Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pissing Off!

The road from sector 6 to sector 4 market in Dwarka, New Delhi, like most Delhi roads, is wide and smooth. That is, for the cars. For the pedestrians, it is, what you can call as an ‘olfactory nightmare’.

In between the two markets runs the famous ‘naala’ of west delhi, an age-old landmark occupying a prominent guiding position in Eicher maps and Google Earth. For the uninitiated, the far-reaching smell is indicative enough. The naala oozes with gut turning muck in the middle of towering concrete structures. Nature’s way of saying – the shit has hit the fan.

Offering a passage above this naala (no matter how nose-burning) is a short bridge. Almost every evening, I cross this stretch on foot to reach home. Day before yesterday, I risked an unusual response to a usual phenomenon in this part of the world.

I saw him from far and close enough to figure that he was peeing. With men, the pose tells it all, actually. What angered me was that he was pissing bang in the centre of that cruelly narrow footpath on a very busy road. I agree that men (and women) can’t be expected to control their bladders in a city with abysmally inadequate public utilities…but they can at least be expected to use some discretion? I mean, the man could have urinated a few meters ahead or behind that point where there was some space for human and excretion to co-exist. But no. He will piss wherever he feels like. As if it’s his dad’s road. As if others are his piss bearers.

I just HAD to give it back to him.

I timed my steps such that by the time he zipped, I was close enough to be in talking range. Once he did, I stepped down from the footpath, and said, “ये लोगों के चलने की जगह है भाई”. Honestly, I wanted to give him a piece of my mind…but there I was, on a rather lone and dark delhi road…accosting a man for something that can hurt his pride. So that was all I could and would manage.

Unexpectedly (you are expecting the worst while doing any dare-devilry), the man almost fainted. He immediately sidestepped and said, “गलती हो गयी मैडम, आगे से नहीं होगा’।
Strange. Almost innocent. No, foolish.

As I went back smiling to my home, I thought…if more and more people, especially women…started being more open and reasonable with the pissing habits of men, the world might just become a cleaner place to live in.

4 comments:

  1. Your anger is quite evident in the first couple of paragraphs, but it is quite rare to find a person accepting his mistake and not barking back!

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  2. yes, i was angry. but the guy's ready contrition surprise me every bit. i was almost ready for a confrontation! his reaction gave me hope, i must admit.

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  3. Yes, such small small acts re instill the faith in you that its not entirely rotten. It happened to me once when I was traveling by an auto rickshaw. It is very unusual for ric drivers not to argue for a fare, but on one occasion, when I hired a ric, he just put the meter and started driving. He was speeding a bit, so I asked him to tone it down. When he stopped the ric and I gave the money his eyes were full. I asked him what happened, he said his daughter was in the hospital with burns on her stomach from boiled water spilling over her and he was running around and driving to make money so that he'll have money to meet the expenses at the end of the day. Having said this, he started his rickshaw again. He was speeding because of that. But even then, he didn't bargain like other, neither did he ask me for any money during or at the end of the journey. He gave me hope. I gave him whatever I had with me then and said take care.

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  4. touching anecdote. bolsters my faith in humanity.

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