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Rage at large

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One, two and three months since I’ve been deliberately abstaining from writing. And not just on my blog. No scribbly lines, no mails, hell, not a word on my personal dairy either, a habit of 14 years finally died down. Blame it on my PMP exam preparation or my vacation plans but I know those aren’t true. For reasons incomprehensible, or maybe comprehensible only to me, I was facing a mental block towards writing. I made no efforts to overcome that either, deciding that it was time to quit. Game over.

Since I’ve mentioned “deliberate” in the first sentence, I am not going to apologize. However, a weeklong vacation to Singapore, I must say has opened the floodgates and slapped me out of my hibernation. Singapore is a great nation like many others but if you are expecting a post vacation post mortem, typical of a tourist, describing the sight-seeing with “oohs” and “aahs”, well, you would be disappointed.

As much as I am in awe of that little country, I am ashamed of myself. Oh yeah, ashamed for calling myself a proud Indian when the reasons for the pride presented two generations ago is getting eroded with time, without significant contributions from the present. Right, we are progressing. We are progressing arithmetically while our neighbours are progressing exponentially. How long are we going to just sing glory to our past, a past that I’ve started questioning after reading Jad Adams’ ‘Gandhi Naked Ambition’? A few educated politicians, not very different from today, had illusioned the then illiterate Indian masses. Constitution constructed and Icons were created by hiding human eccentricities and fed to us generation after generation through school lessons, media and what not, to comfortably promote our pride to arrogance. Strange that I should feel rage at my own society, considering that I am back from a vacation that is supposed to soothe things out. Here is why.

When we started planning our trip, working out finances, the Singapore dollar vs. Indian rupee irked me. I understand that the Western and Eastern world are very different in many ways and we’ve come to accept the superiority of USDs and GBPs but Singapore is just round the corner. A small country with smaller population, part of which is occupied by our own fellow Indians, is economically a developed country while we are developing for decades. Let’s lose the folklore about East India Company stealing our wealth away. Japan’s wealth is stolen away periodically by furious Mother Nature quite so often. Still, she keeps recovering superfast and stands higher than rupee value any day. India has a vast farm land, with a large hardworking population and now caught in the IT whirlwind, earning diversified currencies; we should actually be doing better instead of continued depreciation of our rupee. Why? Is it because of the bulging black Swiss accounts of individual politicians? Is it because we are happy to get discounts when we do not request for bills or receipts?

The first thing that impressed me about Singapore was the cleanliness. One could literally sleep on the streets or eat in the public restrooms. Hygiene everywhere. When was the last time we thought twice before spitting on the roads or urinating on the walls? Educated, uneducated, rich and poor, everybody does it here and then waits for the municipality and corporation to do their duty, which again is driven by bribes and politics from higher officials. Meanwhile, we happily laze around passing comments on the inefficiency of our government.

Talking about passing comments, I was impressed with the decency of the ladies and gentlemen there. Singapore is as humid as India and Tees and Shorts is their casual dress code. No matter how scanty that is, no one raises so much as an eye brow and go about their work. Here we are living in a land that says it glorifies womanhood and blame her attire for her character and all the eve-teasing offenses. We sum it up in one misused and misunderstood terminology called “culture”. Equality in India is forever elusive.

I witnessed people actually waiting at the Zebra crossing for the pedestrian signal to turn green before they crossed the streets. Public transport is well-connected and widely used, truly living a “green world” instead of just saying it. Folks alighted and offered their seats to pregnant women, elderly and people with kids. Do I really have to go into those scenarios here?

In one week of my tour, I was appalled at the differences. When I travel from Bangalore to Chennai and back, my two year old son falls sick. We travelled from India to Singapore, roamed all day and back and he hasn’t caught so much as a cough or cold. How can two countries with Asian population, located on close latitudes and similar climatic conditions be so different? Agreed, they might have their deficiencies but why do we have to look at those and seek excuses for our insufficiencies? Why do we not for a change appreciate their positivity and try to inculcate it possibly?

The intention of my blog is not to defame India. Come on, I belong here and this is my home. I am as upset as an Indian cricket fan who compares our team with the Aussies when we play a bad game. He wants our team to win. I want to live in India, a much better India. We have the toolkit with us; all we lack is self-discipline and respect for others, others as in others outside our community, race and nation. While we bask in pride, we are ridiculed outside. I don’t wish for us to be like Singapore but I am sad that we fail to contribute in making India a country that someone else blogs about with envy.

Let me not go into preachy stuff about you, me and everyone doing their best to make our land a heaven. We all know those lines by-heart and the happenings here are in spite of that knowledge. I am out with my vent; probably back to hibernation again, with the satisfaction that I’ve done my share of complaining too. To let the words linger in the cyber world, joining in chorus with many others voicing similar opinions and fade away to a silent slumber, like the fairy tale princess waiting for her true love’s first kiss.

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6 thoughts on “Rage at large

  1. Nice article but nothing is going to Change here, until people open their eyes and c what shit they are in.

    Mistakes very cheap in India, Anyone can do anything with money and power, others are perfectly fine with it.

    No one has social responsibilities here, and the Govt never tries to teach us either.

    People are so much used to corruption and breaking laws, we don’t even realise it’s a mistake.

    Bureaucrats needs to bribed even to do their work and we are perfectly fine with it.

    Don’t be surprissed if some of the states are sold to other countires in the future, our Politicians are capable of it.

    Most of our people are still ignorant, they need more awareness. Until then nothing is gona change.

    Till then you can write more of these blogs, and I can keep commenting.

  2. @Santosh: Thank you 🙂

    @Mani: Like I had mentioned in the last para, I wasn’t expecting dramatic changes. We know how things are and we are fine with it. I was just venting out my frustration at our country’s fate, fully knowing that nothing is gonna change. Thanks to you for joining me at it.

  3. Appreciate (Because this post is for me or us and not for you) your time for writing this one for us. May be in previous times i would not have appreciated you much, Because personally i felt you are writing for me (Or us) or the people in india, and I personally thought you are trying to contribute to your nation by the power of writing.

    If every Responsbile People in India feels India will not change then I am disappointed.

    I am not gloating my people over here(like cleanliness, philanthrophy, Kindness, corruption, Rational.. whatever you call) . Nor the history has everything good.(like people now
    in facebook talk about Gandhi, Nehru, and every others.). Nor the Future also looks promising with our own attitude.

    Personally I feel they are also human beings, They tried their part whomever you call it (Periyar, Bharathi, Kamaraj, Gandhi, Nehru.. and every other). Is it not our time to contribute anything back?

    If i or you were born at the time of freedom struggle and contributed in our own way. Then to hear wrong about the decisions which I or you have taken knowingly or unknowingly
    (On that instant what I or you felt good for the country turned to be a disaster later) is not fair. Because nobody knows exactly what will happen in the future India.

    I could not agree on dwelling in the past and putting entire blame on our history.

    For the Future Ones ,There are few people who are trying still.

    If everyone thought (some examples from this current india Mrs.Sudha Murthy, Mr.A R Rahman , Mr.Chandra Mohan, Mr.Abdul Kalam , sorry the list goes on) India will never change then we would have already been dead now.

    On personal Level I have my own mistakes and i may be doing mistakes later also (May be unintenionally), But as a person living in this country here I would like to contribute here? How about you?

    I believe Rage is good Only if followed by Action.

    As nike Says “Just Do it”.

  4. Archana,

    Will you be able to write a post from the financial perspective for this tour? May be like how much you expected and what was the actuals, any tips on how much is good enough for a travel like this. Certainly it will help me, incase if you feel others will be also be interested. Can you please write on this?

  5. @Lakshmipathy: First of all, sorry for late reply. Good line of thoughts you’ve got but know what? Lot of us here, like you and me have so many different ideas to make this country a better place too. When it comes to “Just do it”, we just don’t do it. Laziness or irresponsiblity or whatever you may call it prevents a person to look beyond the boundaries of self and family. The ones who do are properly nibbed in the bud by society and surroundings under various pretexts that they flee the country out of frustration. From my side, if refrain from spitting on the streets and hoarding black money (I don’t have an opportunity anyway ;))…there my rage is acted out and hence good! About the expenses and stuff, I think we should take that by mail.

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