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Trash Talk

It was an unbelievably hot day in the city without a cloud in sight. V3 had fun in the sun but were suffering the aftereffect of their action.

“Gosh, I feel so... thirsty!” gasped Ruwi.

Shaz who was fanning herself with her hand was too tired to answer her other than with a nod. Sachi directed their attention to a cool spot at the other side of the road.

“Great idea,” Shaz exclaimed, having found her voice at last and suddenly took off with speed, leaving Ruwi and Sachi tagging along.

“Look, she is even stopping traffic in her haste. She was already over at the other side and we are still stuck here,” Sachi had groaned he waited for the traffic light to turn red.

As Ruwi and Sachi got to the other end with the rest of the patient pedestrians, they saw Shaz gingerly standing at the other end.

“Cheeya. See there is a rubbish heap on the pavement. The dogs had been at it and stewed the rubbish all over the road,” she said while screwing her face in distaste.

“Littering had become a major problem these days. I wonder where this all started. Many people in other areas of the country complain that there is garbage dumping in their compound,” Ruwi joined in, frowning at the rubbish dump as V3 do our best to walk on tip toes across the garbage infested area.

Unexpectedly, Shaz stepped on a slimy greenish patch and she squealed in dismay. An old tom cat who had been feasting on the leftovers of a lunch packet, perked his head up and gave a blatant ‘meow!’

“Did you see how many polythene bags there were at that dump site? Polythene is a menace as it isn’t biodegradable,” Ruwi said as she glanced at the stinking heap over her shoulders.

Sachi added his opinion: “They don’t even bother to dump the garbage into the bins. I went to Sri Pada some months back and noted that rubbish was heaped on the floor next to the trashcans.”

“Both the educated and uneducated crowd in cities do not bother to follow the rules. They take the easy way out in most things including dumping garbage,” Shaz complained as V3 strode to a cool spot.

V3 headed to the juice bar and Shaz decided on a ‘Tropical cocktail’ while Ruwi orders a ‘Vege Booster’. After changing his mind several times, Sachi finally settled on an Avocado Blush. After getting their hands on the much awaited goodies, they were content and resumed their conversation.

“What I hate most is people chewing betel leaves and spitting it all over the place. The stains are very difficult to wash off and it makes the pavements look very untidy.”

Shaz who had been immersed in her drink pipes: “I used to think it was people having nose bleeds or bloody wounds but it’s pathetic that betel chewing hasn’t been addressed as you can get oral cancer with the bad habit.”

“The same goes for chewing gum. Some countries like UK think that they have a high level of ‘garbage discipline’ but they themselves litter secretly. The streets are quite dirty before the sweepers take over,” Sachi added.

“Some places have introduced the S5 system and even though some of the dustbins are labeled ‘glass’, ‘polythene’, ‘paper’ and ‘recyclable stuff’, people take no notice and dump the paper and polythene they wrap their plastic lunch packets into any bin,” Ruwi sighed as she got hold of her paper napkin which been blown by a sudden gust of wind of the fan.

“Some people chuck their ticket as soon as they get off the bus. I end up with my pockets full of tickets when I get home and my mother dumps them out from the pocket,” Shaz giggled.

“She is keeping track of all your whereabouts,” Ruwi grinned as she clears

at least five to eight bus tickets from her handbag when she gets to Kandy.

“That sounds alright but I dispose nearly 20 tickets from mine when I do my monthly purse ‘spring cleaning’,” Sachi joined in the laughter.

As V3 were about the leave the shop, a boy, barely in his teens aimed a balled paper napkin at a trash can concealed near the entrance. It missed the target and fell on the floor. Without a fraction of hesitation, Sachi bent and picked it up and dumped it inside the bin before joining his mates on the road. It’s tough when you have a V3 job of cleaning the trash up!

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