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rant

True. There was nothing else to do. We were waiting for the insti bus and cribbing about the heat. But does it justify scribbling your name with a leaking pen on the back of a seat? Or pulling out the plastic handle behind it and digging wider holes into the cloth thus torn? I asked her to stop it. Did I even need to mention why? I didn’t know who she was, hadn’t seen her before. Maybe that made intervening easier. Some 20 year old sensible girl doing something so uncalled-for! And she retorted with a “it’s already ruined. heeeheee heeeheee”. I decided to throw her pen out of the window. And I would have done that too. It was too painful to make sure she stops her nonsense thereafter.  But then I asked myself, what is it going to achieve? Will she even be convinced that she should stop doing such TNR* stuff? How do you make such people behave responsibly? I went on and on and on…My friend sitting next to me had been giving me a sheepish smile for quite some time now. “Have you done it too?” I asked. “Once”, she said meekly and we both burst out laughing.

Here is an article by Jug Suraiya on how Indians treat their homes as clean places that they should be, and use the whole world beyond them to throw all the things they don’t need. Do check it out! It’s funny. At least now check it out.

For some reason, we don’t look at a resource as a thing of some value in itself. It is either our property, or someone else’s. If it’s ours, we will protect it with all our might. If not, we will either try to degrade it, or make no efforts to save it from harm. This attitude should change! We should be more considerate and value things better. Why do we need rules to make sure people don’t mishandle public property? Why does the proposal for a new washing machine struggle its way through the GBM challenged by people who think it will be ruined in a month? Why do Shiv Sainiks set fire to BEST buses of all the things when they are unhappy about another shop displaying a banner in gujrati and not marathi? Why don’t they burn their own vehicles instead? Because they don’t have to pay for the ruin. They can not be made to pay for it. Since there is no direct liability, these things always get maltreated.

Collective property and public places belong to all of us. Why do people treat them as if they were some resource which miraculously survives on its own? Do they forget that it is they themselves who end up paying for the damages, even if collectively? At least a selfish reason as this should enlighten them a bit!

I was wondering if this attitude exists only in India or if it can  be seen in other places too. I believe that its no less uncommon in France.  Oh and the French litter too. Just that there isn’t enough of them.

*TNR: Totally not required

Seen at Trocadero, near Eiffel after the FIFA finals screening

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say no to firecrackers

Diwali – the festival of lights. And since it’s the age of extravagance and glitz the conventional lanterns are not enough. So there are fireworks. Half a kilometer long defeaning bombs and crackers rocketing into the sky. I never had much attraction for all these. And not because i think it is detrimental to the environment. Partly because I am scared and also because I can’t bear the noise. But i love the color and glitter minus the sound.

There are reasons why we should probably stop using crackers.

I know I know. We know all this. The crap about sound and air pollution. If I say “It increases noise pollution” you will be quick to point out that honking vehicles cause much more harm. If I bring up air pollution, you will hit back with all statistics on air pollutants where fireworks don’t even figure at the top.
But that is not all. The most appalling fact is the way crackers are produced. Kids are forced to work in cracker factories even when they know that it is illegal and fatal. Articles follow, let them do the talking

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2210459.cms

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/27291982.cms

If you don’t know this already, I hope this piece of information changes your viewpoint.

Although there are so many things which need to be done to make the world a better place, this is one of those things we can definitely afford to do! This does not make our life any less comfortable, it is not indispensable, it just adds to our amusement for a few minutes. But surely there are more harmless ways of amusing oneself. It we can’t even find better ways than this, then we should be rather be amused at our lack of imagination!

I am happy to see that Sharav has steeply reduced it’s budget for crackers this time around compared to that of last year’s. I hope there will come a day when we completely do away with it. After all, being the educated and responsible citizens of the country (no comments on the dubiousness of the facts in the statement) we are supposed to set trends for others to follow. We have to put a stop to this. The first step is to stop buying crackers. Like the Nat Geo campaign to stop fur trade says, “If the buying stops, the killing will too”

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“Aauto ma”.
No response.
“Auto?”
“No, we don’t…”
Again, “Auto? You want auto?”

This time coming in my way! Right in front of me, blocking the road ahead. I say, no, we don’t need an auto. He still persists. Maybe he doesn’t quite understand what I say. Girl next to me shouts “Free me chhod rahe ho kya?“. Unbelievably enough, he understands what this means and goes ahead giving a wry smile and pooh poohing his rick.

You wouldn’t really be able to recollect their faces if you had to. But then, when you think of the word, and a Chennai rick-wallah at that, a definitive character stands up in front of you. Some guy who has no ethics whatsoever, and yet counts on scaring us for not being kind enough to give him what he is asking for (I am talking about the fare), assuming that all of us believe in the there-is-a-god-up-there-who-is-watching-if-you-r-helping-the-less-fortunate story. And when you refuse to give more than what was decided before, ruling out the U-turn which he had to take reach the main gate as an valid reason for asking for more money, he says “I don’t want anything then”. Fine with me! I got a ride for free. And for the record, I have done this before. Twice.

I have dreams of those rickshaw-wallahs following me and running over me as an act of vengeance 8O

Another thing. Don’t believe them when they say they don’t have any change. They will take it out when they run out of time and patience to squeeze more cash out of you. Just wait and act like you can’t help it as much as them :P

And, I could go on and on and on. Now really, is there anyone out there who is interetsed in my rickshaw-wallah stories?! :-|

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