There is a Malayalam saying pukachu purathu chadikkuka. It means smoke someone out (from hiding). I am not hiding, and yet the feeling I have is that my neighbors are trying their best to smoke me out (of my home) by burning stuff and sending smoke my way.
Burning is alright, if burning is what you do. But when you set fire to green leaves and weeds, plastic stuff plus household waste, and walk away without tending to the fire, all you are doing is making a LOT of smoke. The smoke doesn’t bother them. Not that they are smoke-proof or anything, it is just that the wind blows from the north which means the billowing smoke promptly makes for MY home. It fills the rooms and hangs around for long, refusing to leave like an unwelcome guest. The haziness it creates makes the rooms look like scenes from old faded photographs.
The smoke tickles my nose, burns the throat and enters my lungs. Before long I am sneezing (nineteen to the dozen!) and there settles a heaviness in my chest. Breathing is no longer easy. (This is where I put a disclaimer saying I am NOT looking for advice or suggestions on how to cope with my problems. So refrain from giving me advice about yoga and breathing exercises. If one more person tells me about pranayama, I may do them grievous injury!)
One day I smelled something horrible. It made me feel terribly nauseous. So I walked out to the balcony to see what was happening. Black smoke was rising from one corner of the backyard of the neighbor who stayed uphill from me. What are you burning, I asked out loud. If it is plastic, today I am going for an all-out fight, this I said to myself. Oh nothing, she replied, just some old clothes. Clothes! I had seen in a recent show that almost ALL kinds of clothes have polyester (and who knows what else?) content in them. No wonder it smelled so funny. The stench (I can only call it that) was so terrible that I started retching and had to run and hide behind closed doors of the only room on the ground floor where the smoke wouldn’t enter because of the way it was positioned.
Allergies are no fun. My kind sort of drains me of energy preventing me from working at full capacity either physically or mentally. The lost hours and days makes me sad and mad. This is not something those who breath freely understand. They are dismissive of your difficulties and some even think you are lazy. Let that sink in. They think you are LAZY because you cannot do the same amount of work in the same amount of time with the same speed and efficiency as them.
Since requests, polite and stern, have not yielded results, what I need is a simulator which gives the whole difficulty-of-breathing experience to others, so they can get an inkling of just how difficult it really is. The first ones I’d try it on are the two neighbors of mine who right now are my nemesis (followed by some others). One spoils my mornings, the other prevents my evening strolls on the terrace. Of course, I will also need to give my neighbors a few lessons on How To Burn Stuff The Right Way.
© Shail Mohan 2020
Mister Bump UK said:
I wasn’t going to suggest breathing exercises. More, putting an incendiary device onto their fire. That will at least make them think twice before starting another 🤣
Good suggestion 🤣
Mister Bump UK said:
I was thinking, didn’t you say your husband was in the army? Perhaps some live amunition?
Now retired 😀
Mister Bump UK said:
Your neighbors appear to be quite rude and inconsiderate. I mean who burns old clothes in their backyard. Take the old rags to Goodwill and get a tax deduction, for crissake. Of course, I don’t know if you Goodwill stores where you live, but surely there must be charities that will gratefully accept donations of old clothing.
You can say that again. I am not sure about Goodwill stores, but there definitely are charities. And some of them come house to house asking for old clothes.
Oh Lordy! the burning in a residential area, is my peeve too, given my allergies(though, I try and keep it under control for the most part). Oh! it makes me furious, when I hear “They think you are LAZY because you cannot do the same amount of work in the same amount of time with the same speed and efficiency as them.” (walks away – no yoga, pranayama, neti-pot advice :P)
Our education in the true sense is so lacking. How do people not know they shouldn’t burn plastic, bits of wiring, bottles and caps, mattresses? Yes, one day they burned all the stuff of someone old in their house who had passed away!
As for the lazy bit, people don’t realize how tired you feel when your oxygen intake is low.
Thanks for not giving advice 😉
Alice DeForest said:
Drivve me nuts when neighbors do this kind of stuff, but sometimes saying things makes them worse, Good luck with the allergies
Thank you. You are right, it does worsen things when you say anything. Still, my husband tried, not that things improved.
At the old house we used to live in, there was a school with which we shared a boundary wall. The sweepers would pile up leaves and burn them sending the smoke over to us. My brother, a pot stirring kind of kid, would pour water over the wall and put an end to it, and I felt it served them right for polluting our house. The angry responses from them did nothing to discourage him. Perhaps you could do the same with a powerful hose. 😉
Lol, your brother is one spunky kid! We did just that once, or rather my husband did. The neighbors started a fire and it was smoking so bad. But there seemed to be no one around, they had apparently locked the house and left for some place. How irresponsible! My husband took the hose and drenched the spot.
Limp Cabbage and Soggy Chips said:
My neighbour’s live in maid burns milk packets and drives me crazy. No amount of complaining seems to have any effect.
Why are we like this?
My mother used to burn plastic covers at her place. No amount of telling her it was toxic worked. Her argument was, ‘There is nothing that ‘agni’ does not destroy’ Yeah, it is there in the vedas, right?!
Now she is on this side of the fence and criticizes anyone who burns plastic. I wonder what happened to the power of fire to destroy everything? Small mercies though, so not complaining 😉
I wonder why they should burn clothes? There are options to give it away if its not usable at home. Some characters na!
Yes, indeed. They don’t realize inhaling the fumes is toxic for everyone, though it affects some people more severely.