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God Is In The Details

We did not get off to a good start this morning. We were stuck behind the garbage truck, as they do their weekly collection round. Even as I was impatiently twiddling my thumbs behind the monster truck, I couldn't help noticing the flies - or lack of them, buzzing around the garbage like they should do. I am not saying the firang refuse smelled of sweet perfume, but they didn't make me want to gag my intestines out. There was no unsightly bits hanging about or littered around the half mile radius, sort of like a billboard announcement as to the activity that took place there recently.

And of course, as one does normally in such situations, I started thinking, When would we get to such a state in India, where a garbage truck did not get a huge crowd of flies and other buzzards circling it? It is a small thing and I know the ONYX is doing a brilliant job it is such a small thing, isn't it? Doing a job well. But small thing doesn't mean it is simply done.

If you are familiar with Chennai during the summer months, then the water tanker lorries would be a familiar sight as well. For those who aren't, these are blue, rectanglular sided lorries, with METRO WATER emblazoned on all sides. There is no mistaking the contents as the water would be sloshing off the top of the lorry and generally bathe the scooter following it. At times of acute water shortage, when the precious commodity would be rationed, it was disturbing to see huge rivulets of water running down the streets, marking the path of the lorries. I remember a Class IX physics lesson about centre of gravity and my teacher took the example of the water tanks and how unsound their structure is, as they have a highly unstable centre of gravity. So why wasn't a power that be making sure that we had friendlier water carriers, that did not waste it?

What about our roads? Why is it that anarchy reigns supreme on them? Why haven't we got something simple like a codebook for drivers?

Other general matters of etiquette like queuing, holding the door open for the person coming behind you rather than slamming it on their noses, personal space, personal hygeine, respecting others' freedom are all abstract concepts.

We are all busy patting ourselves on our backs about the big things - technological advancement, getting more and more MNCs to invest in our country, increasing GDP etc but IMHO, we are losing sight of the small things, things that will elevate us from also rans to a true-blue advancing country. After all, God is in the details and until we realise that, all-round development will be a foreign concept.

Posted by DesiGirl 8:15 pm  

1 Comment:

  1. apu said...
    the answer is in the "consequences"/incentives. The lorry owner/contractor, for e.g., in no way is he penalised for wastage of water. metrowater doesnt care whether half the water reaches consumers, or none. Nor is there an alternative source. In such a monopolistic situation, they can do anything and get away with it. Maybe once consumer bodies get stronger, things will change, but its frustratingly slow. And we have ourselves to blame too - most residents associations consisting of people like you and me, wont lift a finger about such things...

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