Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Garbage speaks

I noticed that you wrinkled up your nose just now when I called to you.

It isn’t my fault that I smell so bad, you know. I owe that to you. My very existence, in fact, and the humongous amounts in which I exist.

And yet you go around pretending as if you had nothing to do with me.

Tell me, who buys excessive amounts of things you don’t really need?

Who feels compelled to buy the latest of whatever’s on offer, while discarding what you once had?

Who secretly takes pride in the sort of stuff your garbage can is full of?

I am everywhere in your life. You talk garbage. You watch it on TV, your mind is full of it. As is your heart. Your newspapers print it. Your culture is getting increasingly corrupted by it.

Clothing, shoes, furniture, vehicles, gadgets, even relationships – everything finds itself on the garbage heap. It’s like you have the Midas touch for creating garbage. Anything has the potential for being disposed of.

Things come with expiry dates but add to my stockpile long before the Best By date.

You are conspiring to send all of nature to the trash heap.

It wasn’t always like this. I used to be much thinner in the old days. Folks used to look after what they had. Spare money was put by for a rainy day. Things were used to the hilt, then passed on down to younger siblings, even to the next generation, becoming ever more valued in the process. Now nothing lives long enough to be an heirloom.

You treat the whole world as one big garbage dump. The oceans are screaming with pain at the kind of crap they are expected to swallow.

Garbage, waste, sludge, sewage.

Chemical waste. Metal waste. Nuclear waste.

You’re not prepared to cut down on the amount of garbage you generate. You can’t bring yourself to cut down on wastage. With every action of your daily routine, you create more of me.

Consider the consequences of the trail you create, from the production of unnecessary packaging to the discarding of it all.

From want to consumption to disposal.

Soon you’ll pay the price for it. If you won’t learn the lesson I’m trying to teach you, you’ll run out of space to dump the garbage in. The land, the water and the air are already stuffed to the brim with more and more of me.

I look at the growing mounds of me, spreading everywhere, spreading infestation, and I wonder how you can stand to look at me without going crazy with worry. How can you look at me and then turn away without thinking of what I say about you, where I might be heading, and how much of me there is?

Judging by your past foolishness, it doesn’t look like I’m going to stop growing anytime soon. 

You have only one planet. 

Where are you going to put all of me?


  1. Garbage is a real problem. Some countries use garbage as landfills, but then am not sure on how they manage the non-biodegradables.

  2. An episode of Satyameva jayate was dedicated to garbage disposal and its methods. Even though the methods are economic...the government refuses to implement them. Bad state of governance.

  3. Hello garbage, I guess we humans need to learn all over again to respect their surroundings....I only hope its not too late

  4. Seriously some times looking at the Garbage I feel humans are so relaxed as if they have another life planned some where in Mars. Such a great post Cynth!
    I am so glad about ur choice of topics


  5. Such an important poet cynthia. Atleast I, try and minimise my waste disposal by trying to not buy unnecessary stuff and recycling things. But i know...not enough. Sad stae of affairs :-(

  6. We'll soon be paying the price, big time. Such a sad state of affairs. D you know the capital city of Kerala does not even have a garbage collection or disposal system in place? What was there collapsed a couple of years :(

  7. Prathima, I think they just leave the non-biodegradables to occupy landfills and stay on in the environment, long after we are gone.

  8. I saw the episode of Stayamev Jayate regarding Garbage benefits, it really got me thinking Why aren't we using it.
    Nice post !

  9. These lines just jumped out at me: Clothing, shoes, furniture, vehicles, gadgets, even relationships – everything finds itself on the garbage heap. It’s like you have the Midas touch for creating garbage. Anything has the potential for being disposed of.

    What a powerful post Cynthia! Your thought process, the way you say what you say and the topics you choose to be outraged about, make me feel a strong kinship with you. Thank you.


  10. So true that garbage unfortunately is everywhere!

  11. Garbage is a problem and we have caused it. But, it is nice to see that there are groups that are into clearing and beautifying the once dump stands to reduce and clear the garbage without depending on the government. It is so heartening.

  12. garbage disposal is the need of the hour and it sure can help us produce energy as well, very insightful!



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