Photo diary of our trip to Deonar- Asia’s largest dumping ground.


Human society sustains itself by transforming into garbage.- American aphorist Masen Cooley

it’s 6 pm somewhere!

That’s exactly how we started our day. Cracked one open at dawn. A necessary measure according to my colleague to numb ourselves against the toxic fumes in the area. Also because it’s 6 pm somewhere. After paying appropriate respect to our German friend, we were off to Asia’s largest dumping ground. 326 acres of it! Hello! adventure. Minutes later our nostrils flared up, we had arrived at our destination. Sadly, our excitement took a quick downturn when the government guards refused us entry to the dumping ground. Serves us right for not checking about permissions and paperwork required to go in. (Take note researchers.)

(TIP- You might still be allowed in with some persuasive pleading, that is if you go on a weekday, they will not entertain this sort foolishness on a Sunday, but I didn’t say that 🤐)

So eventually we just gave up on the trip and left for home.

FIN.

That is the end of the blog. Thank you for crawling by.

Kidding. There was a game plan.

Following 2 pictures are from the internet to give you an idea on what the dumping ground looks like. In 2016, local gangs set ablaze parts of the dumping ground during gang wars to gain monopoly over the garbage business. (The garbage business is a multi crore business and greed is always looking for a way in) The residents around the area had to suffer the blanket of toxic smoke caused by massive fire. Thankfully, the government officials stepped in time to pack-up the gangs and save the day.

Back to the game plan!

The defiant, valiant people that we are, we made sure to not leave the place without salvaging some experience. We ended up exploring a nearby slum called Rafiq Nagar, hoping to get to know some people (After all human beings are more important than garbage. Though, at times we are the same).

Lost in translation
Human society sustains itself by transforming into garbage.- American aphorist masen cooley
Looking Sharp!
No way outta here

Considering all the scary gang war stories heard in the news, this place was not as intimidating as we thought it would be. Ya, we got the curious look from locals, an occasional tease from teenage kids to provoke a reaction out of us, but nothing serious. Some gladly posed for our camera and even helped us with directions.

#Sunday fun-day

While the locals chilled and lived their Sunday, the heat waves did a number on us. Climate change is a reality. But who cares. We got more important things at hand, gotta prep for the upcoming elections, the leaders will take care of it. I believe in their con job.

Did you know? The garbage business rakes in about Rs 250-450 crore every year. Me and my colleagues gave career change a serious thought but our sheltered asses wouldn’t last a day out here.

Small shops and businesses inside Deonar-

Nice to meat you.
The god-barber- It’s not all about hair, we cut other things too!
Picture perfect

That was the last picture we managed to click in that area before the locals got uncomfortable with our cameras. It was at this time I realized that we had wandered off deep into the area. Wandered off a bit into their world, which was ours too. Each person was living his own life, in his own world, fitted with their own personal worries, pains, pleasures, ambition, etc. Same as mine in a sense, but also as intricate and as different as could be imagined. I was struck by a moment of sonder as I took in my surroundings, dotted with strangers I’ll never hear the stories of. It’s good to be nudged from hibernation from time to time and get a reality check on the society existing around us.

Writer ends the day right.

On the road back home, where cold shower & Instagram, Facebook high’s await.

Beware-Deonar’s traffic guards have lethal swag
Empty bottle prepares for it’s voyage back to Deonar

FIN (for real this time). Thank you for crawling by.

Here is a link if you want to read more about the Deonar gangs.

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