a boy cleaning temple

Long time no see people. But I'm back and I'm back with a very interesting story this time. Keep reading; by God you'll love it. But before we hop on to the story I'd like to set some realities straight. And for that purpose, we'll take our 70th independence day as a backdrop.

We are an independent people and we celebrate our independence seven decades later with increased vigour and telltale patriotism with our clothes sporting tricolor badges, our Instagram stories reading "Happy Independence Day" and our social Media either full of praise for how far we've come, or lament over the still deplorable state of our country seventy years later. Just for one day we become extremely aware of the advancements in our country since independence or of the pitiful neglect of the country's poor  and oppressed.

It's a matter of pride that one day brings out the hidden nationalism in so many people; so much so that they'll wear white, orange or green coloured clothes- or a combination of all three- and also rise and shine early in the morning inspite of themselves, go flag hoisting, exercise their vocal cords a little by singing the national anthem with as much tonality and euphony as their poor unpractised voices can manage.

Channels on television are booked the entire day for special broadcasts or movies or documentaries regarding nationalism,patriotism and love for the country. One or more pages in the newspapers are entirely dedicated to things like History of freedom-fighters, interviews of the families of veterans of the war, 'a journey through our country's progress in these seventy years etc. Not to forget what great source of business it is for companies producing those little flags, tri colour brooches and badges and it also is lucrative for those families whose kids are set out on a mission to sell all of those things and make a profit to afford another day's meal. While other kids are excited about not going to school because of a public holiday, these kids have additional work to do; no holiday for them. And while earlier people used to be gullible enough to buy from these kids, they're now smart enough to dodge their advances and get on with their work.

Okay so now what's interesting here is the day after the independence day, 16th August. The litter strewn streets of the country, filled with paper and plastic flags, confetti from the flag hoisting ceremonies, leftover food, cans of soda, etc is common knowledge to everyone living in India. So having established the scenario, it's now time for the said story.

So just yesterday while surfing through facebook I found this amazing short film shared by one of my friends. Honestly, I wasn't feeling the short film vibe at the time, but the caption he put along with the film really psyched me to watch.

So it begins with an old man with grey hair and a haggard face cleaning the streets with his broom and just when he is done gathering all the garbage, a woman throws leftover food from her balcony from a plate, scraping it clean trying not to leave even a little on the plate in the process. With a sigh, he gathers the food along with the garbage with his mop and just then another boy, riding a fancy bike drops a biscuit packet. The old man resumes his cleaning and sits with a postman at a nearby bench; tired and disheartened.
"They won't change friend. There's no use." says the postman and as if on cue a man spits the betel he was chewing, not far from where they're sitting.
"They can change. We can do something" says the sweeper.
So the postman has now set out to deliver letters to those three.
"Here's a letter for you, from Bharat" says he.
"I don't know any Bharat" says the woman who threw food from the balcony. The other two people, clearly puzzled, reply similarly.
"Just give it a read. He might turn out to be someone you know" the postman urges and they comply, still slightly confused.

'Greetings. You might not know me, but I know you very well. We've met  many times and every meeting of ours has become a cherished memory. Weren't you the one who scolded Mrs. Mishra for recklessly throwing her trash out of the window? Weren't you the one who stopped that man from spitting near the Gandhi Chauraha. When you had picked up those wrappers thrown on the streets, I felt respected.  Who thinks about such minuscule things nowadays. I'm so thankful to you for thinking about me. I'm grateful that today's youth is taking responsibility for my progress. I'm thankful for the respect you have given me. I'm thankful for the steps you've taken for my progress.
Yours lovingly,

"Mohandas Dada, I don't think they'll come around so easily.." the postman stops mid-sentence when he sees the woman step near a dustbin on the road and dump her garbage.
"Congratulations Dada. Our country is getting cleaned."
"Yes indeed. But there's one more letter left to deliver" says Mohandas the sweeper. Then the postman is shown arriving to the audience(us) to deliver the letter. The end.

This short film really got to me in a way no other film has managed to in a long time. It sends out a very subtle but a very crucial message to all of us. Just one little step towards cleanliness is enough to save Bharat. Just one extra walk to the nearest dustbin is enough to save Bharat. This country has given us so much; food, clothing and shelter. It is high time we pay it back by keeping it clean. It is our home, our abode and homes are supposed to be clean, aren't they? What you give, will come back to you multiplied. So if you give garbage and dirt to the streets of Bharat, that's what you'll get back; multiplied.

So I implore you to please take that extra trip to the dustbin and drop in the garbage there. One extra step towards the dustbin means a hundred steps towards the nation's growth. The dirt and the garbage on the streets are making our country stink. We don't want to be roaming around our country with a wrinkled nose all our lives right? I implore you to dump the garbage where it belongs. ? I implore you to clean up. I implore you to 'Save Bharat'.

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