Rotten Lessons

Our protagonist is a friendly fellow. He believes in keeping no secrets and ensures that his entire neighbourhood knows him well. Right from his favourite fruits, whose skins he discards in the front yard, his preferred brand of potato wafers, whose packets often go flying in through the neighbour’s window, to how it suits him best to pee on the society wall at all times of the day.

Years of being social by choice have also taught him the art of discretion. Out one evening with a woman who worked at the local NGO, he exercised great caution and disposed of his chewing gum from the car window only when she wasn’t looking. How could he have known the gum would first get stuck on the outside of the door and later on the much-offended lady’s dress? He quit chewing gum after that incident and switched to orange candies; their plastic covers looked really pretty flying out the window and settling on the pavement for others to admire.

That aside, he definitely is a cleanliness freak. He makes sure never to go near a dustbin and instead disposes garbage on the ever-increasing heap of rubbish right outside the bin. It is another tale that he often ends up in sick-bed – courtesy the mosquito that lives on the rubbish heap and fancies a stroll to his neighbouring houses every fortnight or so. How could the busy man be expected to keep tabs on the arrival of the society’s cleaner in the wee hours of the morning? He preferred throwing the garbage bag across the road, where it could be out of his house and away from his sight. What couldn’t be seen couldn’t harm our invincible man.

Such is his greatness that he doesn’t keep his enviable skills to himself. He has taught his dog to poo right outside the neighbour’s door, his six-year old son to strew corn balls in the park’s potted plants, and also fought with his wife when she demanded he invest in garbage bags. I have heard that the dog developed a panache for shedding loads of hair in our protagonist’s breakfast sandwich. As for the son, I am told he directed the doctors to his father when proclaimed insane for hunting cornballs in roadside bins.

I have grown up hearing great things about our protagonist – the Great Indian Litterbug – and sighting people vying to be like him. When I now see the city’s alleyways dirty, with packets of potato wafers (among other things) strewn at every conceivable street corner, our protagonist’s true colours become apparent. Our man ain’t no hero. Aside from eyesores, germs and dirt, he has also bred in his fellow citizens the contagious evil of littering.

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Written as a part of the Times of India and Indiblogger’s “Great Indian Litterbug” initiative.


12 thoughts on “Rotten Lessons

  1. Very well written, Debo. It’s a pity that we don’t consider our city as our own home. This should be truly Ghar Waapsi and live with dignity. Time to change the mindset and set an example. India deserves better and lil do we realize how we give a bad name to the country.

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