January 23, 2012

Of rivers and plastic bags

I am sitting in the train and waiting for it to reach Mysore as soon as possible so that i can do something to satiate my craving for an evening snack. My calculation about reaching home by half past 5 on a Saturday, right in time for chai and snack has gone amiss. The train started off late from Bangalore and is running behind schedule. And my stomach doesn't really like it and growls in response.
The sight of Srirangapatna is heartening- 1. Mysore is not very far off. 2. It had been a while since i had gotten to see Cauvery at Srirangapatna. Since my regular travel happens early in the morning or late evening, i normally do not get to see the river flowing by. It used to be a favorite activity during childhood to see the river, notice the rocks and wonder during summer at how this sparing water body feeds an entire state. Or marvel at the gushing waters in monsoon.
As i was reminiscing and staring at the water, PLONK went two plastic bags from the next compartment, straight into the river! While i wanted to give a piece of my mind to the people who threw it in, I held back, wondering whether it would be of any good?! They would probably ask me to point them to the dustbin that was glaringly absent in the compartment. Also, i have had bad experiences in the past when the person i was giving advice to would stare at me as if I was the person on the wrong side. And i would get some collective looks from the onlookers all of them giving away what they are thinking- "This girl has gone crazy!". I dunno if it is crazy to tell someone to use the dustbin and not pollute the river with plastic bags. It should not be. The river is the lifeline for so many people. It is from that river that you get your water for consumption daily. So please think twice before throwing plastic bags with trash into it. If there is no dustbin, you can always leave the trash under your seat in the train. The cleaning people will take care of disposing it. Water bodies should not be your dumping place. Please give due consideration to the environment. It needs effort to sustain. And that effort should come from each and every one of us.


  1. I have also felt the same when people used to throw bags in the rivers and when i have attempted to reason with ppl, i have gotten the same glares, maybe its the way we all have been brought up in a society where responsibilty to society is never given importance.

  2. Replies
    1. Aparna,

      I appreciate the way you feel about that incident. It is not just the water body, there is a long list to add. Let me put it simple. How many times we switch off the monitor that we use at work? Hardly once in a week? Doesn't save the electricity and save nature?

      I wish everyone would feel the responsibility that they have for the society. If you find similar incidents again, you don't need to advice them, but educate them.

      Points to note- Pls start with younger generation. You will feel the response.


  3. I know. The younger generation is more receptive to such things. Eco-consciousness should be a habit that one imbibes from a young age. And when it comes to trying to educate elders, one tends to feel awkward doing so. As if, we are out of the line trying to instruct them. That's why i keep quiet most of the times.

    1. Justified :-)

      Please don't forget to switch off the desktop monitor :-)


  4. Replies
    1. Excellent! I appreciate it.


  5. Encountered a similar situation when a person who bought peanuts started throwing peels on the floor of a well sweeped train ..

    All the while I kept thinking how to effectively tell this to the other person and make him throw them all in a plastic cover.. If I tell him with a straight face then the point will mostly not be taken and it will all get thrown anyway. Should I offer a cover as well and make a request ?.. By the time I could come to any conclusion the damage was done. Neat floors were dirty in no time..

    There's always a next time :(..