Ek Kahani – The true story of the desi litter dump

My contribution to The Great Indian Litterbug organized by Times of India

Image Courtesy: The Great Indian Litterbug
Image Courtesy: The Great Indian Litterbug



I was smooth, wide and clean as a slate,

When the corporation parked me in front of this gate,

Now I am scratched, faded and filthy,

And you can smell me across this gully.


They figured that I would fit like a mit,

In this neighborhood which was a hit,

It had the city’s most popular school,

Not to mention the expensive homes that housed the cool.


I looked forward to holding all their filth, I was created to do that, so I had no guilt,

But sadly most of my insides remained empty as a haunted garden.

I was surprised as much as you, to find that they tossed their garbage around me,

It was not like I was too tall, that they could not toss in all their soils.


First the fancy school and its students littered around me,

Then it was those residents, who decided that it was too much to walk near me,

So they tossed their junk from the comforts of their cars and balconies,

Almost always missing my mouth that was open as wide as a crater.


The cats, crows and street dogs were my loyal company,

Along with the rats that sent everyone into a scurry,

Alas even they lasted only until they spotted that gypsy,

Who thought that it would be fun to go diving into my belly.


Then there were those that worked in the fancy homes,

That mostly seemed to lack service rooms,

For when it was time to answer natures call,

They always seemed to be splashing on my walls.


If you think that my story is sad,

Just wait until you meet my little cousin down the road,

The citizens of this gully can’t be bothered to walk down the street to fill his belly,

But  managed to turn an empty plot into a landfill that is too smelly.


The corporation took him away,

Before he could have his say,

“There aren’t too many people using him”, they said,

“Well, won’t you just look at the landfill?”, he said.


Then they came to clean me up and shook their heads in disgust,

And complained as always about why people couldn’t use me best,

My cousin smiled from the back of their great truck, he was glad to go

Maybe he wouldn’t starve so much else where and get back his glow.


“Just you wait, my little one”, I said,

You have a lot to learn before you turn into a metal case like me,

We still live in a land of gazillions,

That wouldn’t mind giving their doctors a million.


They can never dream of making hygiene their goal,

As they believe that this stuff is for the all phoren souls.

Ask that NRI down the street, who is clean as pin in Jersey City,

But will not think twice before spitting at my sides in this great city.


Learn and live my little one,

My tale is not the only one,

There are plenty of us around this great country,

Who will tell you the true story of the Great Indian Litter Dump!


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