Why can’t Indians control spitting?

One of the emotions called ‘utter disgust’ reached its zenith one morning while I was travelling in a auto-rickshaw with my mom. It was 10:00 a.m., but Chennai was abuzz with dizzying traffic, with buses, bikes, cycles and of course the ricks zooming across in death speed. The guy who drove us had bulging red eyes and a forced brown-toothed smile.

He had obviously assumed we were set for a near-death experience with speed. Our pleas to slow the vehicle down and that we were in no hurry earned us a creepy stare through the rear view. But even that is ancillary to my point. I noticed, that at all the signal stops the auto-driver had a cup load to spit! Ugggh! A poor guy on his bike at the traffic signal could only muster an upsetting look at the driver and shift uncomfortably in his seat. It didn’t stop there.

Besides being blinded by the top-speed-induced blast of air, we had to endure this guy making gurgling noises in preparation to release his next earth crud.

This behaviour is characteristic of not only auto drivers but almost anyone we see outside our home. Before we draw up strategies and agreements to control environment pollutants and greenhouse emissions, we should perhaps think about penalising obnoxious behaviour.

I have realised that education cannot be blamed, but it is attitude that needs sharp refining. It is a matter of choice when a person decides to behave in such a barbaric way and not the lack of knowledge thereof. I look forward to a time when no one needs to hop with bent heads on the road avoiding ugly globs but walk confidently with their head held high!

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