The Smaller Good (14th June, 09)
I was so sleepy when I was at my friend’s place. More friends came and they started playing cards. I thought I would watch a movie. The movie “X-Files” started on Star Movie but I just couldn’t feel at ease. I felt tired and sleepy, so I bid them goodbye and went home. I thought they must only feel good to see me go.
But when I reached home, I thought I was going to waste time by sleeping. So I geared myself up. I first took a broom and started cleaning the corridor and steps of the building where I stay. We have a sweeper there. There are 10 tenants in total and we pay Nu. 100 every month to be paid to the sweeper. The sweeper is paid Nu. 1000 for that job but I swear, never once did I see him or her doing the job. But I must admit that twice it was cleaned, though I didn’t meet her/him when she/he was at the job.
When I finished cleaning the steps and corridors, I thought it would be great if I cleaned the rough road that the dwellers there use every day. I took a hoe, a sickle and a spade and got myself to work. The building owners are so territorial. The owner of the building above the road put a drainage pipe till the ridge above the road and the owner of the building below the road put the same from below the road. So the road lies open and it has a badly maintained drain. This drain keeps getting blocked and the water collects on the road which is full of potholes. I cleaned the drain first. People passed by and they all covered their nose and said, ‘Gocholey, khiga ri giwa la.’ But this time, at least I was wearing the gloves.
I picked all the garbage that is dumped there, leveled and widened the road because there is problem for two cars to pass by. I was happy with myself for doing this small, simple job. I had the garbage collected in a huge plastic bag to be thrown this morning when the Municipal Garbage Pickup truck came. I did, but when I came to office this morning, I was so f**** up angry, disheartened and unhappy to see three plastic bags of garbage so neatly tucked behind the stone that is leaning towards the ridge. I shouted in hopelessness. I honestly felt so unhappy at this that I shouted, “How can people differ so much in attitude? How can people not want to cooperate when they see that there are some people who would like to do something good?” I wasn’t trying to say I am good, but I was so completely nobbled. It took me a while to come back to sense. I thought I could leave a note there requesting people not to dump their garbage there but on a second thought, I didn’t want to do it. I thought people will only mock at it, just as someone wrote “F*** You” in bold under the note I pasted on the corridor, “Do not spit.”
Oh but that is how well people understand the world. That is how good our generation is going to preserve the world and its resources for the younger generations. I sometime can’t help finding people so hypocritical. And I hate it.