I'm a Goan woman, working in Mumbai as the founder of a studio called Totem Creative. I try to make the world happier, safer and more meaningful. I believe education, knowledge and awareness, art, writing and creating Social Impact are my means to achieve that end.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

(B) N.S.S Meet


NSS stands for National Service Scheme (I think). In 2 years, we have to complete 120 hours!! Imagine the amount of work! We're supposed to help society by visiting oldage homes, orphanages, homes for the handicapped, etc. Besides all that, we can get hours for working in government owned installments, like a Garage, public tiolet, or any other place which is disgusting or which you have to slog your butt off for, or something like a protest, rally, etc. NSS is not a joke, trust me guys. I had finished just 7 hours 10 minutes so far, and I had 53 more to go, for which I attended college today.

I will always prefer working and cleaning, rather than talking to people in oldage homes or interacting with them, because I personally feel I'm not a people-person. I'm not good at starting conversations with strangers. However, I did visit an oldage home in Aldona (out of sheer desperation for my hours) and it didn't end up so bad as we expected. The people there were really boring in the beginning. I went along with 3 of my friends there, Tracy, Alisha and Akhila. The place was really clean and the people were well looked after. They called it their 'bath' day as every Wednesday, they all had a bath. It was a once-a-week thing for them. In the beginning, the old ladies were really boring. Me and Alisha spotted 2 kittens and 2 puppies, and were playing with them all along. We were really bad at communicating. Tracy and Alisha didn't even know Konkani to converse with them. However, they were sweet enough to pretend to understand everything they told us. Later on it became fun, when we met some old men, who sat drinking a mug oh beer and banana chips, which they offered us gladly. They seemed well educated. one of them had a son studying in the UK with his wife and son, and he told us how he was glad to come to the home because he felt the responsibility was off his son. Travelling was a mess though, coz we had no clue where this place was. We were glad to get out of there! Although it wasn't as bad as I thought.

Anyway, I went to college today. College in the holidays! How sick right? Yeah!! Couldn't help it though! I had to complete my NSS hours. I was sick yesterday, and had a fever of 102F, in Summer! And hence, couldn't attend yesterday's NSS meet. (Yeah, believe me, I got fever in Summer! Actually in Winter when everyone is sick I'm fine, and in Summer when everyone's okay, I get the flu. Anyway, that's another story. Let's not get into that. U know I'm talkative) So anyway, I went to college today, and we were divided into groups. In my group, Peter, Surabhi, Chetan and myself were told to go to the Bio lab to clean up. It seemed neat and easy work. We skipped off 3 floors to the science Lab. It was spotless. Why would the Bio lab be dirty? We asked the lab assistant what we could do to help. He told us we could open ALL the drawers and remove the newspapers that the shelves were lined with. "Hmm, pretty okay" I reassured myself, thinking that cleaning shelves for a couple of hours would do no harm. It was much worse than I thought. The Bio Lab contained all sorts of things I didn't want to see. Jars full of some liquid, that would preserve the things that were kept in it. These things ranged from parts of the body (like - Lungs, Heart, Brain) to sick reptiles (like - Salamanders, Snakes, Cockroaches, Frogs, Chameleons) to Stuffed animals (like - Parrots, Sparrows, Rabbits, Squirrels, Rats, Guinea Pigs). We were told to remove EACH jar from the shelf and clean it seperately. Besides that, we were to remove the old paper which the shelf was lined with, replace it with the new one, clean the glass with water spray and newspaper, and put the cleaned jars (again - containing everything I mentioned) back onto it. Besides that, we had to wipe the tables and stools and clean the windows as well as the platform on which the vases were kept. Chetan did a horrible job, and gave me a load of double work by not cleaning the windows properly. The Lab assistant however, was a darling. He thanked us a lot and didn't boss us around. Next thing I know, he got us bottles of Slice. I was the only one to thank him and say "You really shouldn't have" the others merely drank and left.
Pretty neat huh? We did all that in about 2 hours!

Next after freshening up, we went down to clean the WHOLE Campus. Here the groups were shifted and I worked with my friend Raisa, and Akhi and Anu, my college buddies. Raisa and me were the only ones actually concerned about the cleanliness of the place. We picked up every plastic wrapper that we found, and the place was a MESS. To make it more interesting for ourselves, we even had a competition about who would pick up more straws! It was fun! Our gloves were stinking of rubber and sweat by now, and I consider that much worse than poop!! No, really, I mean it! The stench of our hands was unbearable. While we broke backs, the rest chatted merrily under the tree and spoke about having children and the population of the country. Raisa and me were really pissed. After all this, Miss gives us the same number of hours that she gives everyone else.
It was so unfair. I think, at least if they did't work for that long, they should have worked properly for whatever time they worked! They were chatting for all those hours that we broke our backs for!!!!! We were furious, but we let it go. Nobody cared about the plastic except us. While walking down the slope of St.Xaviers, we saw a couple of students buy Appy drinks and throw the bottle on the road. Next thing I know, I'm bashing the shit out of that student. Suddenly I saw a hand flinging in front of me. Akhi caught me dreaming. Seriously, society sucks. Our whole mentality sucks.

Why is it so hard to change the damn world!!!!

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