Glad that we Chennaiites are bidding goodbye to carrybags, thanks to the environmentalists for creating awareness of the havoc the synthetic material is causing. I learnt a lesson the hard way a few months ago about the necessity of carrying my own cloth bag. This was during my visit to Hyderabad. I bought a number of door handles and stoppers, besides a couple of chromium-plated taps from a hardware shop, paid the bill and waited for the salesman to put them all in a carrybag. But he did nothing of that sort and promptly went on to attend to the next customer.

When I found all the things lying on the counter even after waiting for a full 15 minutes, I repeated my request for a carrybag, and he vehemently shook his head, saying they have stopped giving carrybags, and anyone seen giving or carrying one would be fined. Only then did it dawn on me that carrybags were banned in Andhra Pradesh. Since I couldn't carry my purchases in my hands, I requested him to at least wrap them up in a paper or put them in a cardboard box. He reluctantly dished out a torn one which lost its shape also but I thought something was better than nothing.

A nuisance

In Tamil Nadu, a ban on carrybags is being introduced in stages because you can still get them for a price depending upon their size. I, for one, will be very happy to see the day when carrybags completely disappear from Chennai because of the nuisance and distraction they create: by ‘they' I mean the people who carry them. If you happen to sit anywhere near these people, be it at a meeting, conference or concert, you suddenly hear a rustling noise, loud enough to drown the voice of the speaker or the singer. You realise that the owner of the carrybag is digging his hands into it in search of something which he probably needs urgently. You helplessly watch him though you feel like snatching the carrybag from his hands.

(The writer's email ID is

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