Written By: Amar Sneh
Whenever I am traveling in my own country, I always encounter a co-passenger seated in the front seat spitting. Now also the same continuity continues as I am traveling in BEST bus, a local bus transport in Mumbai.
I was occupying a window seat, enjoying cool breeze and that I am lost and engrossed completely in my own thoughts; suddenly with a big mouthful sound-effect of spitting was heard followed by a spray spouted through like a fountain so fell on my bright glowing face that it shrunk into a small closed crumpled paper packet. I was so disgusted that I felt like beheading my face from my trunk, but gentleman, what to do it is my compulsion, since I have but one only. Anyway I coolly wiped my face with kerchief and deposited all the bacteria in my pocket.
The nonstop replays of the same action by the co-passenger must have hatched larvae on my face by now. With a great effort I could just make a grunting sound, but by then he delivered his spit and I had to swallow my helplessness. Again in his original country style and culture, flavored-filled luscious spit was delivered; when a passenger sitting ahead of him joined him in this feat, I remembered the Persian poet but with a slight change like this, “If there exists a Hell in the universe, then it is here—it is here” (Gar dojakh barooe zami asto hami asto—hami asto”)
When I took objection on his uncouth spitting, the fellow got angry and started at me, “Hey you not teach me – ten years – full ten years working in court man — what! – I understand law man — what notice there, “Do not spit in the bus”, so I do outside man – kha—a—k – thoo. Who you to teach me – you go your state spit there — I spit here in my state — with red eyes he spitted again – thoo—thoo – thoo.
Being a citizen of this big democratic nation, I disliked and disapprove his shrunken, emaciated attitude of confinement to state-wise divisions. Listening to this fellow’s spit like thinking, the feeling of national integrity and pride ran far away, but I gathered courage and spoke, “Gentleman! For me in all the respects my nation is my first concern – the entire Bharat is one and it is mine too. The fellow reacted – I not stop you – go spit any place and keep national tradition alive.
I too mumbled, “ever since I attained the years of discretion, I have been observing that people here keep on spitting – how disgusting! People here even spit on the placard with inscription’ “Do not spit here” itself. God knows what this disease is, which has grasped this entire country?
The fellow got enraged at this remark and grunted loudly, “O! — O! Sahib, it no disease sahib, it our compulsion and pressure – – we not do it for pleasure sir but due to oppression and suppression we poor keep spitting —- A common man cannot do anything but spit –hey man. He kept quite for a while and suddenly in aggravated pained loud voice he began, “Every Independence Day, fifteenth August, he slams lecture atop Lal-Kila at Delhi — poor people get bread, cloth and shelter — every poor hand get work for livelihood —- children of poor people get education — progress and prosperity to all poor — two hours he shout there —when descend Lal-kila forget all what promises make to unfortunate deprived poor common man. — Sahib we poor not do anything but spit — kha—a—k – thoo —-thoo —-thoo—- one short of sixty — only once — thoo ——-
After independence these people hung we poor with half death penalty. You talk of government —- you take ministers and ministry — all are monkey fight distribution — thoo —-thoo —-thoo—- Take big contracts — take licenses — planning — — infrastructure plans — all money gobbling program – they loot our nation —– levying and extracting poor and only the poor are punished. These nasty, dirty, dishonest, politicians sallow poor people’s money. —– they talk of law — taking law in hand they raze, demolish poor peoples shanties lend them homeless by bulldozing, but when turn of these leaders and moneyed people’s illegal constructions come—-talk new rules and laws. Talking big of laws and legislation, these savior and protector of laws bring a new bill in parliament and twist the law favoring them —- what democracy? Safe’s keys of Delhi in hands of thieves — (Tijori chi killi Chorochya hatat Dilli) (Keys of the national treasury is given in hands of all thieves)
I was reflecting on all what he said and felt Yes! He is right, “A stealthy pilferer bitch and guarding sweet-Jalebi.” (Chotti kutiya aur jalebiyon ki rakhwali) ——— Keeping quite for a while he began grumbling again, “Sahib! For setting small business, a poor get long list of rules from bank for loan — no guarantor no loan — man, but nothing to happen to millionaire, billionaire industrialist, who dupes and swindles the bank for millions of Rupees — man. Here sahib there is total freedom for looters and plunderer like commission agents, moneyed people and these rulers — thoo —-thoo —-thoo—-. Top classes enjoy democracy and poor punishocracy. —-thoo —- thoo
The fellow kept constantly steaming out his frustration. He further said, “poor not have chance dying his death –man — soaring prices, poverty, unemployment, filth all over, diseases, hunger, riots, closures, terrorist attacks, adulterated eatables, bogus medicines and top of it shocking democracy —- this how poor die in this democracy —man. Running the democracy offerings of Poor’s life sacrifice needed – man. —-thoo —- thoo
Millions of tons of grain, fruits and vegetables in government warehouses keep stalling and spoiling and throw in sea –man, but not give to poor —- why man? Why? —- prices should not plunge — poor man dying of hunger — is ok —- show principles of economy to poor —- a Pokka conspiracy — making poor more poorer and rich more richer — kha—a—k – thoo —-thoo —-thoo—- Sahib one after one I remember these things, I helpless but show my disgust, anguish and shame by spitting – man.
We voted a leader thinking he is messiah of poor and sent to parliament at Delhi as M. P., there he changed his cap and wore different colored cap and became minister- now he does nothing but keep a watch on changing colors of caps — he not bother for us —- he don’t remember us. —- thoo —-thoo —-thoo—-
It seems the fellow is tiered, so became dull; he went into a trance and remains quiet for a long now. He then turned to me and in a low tone said, “Sahib — you spit on me.” I was taken aback and looked at him with a great startle and asked him, “why should I do this?”
He replied, “We only elect them and send them to parliament — our society only originate and produce such people — so you spit on me. I might have to produce the sputum by chewing nuts —- hanged on half death penalty the sputum is dried.