Friday, December 31, 2004

Kollur - the surprise

At Kollur there is a bus stand. Quite a big one, though there aren't many buses. But good planning considering that the number of buses will go up as the temple gains in popularity. The surprise was the immaculately maintained toilets for gents and ladies. It has a 5-star look about it. I was so impressed that I told the man at the counter outside (where he collects Rs 2 per person), "The toilet is maintained very well. Good to see it this way..."

But the man looked the other way. Probably, he thought I was making fun of him. Never any one would have complimented him this way. I persisted and said, "Usually, public toilets are so dirty, it feels so nice to see a place a like this. Who maintains this?"

Then he seemed to realise that I was serious. "Tourism department," he said. But there wasn't anything writtent to indicate that. I then asked him how much should I pay. He said, "People like you who understand ('samachdar log') take care to pay. Many people who come here refuse to pay and I have to fight with them. They should understand that it is their toilet and they have to participate in a small way to keep it clean. I am happy that you understand it..."

Then I said paying is not a problem. It is disgusting when inspite of paying the toilets are poorly maintained. The man was so visibly happy that I made this little comment about cleanliness. After I paid the fare, he thanked me profusely.

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