Chennai — Sputum City

It was an interesting incident that I encountered sometime last week in Adambakkam. I was starting in the morning to my workplace and was hurrying a bit. The delay and alongside the stretched night’s reading for the upcoming MBA examinations had been keeping my minds bit confused. After I boarded the bus, I had a bit of doubt and found my wallet missing. I was shocked whether it was pocket lifted and I had to get down the bus to ensure that I try to get the credit card numbers and have them blocked rightaway. Immediately at Medawalkam Koot Road, I got down from the bus. Since it was a regular bus trip, the conductor interrupted and asked why. I told him that. He told me once check the bag first in case it is lying and he asked me to sit in his place. After a bit of ransacking the bag, it was lying inside topsy-turvy. I was very thankful to the conductor for many things:

  1. Saved a great mental agony of deemed to be missing credit card.
  2. Saved from the harrowing moments to go through stupid bank call centers in getting the replacement cards through useless bureocratic setups and procedures.
  3. Saved time in getting down and re-getting another bus.

After getting down at the desired bus stop, while boarding the next bus to Guindy, I encountered an interesting situation. From a bus which was overtaking, a guy was spitting down from his end seat. In Metropolitan Transport Corporation, Chennai buses, the last seat in the bus would be a full length. I was watching him from a distance and since he was sitting near the right edge, and very interestingly the traffic cop came near him to block a car that was trying to cross the yellow line. Our ‘Spittle King’ was so very engaged in his activity, that he continued to spit on the cop too. Though at the moment we can not control the laughter, we have to understand the embarassment the cop underwent since he was on duty and could rarely find some place to go and change his dress or clean. After that the two guys were arguing hot and cold but that is another story.

What I wanted to convey is the intensity of this spitting spree that is going on in the city of Chennai. You can not pass through Chennai roads even for a half furlong without finding stains of spittings on the road. I recall that Ramesh has shared a similar view as a comment in my other blog post “Sky Scrapers in Chennai“.

I really wonder, if the State Government  could initiate some concrete steps to bring down this spitting spree. Spitting in public places is highly disgusting, very much indisciplined, serious health hazard, a bad spot for the cleaner and greener Greater chennai, accompanied by the ‘Korr… Brrr. sounds’ that these sputum kings produce during the act of spitting. I have never come across this in any of the cities to a significant extent. Even Tamil Film actors like Vivek bring this message to people but it falls into deaf years. In one film he used to say to his friend who used to spit everywhere and he showed his shoe-turned flower bouque and his friend spit into it. He commented the following [translated into English]

“Oh My! I am trying to make the best use of this torn shoes as a flower vase but these guys are making it like spit baskets. If and only if there was some Government scheme that all these spittle is collected and diverted to a reservoir, at least from Tamil Nadu, the entire district of Ramanathapuram would find best water resource”. He was comparing the district of Ramanathapuram (RamNad district) since it is highest agricultural producer with more water requirements.

Our audience is more attracted towards glamourous movies but it is a sad thing that good messages do not reach the people to a stronger extent. At least, shall we hope that the current Government of Tamil Nadu would take some concrete steps to reduce this spitting menace in the city of Chennai. If they fail to do, I think, other metros would call us ‘Sputum City’, a name that we have hung our head in shame as against the respected names like Garden City for Bangalore and Pink City for Ajmer. Do we need such a negative recognition?

Related links of Interest:

  1. Spitting to be fined in Chennai.
  2. Spitting is banned in West Bengal