One foot in the grime, one foot in the Divine.

Divine Feast

India is a land of contradictions.

Walking through a back alley in Delhi, on one side the wall is decorated with tiles bearing images of Gods, Goddesses and Deities. Turn my head the other way and I see children sorting through waste and shovelling it with their hands onto an enormous pile of rubbish.

This vast country, famous for its rich spiritual heritage, with its huge population, has an enormous waste problem.

Not so long ago, the cups for chai were all made from unfired clay and people only ate from banana leaf plates, so throwing these onto the street presented no problem.

Now, the chai mostly comes in plastic cups and everything else comes wrapped in a plastic too, but it still gets chucked on the ground, meaning that the streets of India are littered with waste that won’t bio-degrade for several thousand years.
At best, it will be burned in piles on the street, filling the air with acrid smoke that has people breathing in toxic fumes and constantly coughing while undoubtedly tearing holes in the Earth’s atmosphere.

It is ironic that people in India take so much care over their own appearance – the women dress in exquisite sarees and men comb and oil their hair to perfection – yet noone bats an eyelid at the mounds of rubbish by the roadside that are slowly turning this beautiful country into a wasteground.

I have come to India for spiritual inspiration, and it can still be found. But it causes me great pain in my heart to see the way the people here treat their own country of which they are so proud.

The pure, unquestioning devotional psychology that comes so naturally to the Indian mind needs to be coupled with education and environmental awareness very soon, before this mystical land gets lost in a gigantic pile of plastic waste.

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5 Responses to One foot in the grime, one foot in the Divine.

  1. Lavanya says:

    I love you writings, thank you for this

  2. David says:

    what a shame,
    a crying shame,
    that we can so easily become unbalanced,
    ignoring our shattering bodies’ talents
    whilst grooming our shining mane.

    Nevertheless, I hope that regardless
    on your adventure you have a strong harness
    and that beauty is revealing
    even in rubbish and banana peeling
    accompanied by a calm that is endless .

  3. Shahda says:

    Hi even though i lived in india for 18 years i still lived in a place where the environment was perfect for me but the poorvity of india really disturbed me alot. I tried my best to keep my little town and my neighborhood clean as possible. But it was really had for one person to do it all as nobody helped me nor did they care some of my friends did care and my school too and our school and our town was the best amoung all the places but as i went to big places like delhi, calcutta and mumbia i hated it i couldnt serivive there. I ran away from there because of so much pollution, waste, dirtiness and porvity there. now i m in canada i love it here cause it was like my dream, “a country really clean and tidy”. still i dont like toronto so much. but as i sit here & talk to my relatives and friends in india and when they show me the pictures and oother stuffs i feel so bad and ashame of it that i m from there not because i have changed and become totally canadian but because of the issues of environment over there. I want to do something for my country really badly but i dont know where to start from. I need help and support but i find non. I just want to feel that proudness of being Indian agian but i dont find it anymore. and thnx for the person who wrote this article i really thank you and hope someone could do sth about it. i tried and lot but cant find any support if somebody wants to please let me know. I hope i could contact u and ask you something more but its ok i ll still try my best and make India a better place to live in, till the day i die

  4. Roshnii says:

    Thanks for your comment Shahda. You clearly feel very passionately about this issue. I am sure that there are many individuals who feel the same way.
    The problem is that India is a country with an enormous population, now surpassing the one billion mark and a turn around in the country requires a mass movement. There needs to be real education on a grass roots level for local communities to understand the effects of littering, polluting and burning. Also, an infrastructure needs to be established for waste management, which in many places does not seem to exist.

  5. Veolia says:

    It is widely known that countries struggling with poverty tend to care less about the environment, if you look back in your own country only 20 years ago you will realize that it probably wasn’t something high up on the agenda.

    I am not defending anyone just making a point, and in industrial countries after we feel safe with food every day, a home and free time, other things such as the environment start to be important to us.