When I logged in to WordPress this morning, I got to read a host of totally distinct ideas from all over the world – that’s what I love the most about WP – the “Freshly Pressed” section! I have been thinking about making another post for over a week now (since I made my first post on my new-born WordPress blog) and wasn’t sure of what to use as fodder.
This morning, on my way to work I got stuck in traffic, and for a mere 6 km (approx. 4 miles) it took me one hour to travel! And when I got to the other end through traffic, I had to find out that a Public Transport bus had broken down, diagonally standing on the road, blocking most of the traffic on that narrow-like-a-thread road. As usual, the Service Van obviously hadn’t made it there for over an hour, though the nearest depot is not very far. The irony is that our Service vans are sometimes in a worse condition than those broken down buses.
Anyway, this traffic jam reminded me of this television ad, made for Lead India, a reality show with a difference – as they called it. (Watch the video, you’ll know how I connect to the above incident).
Two years back in our country, the leading newsgroup The Times of India started this initiative to discover bold and honest leaders from among the people, who could essentially bring about the changes India needs very much for its progress; people who would at least put their nation in mind as much as they do their own selves.. (Come on, I know no one is that selfless anymore to put something before their own selfish selves…!)
I wished – No! Let’s not pull God into this! – I hoped to see the winners really get somewhere and do wonders to our political scene. I was suspicious of it though, because most of the good things in our country go into the closet almost immediately, never to see the daylight again. That’s what happened, ultimately. The show winner, who was a social activist who had selflessly undertaken various projects independently or with some NGOs, is nowhere to be seen now, probably also a standing joke among the corrupt politicians in the country. They must be saying to themselves – “Hah! And you thought you were gonna make this country a better place!”
In the ad, it shows an uprooted tree blocking the traffic in wee hours and all people stuck in the pouring rain. The politician stuck in the same crowd soon gets another car on the other side of the tree and goes ahead, the cops standing by and watching (and probably enjoying) all the misery people are in. All this goes on, people sitting under shelter, talking on phones saying – “I hate this country”, until this one kid starts pushing away the tree, with obviously no hope of moving it alone. But as people dig their shameful blackened faces out of their cars and buses, they suddenly know the right thing to do. By the time they are done clearing the tree off the street, the sun shines again and we see a new generation of heroes – the people who believe they can make a difference.
I was humming the song all day long, with thoughts in the back of my head.
Could I have stopped the people zooming past and asked them to help get the bus off the road for people to pass through faster? Would they really have helped me do it? Wasn’t coming to work more important than to stop there and make other people’s lives easier by helping them a little? Aren’t people a little bit too selfish to help me clear the road even after they were out of the hour long boredom?? I am no saint and I know I won’t quit my job and get to the streets, trying to fight the dirty politics in my country. But I try and do my bit wherever I can.
I love my country, and I am not ashamed to be a citizen here, unlike some hypocrites like to blame the class of people I come from. People like me, who look at other countries and feel bad about the people making our country a worse place to live, are always criticized by others who keep calling us traitors to the country, and say that we think settling down abroad is a good idea because “running away” is all we know, or we are ashamed of the country itself.
I wish I could just somehow tell them how much I love to be a part of this country. Although, it still breaks my heart to have grown up with pride for my country, and to find that all this country has now, is a generation that has gone blind, just rejoicing over the past glory it has witnessed in the previous generations… living in the blurry memories of the tremendous history it possesses… and yet totally incapable of doing something as spectacular as the previous generations…
I love my India, and hate the people who bring shame to its name. Sorrowfully, the country’s full of them! An appreciable effort is being put forth by our Ministry of Tourism, in the form of Atithi Devo Bhavah. I really wish people make India proud, not just by its past glory, but by giving their own share to make it a great nation it truly deserves to be…!
- “Atithi Devo Bhava” means “Guest is God”