I knew I said I wasn’t going to fill up this space for some time – I didn’t know why exactly I said that, I just felt I had lost it in me to write anything beyond boring official mails; but now I am back and have quite a few incidents in the past couple of weeks that have made me think and respect life and disrespect and loathe few people and to start writing again. I went through the recent posts in my blog and found that I have been doing nothing but cribbing and getting senti (I know it sucks…) for a while now and vowed to go easy on the cribbing part but I have now found that it is almost impossible for me not to complain and crib – don’t blame me, the world is so bad. You know that already, don’t you?
Well, last week was a tough one. I had problems with my friend, team mate and a lot of people on the road (If you are thinking, “who doesn’t?” Welcome to the club!) Now, without indulging into the causes of each of these tiffs, I would only write about the after-effects of these, thereby denying you the chance to judge me! (I am smart, you see ;-) )
I had a problem in respecting a friend of mine for a mean thing he did and therefore walked out on my group of friends while we were hanging out. It was already 9pm in the night and without thinking twice, I walked to the beach (Thiruvanmiyur beach, at that) and sat alone to think about what I did and whether it was worth the being-alone-late-night-at-unsafe-beach after all. I sat alone and watched the people there – a bunch of guys playing volley ball under the flood lights, a little girl sitting with her mother and playing in the sand, a girlfriend punching her boyfriend playfully and smiling, 3 girls talking and giggling, a father holding his little girl’s finger and walking, a husband walking with his pregnant wife – no one was alone. Wait, there was a dog there – he seemed to have no company, just like me! :-) I smiled at him thinking I am not the only lonely living thing there. Then the dog’s friend dog came and they both walked off together too. That day, I learnt to hide my feelings. I thought I’d never say this, but it would stand you in good stead if you learned to hide your emotions and sugar-coat your words and be the (sickeningly) ‘sweet’ person that everyone likes.
As if to reiterate it, I had a tiff with my team mate (I have got to remain confidential about this one, but what the heck…) who accused me of ‘manipulating’ him and urged me ‘not to play games’ with him and it was at that moment that I realized that my only mistake was that I had been cordial to the extent of being friendly towards him. Had I been not as warm and as friendly, his words wouldn’t probably have had the kind of effect on me as they actually did.
More than these two incidents, I had a never-before experience – I saw (from close quarters) an MTC ticket inspector grabbing a 13-14 year old guy’s wallet from his pocket and taking the money out of it after the boy and his friend threw the bus ticket after buying it. The little guy started crying and the following conversation took place:
Big Fat Ticket Inspector (BFTI): Give me your mother/father’s cell number.
Little guy gave the phone number and it was apparently switched off.
BFTI: (In a mocking tone) Enna thambi, the phone is switched off.
Little guy: Sir, my parents must be on the plane. They are coming back from Hyderabad today evening. That’s why…
BFTI: Flight-laya??? He he… Romba vevarama irukkaye... Give me your house key and go (and put his hands into the guy’s pocket and took out his house key).
Little guy: (Crying even more) Sir sir, sorry sir. Please give the house key sir.
BFTI: But you traveled without a ticket (like it was a gruesome crime). How much money do you have? Aaahh, look at this! You have a 50 rupee note in your wallet.
Little guy: Sir, that is all I have. I have to eat from outside. Please, sir.
BFTI: Are you going to eat for 50 rupees?
What the hell… Agreed, what the guys did (albeit playfully) was wrong, but does it justify the inspector’s act? What were even worse were his humiliatingly mocking tone and his words. I didn’t know what to do. I felt so bad for the young kid – now he would never have any respect for ticket inspectors (he would have fear, alright; but not respect) Will the Government officials stop misusing power? What should a common man do to stop getting ridiculed and mocked at? How do we show our protest? Before you answer that, would we all come forward and stand together and protest against such officials? So many questions to ask; nobody to answer.