February 29th, 2008

Join the Masses

[LJ2ME (http://www.xfyre.com/sw/lj2me.html)] The dynamics

The other day while stuck at a crossing in a cab i saw the usual bombay spectacle- a few young boys selling books and magazines while the signal was red. However this time instead of talking to me, the passenger, the target was the cab driver- for a drink of water. Suprisingly, the guy said no. Now as most Indians will mention, its intrinsic to provide water to one who asks. Its cultural. One cannot say no. It is identified akin to a sin- one of the few things called Sin here. From an almost uneducated definitely superstitious taxi driver it was unexpected to say the least. So i looked on with interest. The boy tried his luck at atleast three before striking an oasis.
It was then i realised why the denial from experienced tired ones had said no to that simple favour. The boy immediately called his fellows. Three more of them from all across that hot afternoon crossing overlooking the sea. They all congregated at the watering point in seconds out of thick traffic. Before the boy1 himself drank, the two litre full bottle of the fresh-from-a-petrol-pump-and-replenished driver was passed around, and drank lustily from by all without as much as a word- to anyone. The hapless driver looked on with an eye on the traffic signal while they finished the bottle while resting the book on his car hood. Finally the hero- boy1 took his drink and wiping his mouth satisfactorily handed back a less-than-quarter-full bottle back with a mock salute to the car pilot. I felt bad for him. A man who had just embarked on a long afternoon of ceaseless driving ahead of him with planning like carrying water was deprived of most of his supply by a simple gesture of goodwill. That cartel of boys could have easily kept a supply for themselves, or despatched one of them to a pump or shop to get a drink. No wonder then that the older drivers said a definite and curt No.
Exploiting a nice gesture. Thats what lies at the bottom of all the hardness of older, successful, careful as well as the average hard working city dwellers. Like the ants they strive and save, all to give away to a shivering grasshopper who could not care to think for himself. No one minds giving the occassional cup of sugar to a neighbour. But just try that every week, and it shall be a firm denial after a while.
Humans and any animal like to share and help, but just in a while. Self comes before anything else. Basic survival instinct you say? Of course yes. But how many times do we remember that before putting the blame? And we still go on exploiting those who want to help. Till they never will- not you nor another.
Climb the Summit

[LJ2ME (http://www.xfyre.com/sw/lj2me.html)] Time, place, events and Memory

Layers and layers of memories appear on the fringe of my mind like a sheaf of papers on the edge of a desk- to be fluttered away by wind. Sultry summer-oncoming night. Cool wind from outside, warm yet comfortable room and fan brings back similar nights music, copies, people.. All so close yet so fragile. Picking the topmost memory displaces the older ones and i want to be in all those places alone and with others all at once. Not here, not where i remember them all and savour the languidity and pleasantness of older times. Emphasizing today for me now. So i keep ruffling the sheaf picking out details carefully, moving back in time..to a few yrs ago, college time, childhood till no memory remains to draw out heart strings, and adding another for future february ends in India.