(11th January, 2011)
I just bathed my baby and I’m feeding her. My apartment is not on a highway but the road that runs above it is busy. At late night I hear the car passing by. I hear the cars before dawn as well. This makes me think that people are very busy in fact.
Across my apartment, above this busy road stays a National Assembly member. I see people walk by, different cars speed by, and sometime, even though I stay quietly in my house, I can’t help notice the irritating shrill honk of the cars. These days people have the taste for irritating not-normal car honk. I even get a feeling that it should not be allowed. I heard someone say that it is banned in Delhi. I don’t know how far it is true but I think it is right. You don’t have to go anywhere to be exposed to noise pollution. You can be disturbed right when you are in the quiet of your own home.
Yes I was going to write about this scene I witnessed this morning. It is 9:45 a.m. I am caught by the sight of an NA member – he has a neatly folded blue kabney on his shoulder; his right hand is holding a shining silver patang. Then what catches my attention even more is – taking his left hand to his mouth. And there, did I see something like a flake of smoke come out? I am not mistaken. Yes he is smoking a cigarette. And this suddenly takes me to the many discussions the last National Assembly Session had on making stricter rules and laws on smoking. I think of the very-wide news coverage it received. I am not meaning to say that an NA member cannot smoke, for they are the ones enacting the laws on banning it. I don’t know. It gives me a nudge, an enthusiasm so strong that I quickly type an entry in my journal.
Two women stand near him. A red alto car is in front of them. He throws up the cigarette butt on the tall wall above the parking. But it falls down. So he picks it up and puts it in the front wall on which are planted flowers. Then, he throws the patang and kabney in the car and drives away.
I fight a thought that maybe, one’s family is not public; maybe one’s family becoming passive smokers doesn’t matter. But I do hate fathers or mothers smoking nonchalantly in front of their children.