When I first went to Kerala last year I was so happy to see the streets and walls of the city so clean. I could not guess it first but then I realised that people in South india don’t eat/chew ‘pan’. So they don’t spit anywhere they want, the red colour “pichkari” and that’s how walls retain their original colour. I never imagined that’s possible in India.
In Mumbai we don’t remember the original colour of the wall or street as most of them are red in color. People are so used to it that they spit even on the wall where it’s written “SPITING IS PROHIBITED” in bold letters. Many times it happens when workers start painting the wall from one end and by the the time they reach the other end of the wall, starting point is red again. No one thinks it’s wrong or bad as we see it in every corner of the railway, buses, lifts and all over the street. When you are so used to ugliness it becomes normal. People realise this when they go abroad and see clean streets and after coming back they’ll praise that country and curse ours. India is not dirty country, but people are. They don’t think it’s my country and I am the one who should keep it clean and not the government.
Government actually try many ideas to prevent painting of the walls by people. They ask children and even artist to paint these walls so that people would not want to spit on then but it doesn’t matter even then, as I have seen many such walls getting red again within months. The only thing that works is Gods and goddesses paintings on those walls as people somehow are afraid to spit on them. But entire city coloured with gods poster will look like we are in huge temple or something but till people learn to spit in basin or washrooms or stop eating pan completely , huge temple is not bad idea, or is it??