Saturday, July 28, 2007


I was up on the terrace for a breath of fresh air and happened to spot a couple of bright green parakeets on the telephone wires. As I broke into an automatic smile and gazed at them, along came a boy of about 12 years, looked at the birds, picked up a stone and threw it at them. The birds flew away, and the boy hardly even stopped to see what happened, he skipped along and went on his way. What kind of a perverse mind in such a young boy would make him do such a heartless and meaningless thing?

No sooner did this boy leave than a well-dressed middle-aged man came by. He stopped at the corner right opposite our house, pulled his zipper down and proceeded to relieve himself. In broad daylight, in full view of five-six homes, definitely in full view of me. Then he zipped up nonchalantly and went his way. I wish I had a catapult.

Then along came a woman who spat noisily right in the middle of the road, and behind her came hooting and spitting males, sitting atop a huge truck spewing noxious fumes. So much for my breath of fresh hair.

India is full of people like these, and we expect to be called the next superpower?

And to crown it all, we now have a President who talks to dead people.

India Shining? Bah! India rotting and regressing is more like it.

Yes, it is one of those days.


Viky said...

So much for your breath of fresh air.

Don't worry - it has been worse than this - should you not be getting back to little A?

Pradeep Nair said...

Couldn't agree with you more, Shruthi. The West talks of India a lot now because of our size, and thereby it's a huge market.

A lot of Indians have become richer... But again doesn't mean anything, bec all that we are doing with our money is just blow that up in malls and restaurants; also of course saving some of that too...

But what about the infastructure. The society's richness hasn't helped one bit on that front...

Science and tech have progressed; we have more money too now; but until we change in our thought process, I don't think there is much hope... I know it's a pessimistic thought, but realistic.

Anonymous said...

Last night's dinner with Eric and Frieda , my landlord and lady,We had such a long conversation about India and how courtiousness, hospitality, genuine concern forms an integral part of our culture and upbringing and how the local folks here are losing it by the day.I wake up to read your post and you know what? I agree with you 200%. I should concede that i feel shameful for portraying a false India to a naive old couple.
I read NDTV/CNN-IBN .. more heart burns ..phew... I don;t want to sound like a conscious 60 year old in a hindi film.. but i'd still say "Is desh ka kya hoga ..? "
Atleast, you have your little angel to get back to and ease your mind off .. Thanks for the pictures .. she's heavenly!


Anonymous said...

Take a breather. I left India 20 years ago and I can provide some perspective.

Throwing rocks at things must be something in our genetic make up going back to the days of living in the caves.

The man relieving himself on the street probably has no access to a public restroom there. Take train ride and you will think the whole country side is a huge toilet.

The woman spiting on the street is doing just what everyone else is doing.

Do you think these things don't happen in other countries? I have run into girls relieving themselves in UCLA elevators, too drunk and unable to get to perfectly accessible rest rooms. I have seen boys doing much worse like torturing kittens. Men and women do unspeakable things in public in one the world's richest locality.

You are annoyed by these things and mapping it back to the country and superpower and not. I don't see how they can all be linked. Maybe you just want to write a nasty blog today? :)

Raj said...

Ha, you should have titled the post as " On parakeet pelters, pavement pissers and president pratibha patil".

Shammi said...

President who talks to dead peoople??? Sounds like it could be a sequel to M Night Shyamalan's "The Sixth Sense" :D

Not to downplay the things you've mentioned that are endemic in India, of course...

Shruthi said...

Viky, heh heh! Hair :D Yes, I did get back to the Little One immediately and felt better ;)

Pradeep, hmmm... but a little positivity won't hurt either... just that sometimes everything looks so dark!

C, dear, don't get so disillusioned. The hospitality, courtesy, all that still exists... it might be getting eroded, but all is not yet lost. But yes, there is a lot that is yet to be done. As for painting a good picture of India, keep at it. We have too many people who take the first opportunity to blast India before non-Indians.

Anon, firstly, throwing rocks was acceptable for the cave men - they had to hunt for their food. Definitely not acceptable in this age - esp when the boy had no intention of eating the birds. And genetic makeup? No excuses.
Second. You must be a male :D What do you think we women do when we are on the road and we need to use the toilet? We CONTROL. The meaning of which, I think, many males don't know. Or else, we use our brains and use the toilet before setting out.
Third, if a woman spits because everybody else does, that is no excuse. And that is all the more reason to worry. That everybody does it.
And just because people do such things elsewhere doesn't mean that it is okay to do it here.
And in my mind, it all connects together. I am saying that we still have a long long way to go, let us not disillusion ourselves that we are the next superpower.
As for nastiness, that's furthest from my life right now, I wouldn't indulge in nastiness if I didn't really feel that way ;)
Please leave a name or a nickname next time! :)

Raj, heh heh!!! trust you to find humour everywhere! :D Thanks :))

Shyam, hee hee... I thought of the same thing when I first heard it. Imagine her in her presidential speech - "I see dead people". That would be fun!

Sunil said...

Looking at the present "state of affairs" India is in Now as compared to, say 10 years ago, we sure have a reason to say "India Shining"... It is always an exponential change, and, going by the past 10 years, I (personally) have a lot to look forward to in the next 20 years.
(Eg. I can find fewer plastic bottles strewn around at tourist places as compared to the numbers found 5 years ago !! Signs of improvement, isn't it ?!)

I bet, the Pavement pissers and roadside spitters are all people from the past generation, who have lived in those circumstances, and feel it is "acceptable". I am sure, the generation next who have lived the "Clean life" will tend to be clean in the years to come. Again, there will be that section of society where they don't really care where the country, (and Your City, for that matter) is heading as long as they find their small share of bread for the day. And these are the "few" people you will find around you to complain!!!

Talking about the President, Since when have you started measuring India by the politicians...?!

Sunil said...

Ohh... by the way, Nice to See Shruthi back in (Blogging) Action !!

Usha said...

Just the kind of sights that make my blood boil.Utter lack of respect to their surroundings, environment and anything beyond them and theirs.

Anonymous said...

Looks bad .. but how many of residential areas does have a public utility ( restrooms ) ? Is it fine if he knocks a door and asks "can i pee in your bath room"
What if it is really urgent and there is nothing available ? hang himself ?

This was the discussion we had it in my high school. we build temple , we build schools we build bus stand .. but we forget one basic thing .. a toilet.

Anil P said...

Perversely, it is because of them we might become the next superpower, for, who would want to mess with people like these? :)

Anonymous said...

> Anon, firstly, throwing rocks was acceptable for the cave men - they had to hunt for their food. Definitely not acceptable in this age - esp when the boy had no intention of eating the birds. And genetic makeup? No excuses.

Shruthi... cave age and now, what's the difference. Technology has changed so on and so forth. That will keep on changing. But man has evolved from an animal, and that evolution isn't yet complete. People are still stuck to their primal instincts. We see examples of this in the paper everyday.

Esp some kids do have this sadistic attitude. I don't know why. I myself used to kill ants and stone street dogs just because it used to give me a kick. At some point something changed in me and I realised what a dumb thing it was to do. But putting myself in the same shoes as earlier, it just gives a kick and people want to do it, out of sheer ignorance.

Maybe evolution is an ongoing individual personal process... :)

More later...

Anonymous said...

We see examples of this in the paper everyday - about so much of mindless violence... sometimes for perfectly "rational logical and justifiable" cooked up reasons.

Shruthi said...

Sunil, you have a point, things have definitely changed for the better. But I don't agree that pavement pissers, etc are from the past generation!
And I thought Presidents at least should have some stature, right?
And no, I haven't been out of action at all, have I? :)

Usha, yeah, and unfortunately it is so common too!

Bachodi, what do we females do when we have to go? Hang ourselves? Definitely not!!!

Anil P, heh heh ;)))

Sanjay, evolution might not be complete, but our brains have progressed quite a bit from the Neanderthal Man. Anyway, more later! :)

Prasoon Rana said...

hey.... Nicely said... this is definately the current situation in our country which need to improve... But at the same time... It's definately improving .I am not at all agree with above comments of hopelessness and cant improve or we cant do anything abt it..... We didn't have wht we have today 10 yrs back... we have lot better highways today , Lot more industries coming up... too much is happening... You and I are discussing such problems and Most of us dont do such things... I see this as improvement..a change in attitude.. India is definately rising.. our attitude is surely changing.. we just need to notice these weak points of OUR(yes there is no THEY and THOSE's US) society , talk abt them , try to do what we can do... it's not possible that we are now earning good bucks so everything arnd should change at once... everyone should behave/act in good manner.. we are used to of this attitude now..But it's changing in you and me and many more of us... and Finally we are the future...

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