    I have a 8-year-old son and I drop him off to the school van every morning. My wife gives him a Kaccha Mango for him to eat when he’s in the van. Just before the van arrives, he gives it to me because he doesn’t want to open the paper himself. I realised this was one way of educating him. I don’t throw that paper in front of him. I pocket it and tell him “Son, I will throw this into a dustbin.”

    I know its not such a big thing. But little things is where we can teach the kids some basics. Being respectful to elders, walking only on footpaths, etc., will all come to them only if they see us doing it.

    I think we should at least realize now, that if any change is to be brought to the country, it should begin with each one of us.

    Another lesson for me is – I will make my son a good citizen only if I spend quality time with him myself. I maybe a very good father, but am a terrible uncle for other kids. I will take some steps to instill some discipline in my son, But when it comes to other kids, I may not be as concerned….so that holds good for my son’s uncles too…..

  24. techie2mom said

    Hope your dad is better now…it is very painful to see the familiar features of a loved one, distorted due to such an unfortunate accident…
    I too carry a plastic bag as with Zini around, we get a lot of trash (what with those diapers, banana peels, empty biscuit packets etc..) & collect all our trash in this bag and discard it once we reach home…
    Though never did that for a complete stranger, Kudos to you & your sister!!!

  25. Deepa said

    Oh! so sorry to hear about your dad’s injury! My blood boils when i see a lack of civic sense. Hope he is doing fine now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: