Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sarathy and Trash



"Fresh" after sixty five push-ups in a Garnier Fructis Push-ups challenge at Forum Mall, Bangalore, Sarathy, Suresh and I went straight to Sri Krishna Cafe for the afternoon double-lunch. On our way, outside Forum was Ford Fiesta challenge, that pushed people to repeat "Go Fida" for the longest time without pausing for a breath. Unfortunately not a single person who took that challenge had a tolerable voice. All it achieved was nauseate people away from The Forum. I had a sense of pride having participated in a worthier challenge.

Sarathy is the guy who was visiting from the US for a months holiday. He is the reason why I was in Bangalore rather than Hyderabad. Suresh is the Bangalore local boy. He is our map inside Bangalore. We entered Krishna Cafe tired of walking and half-an-hour later exited, totally intoxicated by the authentic South Indian Mega-Meals. As we walked back towards Forum - none of us knowing why exactly there - we were totally involved in bringing out girls' Kismet with Suresh. Whichever girl Suresh meets, gets married within months. With somebody else that is.!

As we turned a corner, Sarathy's angry voice came down from above me, "HEY! Pick that up!"

For a brief moment, I stood there wondering "Pick what?". I looked at Sarathy puzzled. His long arm and bony finger pointing down to the ground is still vivid in my memory. Then, it dawned on me. That was the used paper towel from Krishna Cafe that I was carrying in my hand. Lost in the lighter moment with Suresh and Sarathy, I threw it in the nearby newly constructed open sewer line, that is yet to be used.

I was in the US too, I talked at lengths about how irresponsible people are towards their own society. I too have even carefully practised what I preached when I visited India for a month's vacation or so. But, now that I am back in India for good, I am obliviously got used to the despicable, yet inherently Indian ways. Sarathy's words pierced my heart as an arrow and killed the fast growing hypocrite in me.

Still, the rude awakening to the embarrassing truth was unbearable. I meekly protested with a grimace, "Machi, its in the ditch, daaa". That was too weak to move Sarathy. The open sewage was still under construction, so there was no sewage whatsoever.

Sarathy rudely and slowly repeated. "Pick.....that.....up".

I meekly surrendered. That was the death of the egoist in me. Sarathy was probably impressed. He cooled down fast and we started walking once again.

Not more than five paces from there, he spotted a trash can by the nearest bus stop. "See there? put the trash there. You do what you are supposed to do. The others will do theirs". The situation was so engrossing that, even now, I don't remember what Suresh was doing the whole time.

The good thing about the whole incident was that it was a good opportunity to re-learn what I have conveniently and sub-consciously unlearnt after coming to India. What's the bad thing? Every time, I see a trash can or every time I carry a trash in my hand, I see Sarathy's face, his long hands and bony fingers pointing towards the ground.

4 comments:

EdMcGon said...

You learned this in the U.S.? I do the same thing, but I don't think about it. I guess it is a good habit to keep.

Badhri said...

You can say that. Not that I didn't know earlier that using the trash can is a better habit than not. But I included it consciously into my habits after visiting the US (like many other Indians that I have seen do). Thats not even to mean that the Americans taught it (no offense). Just that US has more trash cans in accessible positions that makes America visibly clean.

That way, US has a lot to offer for learning.

Prakash Gomathinayagam said...

Yes, I agree. it is easy to be hypocrite. In other words kaachalum,
thalavaliyum thanaku vanthaa thaan theriyum. Writer Sujatha solra maathiri free'ah kudukrathula easy'aanathu advice.

Priya said...

paavam andha sarathy.. ipdi title vecchu maanatha vaangareye..

naanum ne next post poduvannu nenachu adikadi inga vandhu paakran.. every time encountering " sarathy and trash". Lifela andha paiyan enna paavam pannaano ipdi avan pera naaradikara nee!!heehee