Litter – Our Word of Unity

An SMS joke is doing the rounds: “What did Lalit Bhanot’s wife tell the domestic help? Clean it up properly… this is my house not the Games Village.

But Lalit means ‘to create mess’. No sooner had we got rid of one, the other shows up with antics. Wonder what made him say – “Their (western) standard of hygiene and cleanliness could be different from ours so there is nothing to be ashamed about it.”

Ashamed! We are ashamed you – Lalit Bhanot – to go public with so personal a subject. You forget, this country has a well-entrenched purdah system. How could you dare to shake the edifice and utter those blasphemous (famous) truths and uncover our underbelly? Are these things to be discusses in the international media? Have you not earned enough to keep your mouth shut?

Well, sulk and crib, but you cannot wipe the truth off his remarks about differing standards. And also, we must appreciate his thoughts. He tried his best to give Indian Sports some strategic advantages. It’s our fault we foolishly chose not to capitalize. How- Let me explain.

For example, take Cricket. (Pardon me, for using it again). When we go to Australia, for example, don’t they prepare a fast pitch? And when they come to India we do likewise. We, deliberately destroy the surface for spin. Rumour says our captain spins a part of his earnings to get the surface scrapped. Conditions, as a convention, are the prerogative of the host country. That’s International Standard.

So why don’t we allow CWG in India to prepare our own kind of environment. We must have the conditions which is more favourable to Indian Sports. We can’t give the Indian contingent cleanliness and Hygiene. It will destroy their performance. Imagine cycling on the road with clean air. Indians will die of hyperventilation. For last four years, our guys prepared on uneven surface, eaten common food and worked out in the sun. Thoughtlessly, we have created harsh conditions which will give injuries, diarrhoea and flu. I believe, there is an international ploy to disadvantage the Indians.

O.K, that’s good for one side of the argument. Now, let’s take the subject of cleanliness and hygiene. My study of last 20 years (O.K. 20 minutes) has arrived on three distinct standards. One is ‘The Standard’. The mean, median, mode, whatever which separates the world into ‘our-side’ and ‘their-side’.

There is not much to talk about ‘their side’, those International Standards. It’s boring, uniform and uncreative. ‘Our side’, Indian Standards has vibrancy and as varied as the territory. Our standards of cleanliness also differ according to requirements. Like, we have a standard for workplace and another for home and a mixture for in between. We don’t mind the variance of standards. We are quite surprised when those western idiots claim uniformity. How can you aspect uniformity of standards in a country internationally well-known for its diversity. Look at our languages, clothes, cuisine and invectives – all different.

Yes, there is uniformity. Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny to shit, piss and litter with meticulous uniformity across our country. Finally we have some unity in the midst of our diversity.

A dustbin has a meaning. Well two. Oxford defines dustbins as “a large container with a lid, used for putting rubbish/garbage in, usually kept outside the house.” In our OX-roaming country it means, quite simply, “anything besides our house”. For us, a dustbin is a location around which littering in legal. Locate any bin; there is more outside than in. Our garbage collectors are smart. They collect whatever is in the bin. What’s left outside waits for international outcry.  Remember the Plague in Surat!