Conspicuous Absences

The trip to the US continues. The roads are clean. Traffic is orderly. The level of orderliness merits a separate post ! Every other street corner seems to be replete with an effort to blank out ‘grey’ and possible ambiguity, announcing several aspects, including one that announced ‘uneven surface’.
When your immediate context is Mumbai or Chennai or any other city in India and you are used to entire valleys (if not Marina trenches) coming up , where roads existed till the night before, to see a sign that announces ‘uneven surface’ is a matter of great preponderance.

What strikes you most is the absence of people. Vast empty stretches of land, occasionally signalling to you, the existence of life, by a passing car ! That ‘once in a while’ passing car is an important

event, but for which the entire neighbourhood could pass for still image resident in a tourist’s camera. All of this ofcourse, in California, the most populous state in the US !

India has 1/3rd the size of the US and three times the population !!! That could define ‘double whammy’ perfectly. Every other factual comparison however obvious morhps into a tiny sliver of inconsequential information when viewed through the lens of ‘1/3rd the size X 3 times the population’ !

Ofcourse we have a huge population in India. The entire of population of the state of California is less than the population of just three metros Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata put together. Remember, California is the most populous state !

‘Oh we have far too many people’ is an argument that can pass muster with consummate ease against any other factual comparison that could be made based on whats seen here and whats missing back home. Perhaps not without reason. However, that argument doesn’t fly all the way and gets a rather specious shade when its thrown as a defense for any and every sore pore !

The other obvious absence is ‘litter’ ! Boards which carry a message ‘$ 1000 fine for littering’ anoint every other crossing. That is a lot of a money and is a Mt.Everest of a financial barrier.
On the same keel, the super efficient garbage collection methods with more than adequate opportunities for people to dispose their litter completes the circle !

Every house has three bins for three types of waste. ( Yard, Recyclable and non-recyclable). Trash gets collected over a week. On one pre-scheduled day, trash shows up on the roads. In orderly trash cans like this.

Specifications on how and where to place them, can pop an eyeball. But when a large truck comes along and does some serious robotics ( said to be equipped with cameras et al to scan through the waste ) to pick the cans with precision that’s seen in an automated factory, the necessity of following specifications become obvious.

In a flash the trash is taken. Not a drop spilled. No drips on the road.

Perhaps employing all of three people. Driving three different trucks for three different trash cans. Quite obviously the capital expenditure on such trucks and technology could trump full economies of countries. Obviously this is not recommended in India !

What perhaps is recommended for India is another form of cleansing to begin with, which you, the reader, can arrive at far accurate conclusions than what can ever be articulated on this blog!

On another note, for many ages now this blogger has been given enough of an education by his missus that cleanliness begins at home. Only now, does he have some response. Which could go like….’Sure, cleanliness is next to Godliness. But for ‘Godmanliness‘, there is no answer !’ America gives courage to the married man.

Whatsay !?!

The other post is here

9 thoughts on “Conspicuous Absences

  1. SG says:

    Yeah, one often shudders at the implied population density in India when you compare it to US. But if we (Indians) wanted to keep our home clean, we would. I am currently on a break in Patna, and everywhere I see disposed grbage lying about, not being picked up, and then becoming a gluey paste when it rains! Alas!

  2. Insignia says:

    We often say that with this massive population, its difficult to maintain cleanliness in India. But I wonder!

    Why not? Keep your home and surroundings clean. Thats the first step isnt it? And yeah, with $1000 littering fine, people would be extra careful. Do we see a 50000/- INR fine for littering? 😀

  3. Jeevan says:

    The end brings smile.

    Where could we see empty roads in India? What I feel at large about this country was people are very responsible and rules are followed. Perhaps that’s why they are developed countries, not alone by infrastructure but also by people.

    Hope u continue this cleanliness at home! 🙂

  4. They are much more disciplined than us.

    Hope u are enjoying your trip. 🙂

  5. Pearl says:

    It’s a lot easier to keep a large space relatively clean when it was absolutely pristine just a little over 300 years ago. 🙂


  6. Kavi,
    From their values to thinking to way-of-life, the US is a different planet altogether. There is so much to learn from them (the good ones though). My 10 years in North America taught me so much in life.

  7. Cloudia says:

    How very interesting to see it through your eyes!

    Aloha from Honolulu 🙂

    Comfort Spiral




  8. For us cleanliness begins and ends at the threshold of our homes!


  9. dr.antony says:

    I have seen exactly similar system for trash disposal in Germany.
    In India,our problem is a lack of civic sense.

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