While I was out on my morning walk yesterday in the walking path close to our residence, I saw a poster saying “Do not buy painted idols for Ganesha festival. Buy only clay idols.” This is because we have the custom of immersing them in a public tank after the pooja. The tank gets polluted with lead paints and this is harmful for the environment.
It is really sad that we, Indians have to be told to do things which should have normally come to us from childhood. The poster was in English. People all over the world, normally think that a person who can read and understand English, is educated enough to know the implications of his/her actions. But unfortunately it is not so in our country.
“Do not spit here”, “Do not urinate here” “Do not litter Use the garbage bin” do this and do not do this etc.. Let there be any number of posters, even our so called educated public will not think twice before doing something that one should not do.
The other day, while I was walking on the foot path, one man on a motor cycle came up almost close to me and he said “Kindly get down ma’am. You will be hurt.”
“I am walking on the foot path meant for us. This is not meant for a ‘motor cycle rider” – I said with a little annoyance.
Did he oblige?
No. “Why Madam, why can’t you get down?” – He said with irritation.
I was not prepared to create a scene there as many vehicles had stopped as the red signal light was on and people seemed to be staring at me at me. They wanted to see what I would do next.
I did get down against my conscience. Why? Only because I got a bit worried about the repercussions of the annoyance of both his and mine. When I narrated this incident to one of my friends she said. “Why couldn’t you take down his vehicle number and complain to the police?”
I just smiled. I was more amused than annoyed! The scene of my taking out a pen from my handbag and piece of paper and noting down his number was something which was not possible in that densely populated area. Even if I had done it, would something have come out of it? I doubt very much.
One foreigner once told me that he saw a board near a ‘spittoon’ which said ‘Spit here’. He thought it was compulsory for everyone to spit even if they did not want to, just like how it is compulsory for us to leave our shoes and chappals outside the temples.
That was really a good joke.
By: Srijaya Char
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