OPINION

The Common Shame Games of India

September 21, 2010
Deepti Lamba

A couple of days ago a friend of mine spoke about finding human excrement all over her new two crore penthouse in an upcoming apartment complex. Her bathroom had been freely used as well. She was okay with it but she complained that they could have flushed.

So much for moving into a posh apartment. Then came the news about unsanitary conditions in the Commonwealth Games Village Towers in the bathrooms, jacuzzi and even filthy apartments with dogs clambering on the beds. This is being roundly seen as a national shame.

What shame is being talked about? We are a country of turd and piss. Where there is clean space there will be stinking human sausages and where there is a free standing wall there will be marks of urine. The fact of the matter is that our poor don't have anywhere to unload their intestines and kidneys.

It is not the neglected shit in the jacuzzi that we should be concerned about but the reason why this happened in the first place. Could the cause be lack of portable loos near construction sites or just plain resentment on the part of the poor overworked labour class? In truth, to have the Commonwealth Games to be hosted in India was a collosal waste of money. We are a poor, dirty nation. The money could have been put to better use.

I also have a bone to pick with the so called educated lot as well. Visit the loos of any mall and one would probably prefer to land up with urine infection due to resisting the urge to sit on a unclean pot rather than get it from the pot itself. It is commonplace to see urban mothers encourage their children to pee on the floor of the toilet right next to the commode in the restrooms of large malls.

Gandhiji once said the bathroom should be so clean that one could eat in that room. Unfortunately most Indians are not that finicky about their bathrooms. Of course the West has different notions of cleanliness. Some even turn their bathrooms into rooms with carelessly thrown carpets and chairs to sit on. These could well be rooms where Gandhi would patiently wait for his enemas but most of us Indians would consider a waste.

Its all about instant gratification. Take a dump, take a leak and to hell with the next person who wants to use the loo or be paranoid about the festering bacterias creeping and crawling all over the commode and around it. I agree with a shudder with Lalit Bhanot's statement that our concept of hygenie is very different from those of Westerners.

I am not ashamed of the shabby preparations for the Commonwealth Games 2010 but am depressed that our politicans have made off with the money as usual, I am ashamed of their bare faced lying and worst of all I am mortified that no one until now has brought up the fact that we as a nation continue to play shame games every day by peeing and shitting like animals.

dee.jpgDeepti Lamba is an author, besides editing at Desicritics
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