As part of my drain tour from Majestic to Bellandur, for the project ‘As the Drain Goes’, I walked the stretch of the K100 drain, photographing garbage both in and around the drains. Viewing the sites of garbage around, I penned this poem, “Troubled Waters”.

‘As the drain goes’, is a joint project by Pinky Chandran, Nalini Shekar, and Citizen Matters, and is supported by the Bengaluru Sustainability Forum (BSF) Small Grants Programme

Troubled Waters

The water in our drains are troubled,

Distressed and distraught,

For, the drains are a conduit that carries the city’s discards

The water in our drains are troubled,

Engulfed with garbage making for a deadly whirlpool

We flinch, at the sight

Of the drain’s living corpse

Yet, we carry on making the wastescape

The trash in the waters, sparkle,

There is a beautiful synchronised harmony

In all the things that make their way inside

Single use plastics, furniture, mattress, clothes

Construction debri and carcasses

There is an electric charge around the discards

Troubling the water in the drain, 

Lying defeated and deflated

But wait there’s more,

The garbage around the drains, 

Makes for another enigmatic sight,

Representing the rejected 

It calls out on the cold treatment of being excluded

From the cycle of life

Who will mourn the loss of 

Wasted lands, and wasted water bodies

Withering, rotting, mutating, festering, changing

Both the garbage in the drain and around it

Wait for a salvation,

But Alas

Only to be buried or burnt…

– Pinky Chandran, May 2022