Clean Environment - Part 2

Outline of the Conversation:

After scolding Chandu and Bijoy, Mrs. Sridevi tells them about a negative experience she had on an airplane in which she encountered a negative opinion of India that motivated her to work to improve India's international reputation. This story angers the boys. The story, coupled with Mrs. Sridevi's thought-provoking words succeeds in changing the boys' view of ABC.

The Conversation:

Mrs. Sridevi: Let me tell you a story. I was once on a flight to the United States to visit my brother and his family in Los Angeles. After using the lavatory, I tried to wash my hands but found that the soap dispenser was empty. Most of the flight attendants were too busy serving food to assist me.

Bijoy: So what did you do ma'am?

Mrs. Sridevi: I finally located an available stewardess and communicated my problem. She told me that there was no hand soap on the aircraft because the ground crew failed to complete its duties. I told her that I really needed some kind of cleanser for my hands, and she tried to pacify me. We got into an argument and she said something very hurtful.

Chandu: What did she say ma'am?

Mrs. Sridevi: She said 'No offense, but aren't you coming from India, what's the big deal?' I was speechless. After giving her a piece of my mind, I returned to my seat and vowed to do everything in my power to invalidate the kind of thinking this lady had about our country.

Bijoy: She should have been fired! So since we're Indian, we do not care about being clean? We will be ok with no soap.

Chandu: I bathe twice a day. That was very rude and insensitive of her to say that! She is no cleaner than me.

Mrs. Sridevi: I was hurt, and just wanted to forget about it. My point is this. She was very wrong for saying that, but it really made me think. If we live in a landfill, and treat our homeland like a toilet, how should we expect the world to think otherwise?

Chandu: But ma'am. Everybody does it. I see businessmen in suits and ties with briefcases tossing their used coffee and tea cups into the street. I've seen policemen urinate in the road.

Mrs. Sridevi: That is exactly the type of mentality we should work to eradicate. We must motivate and support each other, man and woman, young and old, to do our part to clean our society and improve our international reputation. Our economy is booming, and the world sees that, believe me. Many people throughout the world are talking about how much we are advancing.

Bijoy: I've heard that also. Wow ma'am, I don't think I've ever really considered another country's opinion of India. Our country is so big and people are so different. If anything, I've wondered how North Indians truly think of us South Indians.

Mrs. Sridevi: Yes Bijoy, you should care about another nation's perception of you. Citizens of many countries are very proud of their country. Let's be proud to be Indian.

Bijoy: That's right ma'am, we will show the world that India is one of the best countries around, that we have much to offer. People with opinions of India like the stewardess will be proven wrong. They must be proven wrong!

Chandu: I agree. Bijoy has the right idea. I've always loved our country. It is all I know.

Bijoy: Chandu, I say instead of going to the movies, we join Amala Bharatam right now.

Chandu: Sounds good brother. Mrs. Sridevi, consider us your humble servants. Let us atone for our foolish behaviour. If you give us a few minutes to change out of our good clothes, we will return and be ready to work. Come Bijoy, are you ready to save India?

Bijoy: You bet I am!   

Mrs. Sridevi: Well I am definitely impressed. But boys, give your work some longevity. I know you are excited, and plan to make a difference. But please don't quit your service after today. Whenever you have some extra time, and feel like helping, I will be very appreciative.

Chandu: Ok ma'am. See you soon.

Vocabulary:

Lavatory - A room with a toilet and sink.

Pacify - To cause (someone who is angry or upset) to become calm or quiet.

Invalidate - To make invalid; to weaken or destroy the effect of something.

Otherwise - In a different way or manner.

Mentality - Mode or way of thought.

Eradicate - To remove (something) completely: to eliminate or destroy something harmful.

Atone - To do something good as a way to show that you are sorry about doing something bad.

Longevity - Long life: the fact of living for many years.

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