This post is written for the The Great Indian Litterbug! campaign sponsored by the Times of India. The write-up is truly personal and is not influenced by the sponsor in anyway.
“What are you doing, young man,” I asked the decent looking guy in the checked shirt. He was too focused on stamping the impression of his love on the walls of the Lord Shiva Temple at Rameshwaram that I had to repeat the question for him to hear. But, his eyes and hands steadily fixed to the wall wouldn’t let him turn towards me.
I waited. I wanted to act heroinic and give him a lecture on the unnecessity of inscribing his love on the sacred walls.
After a few seconds, he turned to me with an expression of surprise and annoyance. From his look, it was clear he meant to ask me, ‘can’t you see you are bothering me in the middle of my holy work of art?’ He then simply continued writing.
I thought for a moment to leave this guy’s love to Lord Shiva and walk away. But the heroine in me lingered on. “Is that your name?” I asked him pointing at the neatly written name, Shyam. He stared at me as a sign of warning and nodded for a yes. I wanted to hold his hand from reaching the wall again but was certainly scared of getting a blow back. I realized what made heroes and heroines apart. The next name followed, of course must be of his dream girl’s and then came a painstakingly drawn little heart in between the names. He now seemed satisfied and stood in admiration of his work.
At last, the time looked right and I decided to speak. All of a sudden, a group of four young men rounded him. A heated conversation began that was followed by catching hold of collars and raising the free hands up in the sky as a sign of threatening a hit anytime. I understood that one of the four men also was in obsession for the same girl whose name has been carved just then. All of them belonged to the same college, including the girl. They were at a college visit to Rameshwaram. Through some telepathic means, the message of the inscription has reached his competitor’s ears. At the end of the debate, strict warnings were given to the now frightened boy, to stay away from the girl. Soon after, the villain guy threw a spit of his maximum potential on the love art on the wall, made a sharp turn and walked off heroically. The other three followed him religiously; spitted on the names, made sharp turns and walked off.
There stood the motivated socialist in me – shocked and suppressed! All that it could do was walk down the heroine ladder and move on.
After I made three rounds around the temple premises, I came to the same spot and was even more shocked to see the number of spit stains increase. It was apparent that all betel leaf lovers made a good fortune out of those young lovers’ fight. I was astonished to see how in no time, this place now became unofficially identified as the spitting spot for the general public.
If this is the state to one of the holy places of the country, I can imagine how the rest of the country is treated. It’s not just spitting; disposing anything that is thought a waste – from paper napkins to urine – at just anywhere designated as a public place!
“Wake up India! The country has been stinking enough already”