A broad road fringed with tall trees, the pavement littered with branches that the BMC has chopped off prior to the monsoon. Some of the trees have creepers with big pink flowers growing on them, these give out a characteristic strong fragrance that defines this stretch of road during the flowering season. At a certain time every morning, the fragrance is obscured by the stink from the garbage collecting truck, it has an open top and dirty green maws from which streams of garbage hang and sway like so much spittle as it comes trundling down the road.
On most days, the garbage collecting men perch inside the truck’s cabin or on top of the body, in faded uniforms, shoulders slumped, faces downcast, hating their work and their fate. But today is different.
One of the garbage collectors is a young man, tall, dark and hefty, round-faced, with curly hair. His attire hints at his attitude - he wears a dark brown shirt with a mustard print, the first few buttons open – ishtyle hai bhai ! Around his neck he has a locket on a black string, from his hip pocket hangs a dark blue scarf.
This young man chooses to ride the garbage truck with attitude, like he’s at a rodeo, or shooting stunts for a film. He jumps on to the side of the truck as it starts off, and hangs there whistling a happy tune, chest thrown out, head flung back casually, scarf fluttering gaily in the wind, as if he has not a care in the world.
The tale we read in school was true – Aadmi khushi khoj lega ! (A man will find happiness)