As if a reminder has to be made, the garbage piles on the road and in the alleys make their unabashed presence felt every few months. It doesn’t come unannounced. The tell-tale
signs of the halt to garbage collection are the ultimatum issued by the VDCs where the landfill happens to be located. There’s hardly any use of knowing beforehand the approximate time when every available space in the metro sees the overflowing garbage.
This time around, too, it’s here. The rubbish just shows how modern we have become. The disposed material may be a good source to learn about the people and their lifestyle. Good for a modern-day anthropologist. Instead of scooping out the dust painstakingly to peep into the way people lived hundreds or thousands of years back, one could do some dabbling with the stinking garbage right on the main thoroughfares of the valley.
The easiest part is that the anthropologist concerned doesn’t have to get any license to go about with the research business. The only thing that might be a distraction would be the scavengers and the stray dogs. A mini-bargain would be more that sufficient for harmony to come. The co-existence would not be a problem as there is no lack of garbage. For the scientist it would be a matter of finding the hidden clue while the regular garbage visitors would be searching of gold to be cashed.
It is a livelihood for both the groups. One would be satisfying the curiosity part through the scientific analysis of so easily identified minefield. For the other, it’s business as usual. Of course, the funding for the former will come in only when the proposal gets the go-ahead signal. The authorities with the old mindset may not welcome the idea of a scientific study of garbage to arrive at a result that the people in general take for granted. Yet, it has to be agreed, as per what the western scientists have taught us, that everything on earth is fit to undergo one or the other form of research.
And, Nepal is a treasure trove for researchers. The more the merrier. Now, the agenda is to add one more in the list of “fit for research” that is an in-depth analysis of the garbage on road that has been sun-baked for umpteen days. Time to get started before it’s too late.