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Spit Personality Disorder

Spit Personality Disorder

July 21, 2012

If dog owners in the USA can carry their dog’s crap in plastic packets, couldn't ‘spitters’ in India carry their own spit too?



Waiting for my husband outside the ICICI bank in a Mumbai suburb, I caught 9 people spitting in a time span of 20 minutes. BEST bus commuters, auto rickshaw drivers, stall owners, women begging on the street, even white-collar professionals in smart button-down shirts and crisply pressed khakis. The malady has spared no-one. Nor is it confined to paan chewing only. On a normal day, travelling by public transport, if you were to observe people around you, they spit gutkha, paan and chewing gum, they gargle water, they dry-spit. The behaviour shows a complete lack of moral responsibility, extreme disrespect of one’s own city and nation and an overall abandonment of civic sense. In a country that aims to inculcate the teachings of ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ in students right from primary school, I have attempted time and again to understand the mentality which drives men and women to intentionally begrime their surroundings. No logic justifies this deplorable action.

Advanced nations like Singapore and the USA have very strict laws around spitting and littering. Singapore does not even market chewing gum, nor does it allow the import of chewing gum - even in minute quantities by tourists. While first time littering offenders are let off with a fine of $1000, repeat offenders in Singapore are made to wear bright jackets and clean up the area that they have littered. Occasionally, local media is invited to cover the event. Authorities believe that this dissuades litterbugs from tossing trash around. Singapore is now known to be one of the cleanest countries in Asia. Obviously something has clicked.

There is no question that effective measures have to be introduced and enforced to curb this menace. In a recent development, the Maharashtra state government has now banned the manufacture, storage, distribution and sale of gutkha and paan masala. While a gutkha ban already exists in four states – Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra will be the first to ban paan masala. Even though business on the side may continue to flourish in these states, for every legal sale now avoided, India is a much cleaner nation. It would be a citizen’s dream to see the ban extended to the rest of the nation. However enforcing laws to ban the spitting or ban products that incite the act is just one part of it. The other is individual mentality. Unless and until both go hand in hand, we cannot expect dramatic improvements.

Until such laws are passed, here’s an alternate proposal. I like to call it the Spit bag project. What if all paan shop vendors were to hand out paper carry bags with every paan or packet of gutkha that gets sold? Let’s take it a step further. How about all public transport operators carrying these bags as well? Autos, taxis, even buses. The same could also be made available at all bus stops, train stations and street shop establishments. The benefits would be multi-fold. Not just making the city cleaner, it could help with recycling paper by using old newspapers for the spit bags. Homeless kids could be employed to make these bags. Of course, currently, all of this is simply a fantasy. Plus, this would be a temporary solution and in no way would it stop the spread of harmful carcinogens in the system due to products like gutkha. But it would be a temporary respite, wouldn’t it? If dog owners in the USA can carry their dog’s crap in plastic packets until they get to a trash bin and dispose of it hygienically, couldn’t ‘spitters’ be asked to carry their own spit as well? As convinced as I am that the idea would be met with much resistance, most men balking at the suggestion, even if 20-30% of the spitting population decides to make use of these, it would make the nation a tad cleaner. After all, cleanliness, just like education needs to be a legacy that we can pass on to our kids, grandkids and generations to come.

Photo credit: www.subsquare.at 

32 Comments

  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    24.07.12 10:48 AM
    It’s great you brought up this subject and I made my comments on how to combat this problem and how you cannot. I have read other comments that went unanswered but I know you did not sing the French national anthem because I wanted you to.

    There are those who can’t face another directly by moving miles away but make indirect attacks that provoke. On the Net everyone is far, far away even though they might be sitting next door to you. You never know.

    “There is no trap so deadly as the trap you set for yourself”.
    Was it Raymond Chandler who said this?

    People who cannot argue with their own grown up son can put on a brave face on the net and they have a name and guess what?
  • Deepa Duraisamy
    By
    Deepa Duraisamy
    24.07.12 10:02 AM
    Jaish: You're right. At the end of the day, it does come down to individual's mentality.

    Amit: Very true. Sometimes we need to drive fear into people's minds to drive the fear home.

    Jayadev: Educated seem to be doing it as well. White collar professionals driving swanky cars. We need rigorous punishment for these people.

    Harry: Thank you for the vote of confidence. As far as your last statement goes, on a humorous note as Sandra Bullock goes in the movie Miss Congeniality, at times the right answer is simply world peace! :)
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    24.07.12 02:11 AM
    If that is all I have to do to hear the French National Anthem I am very good at p-----g up people. I am waiting for the Invitation. When? When?
  • HARRY
    By
    HARRY
    23.07.12 08:45 PM
    HI Deepa

    I loved the article, and you are right in what you said.

    What one thing I can't seem to understand is, why did you started to compromise, with what you said in the article. When you know what you wrote, and, what you think is right then, nothing in the world should change your mind not even Jesus Chirst.

    When it comes to people, there are no right or wrong answers / solutions. They all have different opinions. Which one you choose it depends on you, and no one else. If you think your article / opinion is better and just then anyone else's, then you should never compromise.

    Next, I want you to sing the french national anthem ( I only do it when I'm pissed ). Will you do it, if I asked you. Where is your back bone woman, you are a push over.
  • Jayadev Menon
    By
    Jayadev Menon
    22.07.12 11:54 PM
    Hi Deepa

    I can understand that anger and frustration so well - I was in Lucknow last Friday - after spending just 8 hours in that town I posted this update on Facebook:

    "The streets of Lucknow are Red. No! They aren't killing each other there; just that they have this lovely habit of chewing paan and then spitting it all over the place. And when it rains the red stain gets spread evenly."

    It's a terrible habit. People need to be made aware of the impact of what they are doing ... education followed by regulation.

    Spitting is a terrible habit.
  • Amit
    By
    Amit
    22.07.12 01:00 PM
    Deepa,
    Its all about having strong laws in place. Humans have this natural tendency of creating a mess unless someone comes along and drives in a fear of punishment. Its the same everywhere, in every country. There are a very few people who understand responsibility.
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    22.07.12 10:32 AM
    Correction:

    What you see there is Ancient Indian Art. If you stare at those walls long enough you will start seeing Ajantha Paintings.
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    22.07.12 10:25 AM
    "Indian/ Pakistani stores selling Paan, you see outside walls painted with ocher-colored spit"?

    What you see there is Ancient Indian Art. If you stare at those walls long enough you will Ajantha Paintings.

    Indians were the first to introduce this kind of art in the US. Americans love Ancient Indian Art therefore no Ban for Paan Sprays.
  • MahaLingam
    By
    MahaLingam
    22.07.12 03:33 AM
    There is no law banning spitting in the US. Here in the the vicinity of Indian/ Pakistani stores selling Paan, you see outside walls and corners painted with ocher-colored ugly spit - kinda gives India-like decor to the locale.
  • Pidus Yor
    By
    Pidus Yor
    21.07.12 10:32 PM
    If you try to change the world, either you succeed or you fail. If you fail, nothing happens because no one cares about the looser, however!

    If you win, they make your statues all over and pigeons sit on your head and shoulder and shit on you!

    I live in this planet and there are a range of subject IO come across from child pornography, human trafficking, female circumcision in Africa, to discovering new particles, new stars, and some lonely guy on rampage with a gun, global warming, the list goes on ...
    Each issue has multiple sides, and we choose ours.
    So, just remember if you start lowering the people around you, by choosing the side which is contra, you may be the odd person out!
    All players of baseball, football and other games, they spit. When you have spit, there are only two ways you can deal with. Certain snacks, mouth fresheners in India cause this frequently. Cigarette smoking is not a crime and so is chewing pan, pan masala, tobacco and other variants.
    Spitting is a common outcome.
    Have you ever thought, why people who spit do not see the nuisance, dirt they create around ? THEY DO NOT SEE IT!
    So, if you're somewhere seeing 9 people spitting in 20 minutes, the easiest way is to start chewing and spitting as well - or else you are the BITCH - So you're bitching and you know there is nothing you can do about it! Bitches from all over the world - where spitting is not a common practice or those who do not spit will join you - and they will co-bitch! Nothing will change there - EVER. Even if you become successful by driving the cause home, you know what will happen to your status put over there - so CHILL - LIVE & LET LIVE. LOVE PEACE & RESPECT TO ALL. SPECIALLY TO THOSE WHO ARE AROUND ME ... signing out ... LOL
  • jaish_vats
    By
    jaish_vats
    21.07.12 09:23 PM
    Well Deepa, If such a rule is brought in instead of spit all over the place, it would be spit-bags everywhere containing all the substances you have mentioned. Do you think people will go and fling those carefully in dustbins?
  • Rachna
    By
    Rachna
    21.07.12 08:39 PM
    I guess, we need enforcement and punishment for every basic etiquette. We need enforcement to ensure that people don't litter, throw garbage on streets, spit, jump signals... The list is unending.
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    21.07.12 06:23 PM
    @Suresh

    Exactly. I rarely swept my home front back home but in Germany I have been sweeping my home front for four decades because every one does it here.
  • C. Suresh
    By
    C. Suresh
    21.07.12 05:11 PM
    @Rajpriya: Precisely! In things like this it is community groups that can make things happen by peer pressure rather than law enforcement. Unfortunately we do not have a culture of strong community organisations here.
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    21.07.12 02:23 PM
    @Suresh

    Adding one more source of income to the law enforcement machinery to the already many available is exactly why things won’t move on for the better in India.

    The law enforcement machinery would forever be thankful if more laws were to be created.
  • C. Suresh
    By
    C. Suresh
    21.07.12 02:12 PM
    Mmm! This is the nation which says "I am no Mahatma" when standards of honesty are being discussed. So, the moment we said "Cleanliness is next to Godliness", you ought to understand that there is no intent to be clean - If we are not mahatmas we certainly do not aspire to be God :):)

    On a more serious note, the problems with public cleanliness is because of we do not feel ownership for the spaces that we live in. So the only way to ensure it is enforcement and you know that if you made the law today you will be blessed by a large portion of the law enforcement machinery for having added one more source of income :)
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    21.07.12 01:34 PM
    Thanks and Great to hear you accept my solution and design. I believe in solutions. It is more simple than one could imagine.

    It is already available in the German markets in the form of hard plastic (light weight) water bottles for kids and adults that could be hung around one's neck. I only have to fit a funnel at its mouth so that the idiots avoid spitting on themselves.

    I hope you would love my idea?
  • Deepa Duraisamy
    By
    Deepa Duraisamy
    21.07.12 01:33 PM
    Whatever works, as long as it works, to curb this menace and put an end to the spitting woes!
  • Deepa Duraisamy
    By
    Deepa Duraisamy
    21.07.12 01:17 PM
    I'm all for it!
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    21.07.12 01:06 PM
    As much as educating kids is a long term investment educating spitting adults would take even longer.

    Paan sellers should be forced to sell reusable spitting containers to be carried around. All Paan chewers can have it tied round their waist, spit into it, take it home and empty it into their own toilets or wherever.

    Starting a factory to manufacture such containers could provide employment to a few hundred people.
    I could design one for sale in India and offer it patent free for manufacture. What do you say?
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    21.07.12 12:57 PM
    I see that you can’t correct your original article however; you are posting so many after thoughts. The ingenuity of the (Indian) common man is amazing but where spitting is concerned his ingenuity has been a miserable failure.
  • Deepa Duraisamy
    By
    Deepa Duraisamy
    21.07.12 12:49 PM
    I agree Rajpriya. But how do you force a kid to go to school who refuses to because he needs to earn money for his family in the short term? Education is definitely a must, but in the eyes of these kids its a long term investment.

    Amended: Just to clarify: I do not intend to make any corrections to the original article unless the editorial team at NRI wants me to.
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    21.07.12 12:43 PM
    @Deepa,

    I came abroad four and half decades ago and I don’t make comparisons because the mentality and grass root problems can never be changed overnight just because I know the difference.

    Some German people boycott a particular retailer “KIK” selling garments made in Bangladesh, because they had heard that children in Bangladesh were fastened to their seats with chains and forced to sew clothes for export. Who is right in your opinion? The factory owners who force children to work or the Germans who refuse to buy those clothes?

    Give your little bit by educating a few street urchins. It is the man who made the kid who has to learn to fish. The affluent society should get together first to provide education for children (the grass root) and then you would see the future generation with a changed mentality.

    There is no safer bet than educating children.
  • Deepa Duraisamy
    By
    Deepa Duraisamy
    21.07.12 12:38 PM
    Just to clarify: I do not intend to make any corrections to the original article. It stays as is. My point of the entire resolution piece being if paper bags dont work use plastic, essentially look for a resolution. I would not want to be just another person pointing fingers at the problem.
  • Deepa Duraisamy
    By
    Deepa Duraisamy
    21.07.12 12:17 PM
    If you see my previous article, it talks about the ingenuity of the common man, which I find amazing. I don't see the West being able to do that, they're too used to life's comforts. But that doesn't mean life is too hunky dory here. The earlier we start accepting our faults and look for solutions, the faster we have a chance of resolving them. That being said, everyone is bound to have suggestions. Some might work, some wont. Brainstorming at its best!
  • Deepa Duraisamy
    By
    Deepa Duraisamy
    21.07.12 12:14 PM
    As far as spitting idiots go, there should be strict enforcement. So the government banned guthka and paan masala, but they dont have an IPC section in place to book those flaunting the dictate. So in effect, its ineffective! Any suggestions?
  • Deepa Duraisamy
    By
    Deepa Duraisamy
    21.07.12 12:13 PM
    Rajpriya: I am not here to point problems after a stint abroad. It just gives me a basis for comparison, rather a way to see what can be improved. That does not mean that India doesn't have positives. But we would be naive if we think there's no problems at all. Many like me give up good jobs and still come back. Because I have faith. Because I want to do my bit. To the community that gave me my identity. Maybe my idea could be shot to death, but at least I am trying to give a suggestion. As far as begging kids begging to eat, I beg to differ. Not all of them are doing that to feed their own stomach. Some of them are forced into the trade by monsters lurking in the darkness. These kinds of legitimate employment would be a safer bet. I am also against child labour, but then I find safer means a better option than to have them beg on streets or be a target for child trafficking. Its the saying give a man a fish to eat, he will be hungry the rest of his life. Show him to fish, he will never go hungry. Rather than dropping coins into their palms not knowing where it ends up as or feeding them for a day or so, I would rather see them safe somewhere.
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    21.07.12 12:04 PM
    @Deepa

    The homeless kids in India are just the same as the spitting idiots. The begging kids need money to eat and not employment.

    Indians can NEVER be made to do what they have to do. I see you are making many corrections to your original article. I think you should rewrite this one with more practical solutions. The problems of India are manifold. I would think thrice before consulting you on any of these problems.

    Homeless kids do not mean homeless people. If you contact Sourav Roy who knows all about homeless people in Assam he may be able help you make your paper bags. At this moment there are thousands if not millions who have things more important than making paper bags for idiotic Indians.

    Whatever it is about plastic bags, the usage of paper bags is just not the solution. We all know the grassroots and mentality problems of India. The needs of the hour are intelligent suggestions to overcome these problems and not pointing out each and every problem of India.

    This is an Indian problem too pointing fingers after stints abroad.
  • Deepa Duraisamy
    By
    Deepa Duraisamy
    21.07.12 10:52 AM
    Rajpriya: I agree. Every kid has a right to education. But how many of these kids are able to afford it? When I mean afford I don't mean the tuition fees. They refuse to go to school and end up begging on the streets to earn money for their family. We see that all the time don't we? This is probably just a means - by the way, homeless kids is just a term. Could mean homeless people too. Adults. The point being, providing jobs to the unemployed and trying to reduce begging.

    As far as plastic bags go, the plastic bags used in US as well as now in India are the degradable ones. If paper bags cant hold it, then plastic bags but definitely not the thick ones. Those were banned all over. But yes, as far as seeing spit bags everywhere instead of spit, that goes to mentality again. The grass root problem again is effective trash disposal which doesn't seem to be in place either.
  • Rajpriya
    By
    Rajpriya
    21.07.12 10:44 AM
    Homeless kids could be employed to make these bags? We who were lucky enough to have a home and education should be fighting against child labor. What a way to provide paper bags to the spitting idiots of India?

    Homeless kids should be provided a home and education.
    You may not see spit everywhere but paper bags full of spit thrown all over and everywhere.

    Why do Americans use plastic packets instead of paper bags? Because they know plastic bags (or what you call packets) are not absorbent in nature and that’s the reason they use bags made of plastic. Try spitting into a paper bag and see how long you can hold it with your hand before you find a trashcan in India? You don't need any education to know this.
  • umashankar
    By
    umashankar
    21.07.12 10:35 AM
    Deepa, it appears that the reflex of spitting has been fused at genetic-molecular level in the Indians. I know you and I are not a part of it but we are the 'Eloi' and the 'Morlocks' will soon have us for a lunch. If their tribe has multiplying by factors, ours has been dwindling at a faster pace.
  • ashley talwar
    By
    ashley talwar
    21.07.12 07:14 AM
    I think the spitting is more tolerable than the public pissing that I witnessed in India! Yuck! Talk about nasty!!! But I feel your pain a little. I grew up in the south (of the USA), where our old timers enjoy chewing their tobacco. A few of them were thoughtful enough to carry around a bottle or can to spit in, but even then, looking at a clear bottle of brown foamy saliva is a rather stomach churning visual. I think, overall, it's just a universal, unappetizing habit!

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