Sunday, July 30, 2006

To put it indifferently.

Here is an article i had written in my second year at IITM which i had hoped to get published in the hostel magazine for the greater benefit of all. Sadly, the words were never adorned in carbon. I do not wish to carry all these papers to the US and so i upload it here to keep a sort of online database. You may proceed further if you choose.

To put it (in)differently!

The Vedas and Upanishads introduced the concept of 'Atman' or the 'Self' which, in essence, declares that 'only the self exists'. Whatever might have been their intention at that time we have, very conveniently, interpreted it to suit our present principles, so that the ideology now subsists as a pernicious indifference to everything and everyone around us.

Our hostels stand stark testimony to this negligence. Some of us keep the very rooms in which we stay(or not) dirty. This is only a small cluster and most of us, I'm glad, care to keep the rooms spic and span. But the room is cleaned by elegantly pushing the dust out onto the corridor(read dust bin). This inspite of there being a refuse bin every 4 rooms.

The bathrooms are used to dispose of tufts of public(the 'l' is only to avoid crude language and out of concern for the prude) hair. If those aren't enough to clog the drain holes then there are always the soap and shampoo sachets. On the one hand we use showers without any scruples, and on the other, we choose to conserve water by rendering the flush redundant! The stairs are, fortunately, cleaner with just the odd cigarette butt and a juice tartpak or two.

The groundfloor serves as a repository of SAC litter. There is a 'tide' of sachets all around the washing machine making for a bad 'aerial' view. Apparently, the huge dustbin in front of the SAC room is beyond reach or sight of the machine users.

In the mess, in blatant violation of the adage that 'one man's food may be another man's poison', we use the 'same hand' (or just 'hand' in the case of people who savagely use both hands!) to eat food and serve ourselves or pass the food around. The boon of having a freezer for soft drinks is a bane to the mess workers as people callously leave the bottles outside the mess on the floor or, more precariously, on the window ledges. The monkeys then come send them crashing to the floor by deftly pushing them off the ledge.

With the excuse of being localites(or some other equally pathetic excuse) people buy powered vehicles and indulge their laziness to the hilt by parking them as close to the exit as possible - that means on the basketball court! I'm glad the administration has at last implemented the ban on power vehicles not just in word but in deed.

So in every step one takes, starting from within one's room and moving in any direction all the way till the hostel exit and beyond, one witnesses this apalling apathy. If I travel further to cover the entire institute i'm afraid i'll never have enough space to write it all. That one is indifferent to dirt is no excuse to be indifferent to one's surroundings. This is a cry to one and all, not to take responsibility to keep one's surroundings clean, nor even to show concern for the surroundings, but only to overcome this horrifying indifference and do what elementary common sense would dictate. Please! Let's be different, or at least, less indifferent.


This is what i write today. My style of writing might be a little different today but my opinion is still the same. The facts are more or less the same, ie, the negligence still persists, though the specifics of where, how etc might be different. This article was written in passionate fury but today i see it with a certain degree of indifference! I have consoled myself to the fact that things will not change. I have understood that the people are not wholly to blame for this attitude. It has deeper roots like religion, upbringing etc. Not everyone can be expected to question everything they do so that they re-evaluate the prejudices imbibed by them at a young age. So a majority of the people are bound to remain this way for yet a really long time in this country and i have made my peace with this sad state of affairs. If at all you have any regard for what i've said, then, please, try and be more aware of the little things you do and re-evaluate your actions keeping in mind the society at large. Thank you.

1 comment:

JK said...

Can't agree more. Guess the ones who will take your article seriously are those who are concerned about ppl around them and are already nice, clean and organized.

Nice article. Dunno why they couldn't find a place for this in the magazine. Did they even release one?