A human’s sense of owning never ceases to amaze me.

Growing up in Chandigarh, I always knew where the leisure valley was but thought I’d go visit it on a future date. This past week I was in a situation where I was on my morning run right by the valley.


This is as good a time as any to visit the valley, I told myself as I stepped on the gravely trails those circumscribe the concrete paths crisscrossing the 10 acre jogging park.


As scores of early morning joggers and walkers passed me, I noticed how clean the trails and the gardens were. “This is highly unlike my country”, I thought to myself as people wrapped up in woolen scarves, burning smoke with their breath into the cold December morning huffed by me.


That’s when the decision of exploring the periphery was taken; mid run.

Aha, true to our countries nature, there it was in all in undignified glory; plastic cups, paper plates, plastic bags, leftover food, un-usable shoes- you name it, we had it.


The main paths were being cleaned by the janitors and sweepers appointed by the city (some swatch bharat, this) and the garbage was pushed to the periphery. And true to script, there was a sweeper burning the trash and letting the noxious fumes and dark smoke pollute our ‘city beautiful’- without any check or bounds.


We are a filthy country and we are irresponsible citizens.

But we are obsessed with owning land.

What we haven’t realized so far is that we are all renters. We all rent a piece of land from mother earth- even if it is for 75 years. If we are bad renters then we leave dilapidated houses, abandoned factories, vacant plots with weeds and trash. If we are decent renters, we pass that land on to our children; who in-turn rent it from mother earth.


If, however we are good renters. Then we care for that piece of land well and other pieces of land well to; be it the land being swallowed by the landfill by the outskirts of sector 38 or our own Leisure valley.

We have the wrong idea about ownership. Ownership brings responsibility and not a right to abuse.


The Leisure valley is all of ours. Lets not leave trash there for someone else to pick up. Lets not use it for events with small plastic bottles being handed out which kill our environment. Let’s stop people when we see them burning trash or urinating on the streets.

Either we will all swim in these turbulent waters or we will all sink.

Ownership will bring pleasure to the leisure.



  1. With an immature public, everyone’s responsibility is no-one’s. We are evolving as a society, but at a very slow pace. Till we start taking pride in public places, and that includes civic sense and the right of women to public places, maturity is long way off.

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