Friday, December 16, 2011

Spat upon

A friend’s friend got spat upon while he was riding a motorbike. The traffic light was red. A passenger riding in a bus in Mumbai just poked his head out of the window and spat. Our friend was mid-trajectory.

As the traffic moved ahead, our friend accelerated, stopped his bike right in front of the bus and forced it to stop. Then he climbed into the bus, located the spitter in his window seat, grabbed his collar, and spat back at him.

The weird thing is, in our country, if you want to prevent people from urinating or spitting on a wall, the only way to do it is by putting pictures of gods and goddesses or some other religious symbol. All that worship and stated respect for ‘Dharti Maa’ and here we go, spitting at her all the time.

I have often wished that there was some technology that would make spit bounce back at the faces of spitters. Some kind of anti-gravity film with which we could coat our streets and walls. Perhaps some clever inventor will make it some day.

In the meantime, we spit at our own great structures — the landmarks that define our existence. Residential buildings, court-houses, government offices, police stations, railway stations, even the inside of (air-conditioned) railway compartments — spit, often paan or gutka stained, is all over the body of our republic. And it is, quite literally, corroding our structures.Believe it or not, even solid structures like the iconic Howrah Bridge are in danger of collapsing.

Read full piece here


Unknown said...

hi..hope you are well..could you write a blog post about the importance of the historic landmarks we see everyday, about how we could relate to them and do all of them need to be preserved..!

i had a similar experience, the person in front of me in a bus spat on a biker..he had the whitest of shirts i have ever seen..the bright red and white was quite a sight..the bus didn't move for another half an hour..

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dipali said...

I was deliberately spat upon by an apparently crazy person on Park Street some months ago. An upsetting violation, to say the least.
(I blogged about it here:

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