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Review: This is a satirical article aimed at those university students who casually leave their food leftovers on the tables and benches throughout the university campuses. It is thus a pity that those of our youngsters who come from educated backgrounds, are in the process of acquiring higher education and are mature in their age (if not in their thinking) are paying little or no attention to this growing menace.
As I stepped out of the cafeteria, holding a packet of biscuits and a serving of banana milkshake, I scanned the surroundings to find a perfect space to sit and enjoy my meal. This was the campus of a leading private university in Pakistan. Apart from the tables and benches that were already occupied, there were a few vacant ones as well. However, youngsters pursuing a ‘high-quality education’ and aiming towards a ‘bright future’ had left some leftover ‘items’ over them.
Probably there are a number of more important things going on in their heads which they need to focus upon more than caring for such ‘items’. Which class to take, which one to bunk? Which assignment remains to be completed and which classmate to seek ‘help’ from? Which test is coming up next and how to manage it with the episodes on Netflix? Which friends to text and which ones to ignore? How to take the perfect selfie with the newest ‘Snapchat filter’ and what caption to put underneath it? Which friends have seen the ‘latest’ story and which ‘pseudo-friends’ haven’t? Which friends are proving their ‘loyalty’ by liking the recent social media posts and who are the ones being ‘arrogant’ and ‘jealous’?
Some are probably too engrossed with the fun conversation and laughter they are having with their mates. Being a human, they are prone to forget certain other things while being occupied with another – in this case, the trash. Obviously, when the positivity is around, no one likes to think trash!
Some youngsters were sitting as couples in certain corners. These ‘intimate’ occasions are there to share the inner feelings, recite some romantic poetry and save these memorable moments in pictures. At such instances, it’s best to throw everything that comes in the way! After all, how long will the ‘dear crush’ remain committed as such in this ‘temporary abode’, no one knows! Thus, it’s best to have a fun time or else it might get too late!
Leftover food, packets of what they ate and cups of what they drank, all could be witnessed at the cafeteria area and even beyond. These ‘imprints’ on each table remind us that one day, people leave behind the things that they’d once longed for!
On a few places, the tea (or the coffee) had ‘overflown’ from their cups to evaporate under the sun. Mother Nature is there to take care of everything, you just have to ‘wait and see’! Flies, ants and, occasionally, cats could be witnessed gaining ‘benefit’ from what the ‘generous’ humans had left behind. With various food chains getting interwoven, the university campus resembled an ‘ecosystem’!
Some wrappers could also be seen around the grass and under the tree shades. This is a point where nature meets human civilization. Both the human forces and the natural forces (such as wind) have exerted their efforts for this ‘integration’ to take place. These shiny wrappers remind us that we are not in the middle of nowhere nor in some rural place; rather, we are in the midst of an advanced and ‘civilized’ urban society!
The leftovers are also a heaven for a researcher trying to collect data on the eating habits of the university students! With fewer questionnaires, less paper will be used which means fewer trees being cut! Also, with this methodology, the researcher will have to rely less on the irresponsibly filled responses by those students who can’t cope with the boring and long format of survey questionnaires. Fewer resources being spent and higher accuracy in the date collection – what else could a researcher demand from such an educational institute!
As the night approached, few stars were visible in the sky which could mean difficulty in navigation through the trash on the tables and chairs. However, the floodlights were there to guide those who wished to seek guidance. Otherwise, even the daylight is not enough for those who don’t wish to be guided!
With these thoughts floating around my head, I finished my meal. Upon getting up, I wrapped up my garbage and threw it in a bin, as per my ‘archaic’ habits. However, I soon realized that I was missing something – There are some people hired for this job on the campus and it’s their duty to pick the garbage up and dispose of it ‘professionally’!
If they can’t even walk a few steps to do this then what are they being paid for? This physical engagement keeps them active or else they could be suffering from the various diseases related to a ‘sedentary lifestyle’! Yes, they could be getting overwhelmed at times but they should grab this opportunity to enhance their management skills! This is a practical Management 101 course for them, as a gift from the Management science students!
Probably a few ‘old souls’ would like to ‘belittle’ the youngsters at such occasions using their archaic rhetoric of ‘Manners, Manners!’ They should realize that the society is fast changing and the ‘values’ they hold dear are becoming ‘a thing of the past’, as newer ‘cool’ trends are emerging. To have a harmonious environment to live in, they need to ‘fit in’ and ‘accommodate’ with these ‘changes’ and let the youngsters be what they are! Judging others over the values that are both old and relative is not the way to move forward!