Lesson Learnt

Lesson Learnt

Like any other Sunday, I was visiting the nearby park to enjoy some me-time amidst nature. It was my favourite weekend gateway; a day to declutter and rejuvenate my mind. I took a shufti of the surrounding. The place was swarming with people, but luckily I found a vacant bench by the stream. After soaking myself in the beauty of nature, I opened a can of coke and lit a cigarette. Blissful! Shortly, the hunger pangs started to bother me. I helped myself with a pack of chips and cookies. Once done, I tried to spot a trash bin, but found none near me.  

“They can’t blame me for what I’m about to do next. It’s the park authority’s fault, not mine.” I bent down and shoved the trash under the bench, slyly. Right then, a piece of paper caught my attention. I picked it up out of curiosity. “Don’t leave!” I checked the back of the chit but it was blank. “What’s this! Just two words written in big and bold. That’s all?” A smile flickered on my face. “Must be a lover’s plea.” I crumpled the paper and tossed it on the grass.

“It’s getting crowded. I’ll just finish the snacks and leave early.” I took a pack of chips and coke and savoured them happily. As I was putting the empty packs under the bench, a similar piece of paper with the same words flew in, and rested near my feet. “It’s not the one I threw. Strange!” I picked the paper. “Don’t leave! Whom? What? Why? Is it a mere coincidence or a prank?” I tried to spot the mischief maker, but in vain. “Damn! Rest in pieces, you wicked chit.” 

One by one, I finished the snacks, including a pack of ciggy. “Time to go home.” I took the empty food packs, gave a quick glance to my surroundings, and dumped them with the old ones. “Ah, no paper this time.” I was about to heave a sigh of relief when a similar chit appeared in a renewed form. “What the hell? I’m hallucinating or what? Ridiculous.” I closed my eyes and sat quietly for some time. “The paper appeared only when I threw trash under the bench. Not before; not while I ate. Why? Think… think… 

“Yes! Bingo!” I laughed my heart out. “Gosh! Unbelievable!” Without a second thought, I pulled out the trash from under the bench, picked the cigarette butts, and marched towards the garbage bin. On my way, I noticed that the  ground was either occupied by humans, or the trash discarded by them. From chocolate wrappers to paper plates, to unfinished pizza slices and empty juice cans…there was everything.  

My next stop was at the management office. I explained my concern and realized that it bothered them too. “Issue penalty notices for littering. Increase the number of bins and distribute trash bags to the visitors.”  

They thanked me and agreed to consider my suggestions. 

If only the trash could talk…
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Moumita Dutta
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