Saturday, January 31, 2009

We are like this only!

I just came back from my short yet sweet trip from home. The train journey was long, but was traveling with friends which made it bearable. But on the train a strange incident happened which many of us have come across but have blissfully ignored. We were sitting amidst the cacophony which erupts whenever the train starts running, kids crying, hawkers rushing to alight the train...amidst that din was a distinct voice. Not pleasant. No. Something which we wish not to look at. Something we believe to be the utterances of a mad man. We ignored it at first, like all normal citizens, believing that it would come down..but it persisted. A little enquiry later we came to know that he was protesting the entry of the travellers without a valid ticket (read waitlisted ticket). Normally, such cases are not allowed to board the reserved compartments, but a few cases are ignored on humanitarian grounds.
So this person, lets call him Mr. X for convenience, didn't seem to have a humane side, and was fighting tooth and nail to get them out even when the Ticket-checker was not interested in doing anything about it. The noise subdued, and calmness descended upon the compartment.
It was around 0130 hours. Sleep has agreed to pay a visit after a much tenacity on my part. And that noise exploded out of nowhere. Don't ask me what ran on my mind! It was already worn out waiting for sleep. And again the same old yak-yak.And this time, he even pulled the chain...the train didnot stop, eh..due to some technical snags..but that is a different story. And it went on for a good two hours before we got some respite. But it was a short lived dream as the sunlight heralded the clamour. I must admit, Mr. X did get them out of the compartment. And peace prevailed.
An anecdote I shall be narrating for a long time. Not for the reasons which you might have picked up along the way, but the effect it had on me. Here is a question for you:
Was Mr. X right? it not? Not quite. On one side, we say 'What business did he have running after the ones without a valid ticket? Why can't he look after his business and let truth prevail?' And contrary to this, we say 'Yes, he was right! So what if he gathers the ill wishes of others? He was doing the right thing upholding what was right!'
Yet, that day, the former argument seemed glorious, when no one came to his support. In fact, the fellow travellers were maligning him.
We talk of seeing change in the country. We talk of making the start. We talk of doing our tiny bit that would help the country move ahead and not back in time of the dark ages. But we are not ready to come out of our zones of comfort, where we do not have to raise a voice for what is right, a place where everything stays in equillibrium. Why this complacency with the wrong?
Humm...there could be a reason which is so well imbibed in our system that now it seems a part of it, grows with it. Right from the childhood, a child reads books of great heroes who have fought against the wrong, the evil. But is advised to move along the crowd when faced with adverse situations. The child is asked not to stick its neck out and correct the wrongs in the system. The child is not encouraged to say No, but to 'Yes' everyone throughout his life. Pray pardon me if i miss a few exceptions who have gone to make their mark in the pages of history. On the whole,

We are like this only!
But the question is...Why?

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