Unholy smoke

Chennai, I am really sick (literally) of smoke from the Pallikaranai dump every night.  Our mayor apparently blames it on rag-pickers.  Yes, indeed!  These rag-pickers must be going through some deep religious experience, because they have been burning the garbage dump like clockwork every night for the last two weeks .

But, it is a great excuse, no?  Feel the urge to work it into casual conversation.

‘You couldn’t even get me a card for my birthday? Have you become so tired of me already?’

‘Jesus, baby, what makes you say something like that?  I actually got you not one, but three cards.  Unfortunately…


‘… the rag-pickers got a hold of them and burnt them.  You know it is their holy month, no?’

‘Oh, shit, I totally forgot.  They didn’t hurt you, no?  Three is so sweet of you, baby.  I love you so much and let’s live happily ever after’.

Ah, so sweet.

Where were we?  Smoke of the garbage kind, yes.  Nasty, choking crap that makes you feel like you live inside a psychedelic homa kundam and makes a restful night’s sleep a distant dream.  Every evening it floats into our campus which is probably a good few km away from the dump.  But, even here, it is enough to cause serious respiratory problems.  Two of us are already on Allegra-type things and soon the entire family will be on drugs because of this nonsense.  One can only imagine what it must be like for folks living right next to the dump.

And a couple of days back, this happened.  Probably, just to show how much worse it could be everyday, but isn’t.  The City tells us that this was an accident.  As a colleague of mine put it, what they meant was that the fire was business as usual, but it getting so big was an accident.

Just the callousness of the city in letting this go on for so long is hard to believe.  Of course, you will call me cynical if I point out that the city bigwigs all live far away from  here northwards.  Where they live, there are probably no garbage dumps.  Nor rag-pickers.  At the very least, no serial-arsonist-rag-pickers who will be able to set fire to things every single night for who knows how long.

SingarachChennai Vazhga!

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