Thursday, May 26, 2011

Litter-ally Speaking!

By Aswathy Kumar

I recently developed this new and rather sinful habit of munching every two hours…I would start snacking on a pack of crisps exactly two hours after my breakfast, a packet of chocolate cookies post lunch or a sandwich a few hrs after tea time and so on. A heavy meal, an uninteresting snack or the fear of bloating up just couldn't dissuade me from pursuing my new-found hobby.
The extent of munching would however aggravate post-work, when I would get into my car to head back home after a long hectic day. I stay in Malviya Nagar by the way and my daily route stretches from my office in ITO through India Gate, Shahjahan Road, Khan Market, Lodi Road, Def Col, South Extn, Hauz Khas and finally to my home sweet home in Shivalik, Malviya Nagar.
Coming back to my problem, the minute I touch the ITO red light I would tear upon a packet of crisps, biscuits or bite into an apple depending on what I had chosen to pack in my bag early morning…and start the munching act. Being a fast eater, the session usually comes to an end by the time I reach India Gate. And that's when the mind boggling question arises…Where to dump the litter? The most obvious choice would have been to fling it out on the road…
Now trust me when I tell you this…I am not the kind of person you will see dumping piles and piles of garbage inside my bag as I am so anti-littering on the roads. I am a good citizen. There is no doubt about that. But I am also a Delhiite and dumping garbage on the road is my birth right.
But however in this case I was pretty badly stuck. I just could not get myself to dirtying the posh and elite roads outside India Gate, Shahjahan Road or for that matter Lodi Road. It was as though a strange power had take over me, stopping me from doing what had almost become a habit for us Delhiites. But I just couldn't. I felt guilty and ashamed for even thinking that I could mess up the pristine surroundings of this beautiful part of our city.
What was even more strange was how this habit returned the minute I reached the crowded streets of Def Colony or South Exe. Believe it or not but I did not even feel a pang of guilt for throwing the wrapper right outside my colony gates in Malviya Nagar. In fact I was more than happy to have gotten rid of the garbage that I have holding onto since the time I reached the India Gate red light.
That's what got me thinking? What was the reason behind my strange behavior? What was that power that had stopped me from littering at the picturesque surroundings at India Gate? Was I scared that somebody must be watching or that I will be fined or something? Or was it that the little voice in my head made me realize that what I was doing was wrong? I understood that it was indeed my conscience that had prevented me from doing the shameful act. Nobody else had dumped garbage on the road, then why should I?
Oh my god, did I just find the solution to the major litter problem in our city?

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