Swachch Bharat-2


This is the age of ‘sequels’. Any novel that becomes a best seller has to have a sequel. A blockbuster film is never complete without a sequel. In the same way, my blog which was liked by my readers begged for a sequel.

In a sequel film the protagonist remains the same. The characters though played by different people remain the same. The theme would be on similar lines. In my sequel to ‘Swachch Bharat’, the situation and the protagonist (aka me) remained same, but the methodology applied was different.

It was six months since the previous heap of cut garden twigs had been disposed off(See SWACHCH BHARAT). It was time to get the plants pruned again. In a military officer’s house, even the plants need to sport a crew cut. Habits die hard. So, the practice continues even in the absence of the officer.

One morning I noticed a man working in my neighbor’s yard. I asked him to come to my house next and attend to the plants. When he came and finished his job the cut branches piled up to quite a big heap. The cutter refused to cart out the garbage. The household garbage collectors also put their hands up. But ‘once bitten, twice shy’. I did not contact BBMP or any of their inefficient Help lines. I decided to go for the jugular.

I googled the name of my local corporator and rang her up. I explained to the lady how the shifting of the garbage collection point to a farther location had left me, a single old lady helpless. She sweetly promised to get the green garbage removed the next morning.

But even as I was wondering at the ease with which the problem was solved, I got a call, little later in the evening from the corporator herself saying that her husband wanted to speak to me. Expecting the said gentleman to be a garbage contractor or tractor owner, I asked her to put him on. The husband of the lady told me,” Madam, our job is only to collect your household garbage-wet and dry. We are not responsible for your personal garden cuttings –nimma kasa. You have to hire private people to do that job for you. You can ask him to dump it at the nearest garbage point (what about the complaints of the surrounding residents?!).But since this time it has been promised to you, I shall send my men in a day or two whenever the vehicle is free.

Not trusting my good luck, I gave him a reminder call next morning. Very politely he assured me once again. Soon enough, a man came to have a look at the house and the heap and promised to clear it the next day.

Imagine the surprise, wonder and curiosity of my neighbors (who had all come out) when they saw a big tractor with a HUGE trailer stopping in front of my house first thing in the morning. There were two men to supervise and about 8 laborers, one of which kept grumbling, ’’not our job”. When the whole thing was cleared and the tractor left, I rang up my corporator to thank her. She told me, “Madam, my husband served in this position for 30 years. Now when the vacancy became reserved for a lady candidate, they made me stand for the seat and I was elected. I do not know any of the rules and promised you blindly. That’s why I asked my husband to talk to you. Next time, you can ring me up and I shall arrange for the vehicle, but you have to pay the man.”

But I also had learnt my lesson. What if I were to pay a huge amount for an outsized tractor and trailer to dispose of the  handful of waste from my mini garden?

Anyway the problem comes only after 6 months. By then we might have e-disposal or some such thing.

BTW, my neighbor took the earliest opportunity to accost me and get the whole story out of me.


11 thoughts on “Swachch Bharat-2

  1. Komla Sathyan

    Dear Vimmu,
    Your article is nice and enjoyable. But knowing people’s mentality and for the kai churk pandradu(bribes), you better be careful in future when you have to contact higher authority.

  2. Vimala,
    FUN story. I would swear you live in Maui County – your government behaves in precisely the way as does ours! I particularly noted the large number of “laborers” standing around an “supervising” the one or two unfortunates who were actually working.

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