Thursday, October 27, 2011

SOME QUESTIONS - Part 1

In the last post I wrote how I experienced sound pollution in one of its worst forms. This has prompted me to ask many questions, which I've been wanting to ask for a long time, but a festival has made me ask it now. As I wrote earlier, I don't think that the obsession Indians have to explosives is not localized , but it is universal. One reason I had never heard a cracker sound in Mumbai was that, I used to live on the 12th and 6th floors and whatever sounds used to be made would have come as feeble (but persistant and irritating, like the ones when you put music in loudspeaker for a full day and I had that experience in Mumbai). There was a report in Mumbai mirror about a boy of 21 years old, who died from heart attack, since he played holi with his friends for the whole day. Bad age to die. Isn't it? And the saddest part is that he died for nothing! yesterday's torture reminded me of this report. I was wondering if the old people in our lane were so strong and "hard hearted" that they didn't feel irritated by full day explosions.

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Festivals in India are colourful. Acceptable. But why do they have to be noisy and messy? Almost all festivals celebrated in India have religious basis (except the poor, Independence day or Republic day or Gandhi Jayanti which our "patriotic" janta manage to ignore conveniently). So instead of understanding the true spirit of that festival, why do you want to "celebrate" and squander money over it? Is it because your living standards have gone up that you will do anything what you want, without caring about how it is affecting the person sitting next to you? Yesterday I would have heard atleast 500 cracker noises. Notice "atleast". I don't know what is the psychology behind spending money to buy these many crackers. There are not many families in our lane. So whatever crackers were there, were exploded by those limited number of people, who bought gigantic amounts of explosives. One question to the parents : Are you training your children to become terrorists? 

Why do you spend so much money on something which lasts for not even a minute? If you are so rich, why can't you spend it on something else. Buy clothes, buy food, buy gold ornaments. But why do you buy crackers and explode it in others ears and deafen them? Will you pay the compensation if you cause damage to somebody's health? Will you accept your fault if your crackers cause somebody's sudden death due to cardiac arrest? NO. BIG NO. YOU WON'T BECAUSE YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A SELFISH PERSON. So selfish that you just want to show off that you've got this and got that. And you think that you can buy anything with money.

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Dear middle class fellow, I've got a question for you. You are in Trishanku Swargam, neither down, nor up. So you've the privilage of having luxuries, but you don't have them all. So you are the most complex class of society. Nobody wants to be poor. But when you become reasonably rich, you forget your limitations and try to ascertain your social "status" by becoming a big costumer. Market knows this and they exploit you without your knowledge. Well as far as your purchases don't affect others it may be called ok. But when it starts to affect others in the society, it is really bad. And the fact that people become more self centered in a market ruled world is a painful reality. But it is true. And the result? Your society in which you live (actually my society in which I live) becomes cancerous.


Have you ever felt that the increasing number of cars in which there is a single person (the driver) which cause endless traffic jams in cities is like a spreading cancer? I have. Whenever I am stuck in a traffic jam, I notice cars with only a single person in it. Then I ask myself "Why can't they travel in a bus?" There used to be an ad in tv when I was small. It is like this : A group of four people are headed towards an office. Each one drives a car and there occurs many confusions in the mean time. Then the announcement comes that they should use a single car, and they all get into the same car and got to the office. So they save fuel.

Actually that ad was made to promote fuel conservation. I won't tell you to conserve fuel. It is a known fact that all fuel will be used up some day and you'll have to walk then. What I want to say is this. Your parents inject "professional mania" into you, you get into an IT company or some other hugely paid institution, get lakhs per month and your money start aching to be spent. So you'll ache to have "bangla,gaadi and babe". Probably the first thing you'll have is a gaadi. And that too, not a small reasonable one, but a huge monstrous one which you'll take to the unorganised, already cluttered roads of India and cause traffic jams (because you are not the only person has the "bangla,gaadi,babe" motto) giving claustrophobic feelings to poor people like me and scaring poor pedastrians (Where is the pavement to walk?). WHY? Does this increase your social status? Multinationals are cleaver. They pay you huge amounts and salary and they make sure that they get that money back. (Just like the scene in "The world is not enough" where  Valentin Zukovsky pays huge amounts to his call girls and asks his assistant to make sure that they spend them all in his won casino.) But those suffer are ordinary people who travel by bus or train or by foot.



So you've a gaadi, you buy a banglaa and what next? wait. Your banglaa will be in a quiet place where you park your car on the street. No fear of summer, no fear of rain, you've a car, so you don't bother whether the road is ruined or not and whether the poor people who have to wade through the bad water are suffering or not. And what about ordinary people? They battle with rain and garbage and complain sadly about the plight of the place. Will the corporation do something even if all these are happening under its nose? No. Why because it didn't bother when some hundreds of people came and parked their gigantic vehicles in an area starting from its gate to the middle of the public main road, when some single person came to submit the nomination to contest in an election. Are yaar, why do you have to come with your huge vehicle if somebody else is giving nomination? If you wanted to show your loyalty , your whole group would have come walking (taking pains because you've to walk in a city, and that would have been the real "sacrifice") and waited for your "leader". (If the supporter is like this, what will the leader be? Who is running this country?) 
So much for the democracy. These can be called "big and unsolvable issues." (Well all of them are unsolvable and will become big if you keep on turning blind eyes towards them, telling that you can't do anything about them.)

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