Clean Environment - Part 1

Outline of the Conversation:

Chandu and Bijoy are best friends living in Kochi, where they attend Amrita University. They are generally good students but have a negative attitude toward the Amala Bharatam Campaign, which many of their classmates are participating in. They refuse to take part when friends and classmates ask them to join, and make fun of ABC. While walkin

g by an ABC cleaning venture one Sunday afternoon in Kochi, the boys take their jokes too far and become downright disrespectful. When news of their insolent, audacious behaviour reaches their professor, Mrs. Sridevi, she gives them a severe scolding, and makes them feel very guilty.

The Conversation:

Chandu: Hurry up Bijoy. I want to get to the theatre as soon as possible. Do you always have to walk like your cousin the turtle?

Bijoy: Ok ok. I'm coming. Look, it's the ABC team out saving the world again. Those guys never rest. I guess someone has to clean up, but they are not even getting paid for their work.

Chandu: I know. Who would want to wake up at five in the morning to spend their Sunday under the scorching hot sun picking up rubbish from the streets, and then have to sort through it? Not me. Sunday is our only free day.

Bijoy: I agree. Besides, the city workers should do it, not the students.

Chandu: I could understand if we were forced to collect garbage to earn a grade; I would do it then, because we would have no choice. But to volunteer your Sunday for this is crazy. 

Bijoy: I agree. But look, they are having so much fun doing it. They are talking and laughing while sweat pours from their faces and trash is in their hands.

Chandu: Yes, and some of them are singing while they work. Our schoolmates have gone mad!

Bijoy: It looks like they are rejoicing to play in dirt. Yes indeed, the trash makes them happy. I've got it Chandu; they are worshipping the trash like it is a deity! 

(The boys laugh hysterically and make a spectacle of themselves. Bijoy gets on his hands and knees and bows to a big sack of garbage, touching it at the bottom as if it were his guru. He removes an old pan-masala sachet from the sack and hands it to Chandu, as if it were prasad. Chandu holds it above his head and dances around to show reverence to the falsely deified garbage sack. As they begin to make up a bhajan about waste, Mrs. Sridevi catches them.)

Mrs. Sridevi: Chandu, Bijoy, what are you buffoons doing? Have you lost your minds? This is a revolutionary event happening here. Your peers are sacrificing their free time and putting aside their studies, to work hard to clean our city, our country. I will not tolerate such disrespect!

Chandu: We are so sorry ma'am. We did not mean to disrespect anyone.

Bijoy: We apologize ma'am. We were just joking.

Mrs. Sridevi: Joking? Well do you see anyone laughing? Your schoolmates do not appreciate your jokes. That young lady over there told me about your antics. I'm very disappointed in you two. I can see that you do not participate in the clean up drives, but don't ridicule those who do.

Bijoy: Ma'am please forgive us for our behaviour.

Mrs. Sridevi: Before any forgiveness, you must become aware of a few things. Do you know what many people from different parts of the world actually think and say about our country, about our country's living conditions? 

Chandu: How can we ma'am? We have never been outside of India. All the foreigners I have met here like to visit India. They say that our culture is rich and beautiful.

Mrs. Sridevi: They may not tell you, but many foreigners talk about how filthy India is. Many people from other countries, who have never been here and do not know anything about our culture, think of us as a dirty people. Is that how you want the world to think of you?

Chandu & Bijoy: No ma'am.

Mrs. Sridevi: Well you should get involved and help build a better name for India.

Bijoy: Believe me ma'am, we want to do our best for the country. It is our duty.

Vocabulary:

Downright - To the fullest degree: completely or totally.

Audacious - Very bold and surprising or shocking.

Hysterical - Feeling or showing extreme and uncontrolled emotion.

Reverence - Honour or respect that is felt for or shown to someone or something.

Deify - To treat someone or something like a god or goddess.

Revolutionary - Causing or relating to a great or complete change.

Antics - An attention-drawing wildly playful or funny act or action.

Ridicule - The act of making fun of someone or something in a cruel or harsh way. 

 

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