Monday, March 17, 2008

He was an obedient man

He was an obedient man.

He started walking to the bus stop. Fortunately, today his position in the queue was within the first ten. He felt glad, now he could hope for a place to sit. Somehow the bus was little late than usual so along with the sports column he also finished reading the editorial. Meanwhile, the queue had grown to fill the entire standing space. The bus came to the stop, being late almost filled up but not so filled up to quash his hopes for a place to sit. People standing in the queue started boarding the bus. Suddenly he heard a ruckus. People standing last in the queue had run to the forefront of the battle for boarding the bus. Within a blink of an eye the bus got filled to the last doorstep. No chance of getting in, again he would be late for the office.

He was an obedient man, he wouldn't break the queue even if he is thousand times late.

Lets go for the railway, he thought. He caught an auto to the railway station. Again he was facing a queue of some twenty five people. He would manage to board it just in the nick of time, so he thought. He reached the counter. Just before he could pass the money to the guy behind, a lady barged in. "Sir, please excuse me, thoda jaldi hai", she requested. He obliged. Again feminine sound, this time directed towards the guy behind the counter for three tickets. "Twenty one rupees madam, please give change", the guy said in a hoarse voice in response to a hundred rupee note. The lady said she had none. The counter guy said he had none to pay back the balance. The lady, being late, raised her voice accusing the counter guy of stashing up the change and intentioanlly putting the customers into discomfort. The voice of the counter guy became more hoarse. Meanwhile, the train reached the platform.

He was an obedient man, he wouldn't board the train if he hasn't got the ticket.

He got the tickets but it was the next train he could board. He went in and was standing on the footboard. Luckily, two of the three fellows occupying a bench next to him got up. He occupied the corner seat and was thinking about the positive side of the day, namely being able to get a seat. The rustic man beside him started chewing the tobacco. After twenty minutes or so, he noticed some movement. The man beside him had spit below the bench. His eyes fell upon the board right in front of his eyes requesting people not to spit. He showed it to the gentleman who had just freed his mouth to be able to speak. The gentleman kindly observed that the rules are not made for him. The gentleman was correct.

He was an obedient man. The rules are made only for obedient men.

He reached office and started working like an obedient man. Now it was lunchtime. He opened his tiffin and started munching his daily cud. The honourable fellow in the next cubicle had begun eating much before the lunchtime and it was his habit to have a banana after the lunch. Honourable fellow ate the banana and threw the peel out of the windows. He observed that the dustbin was kept just outside the room. Honourable fellow explained that he hates getting up every time and going to the dustbin, why can't office administration keep a dustbin near every cubicle?

He was an obedient man. He sympathized with the honourable fellow for bravely bearing the torture inflicted by the administration.

Hello all,
These thoughts were circulating in my brain for so many days. I don't really understand the natural urge of we, the Indians, to break every possible rule while boasting of high moral values. This is pure hypocrisy. And this hypocrisy is everywhere though I mentioned only about breaking the rules in the article. We brag about being most civilized culture and the next moment we shoo away the begger as if he is no human but an animal. We talk against the racism but refuse to accept a lady as bride if she is slightly darker in complexion. We complain about people suddenly changing the driving lane and the next moment we are ready to break the red signal. The person who pays bribe once, decides somehow to earn it back by accepting bribe himself instead of deciding that at least he would not accept bribe not inflicting the similar pain on others.
There is some inherent flaw in the character of our nation. And instead of repairing it, we are hell bent upon digging it into a canyon.


Anu said...

Very good topic Onkar...Hypocrisy. I don't we as a nation are guilty of it, it is more of a human trait. Even though people have a blatant disregard for rules in our country, there are a few educated, really civilized people who uphold them. One can only hope that such people don't change :)

Suneel Madhekar said...
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Suneel Madhekar said...

You're right. We have somehow come to be a people with closed minds and mediocre ideas. You can imagine a circle around every individual, a circle of things we call our own. People normally don't care for things outside this circle. Various people have various radii for this circle. Some great men may have the entire universe withing it. Somehow, the average Indian's circle is so narrow, that it holds only him/her. Most people don't care even for the welfare of their own family! And unfortunately we proudly carry a false-ego around us. But then, not all of us are this way. There are people who are good. And we must remember that we exist and flourish (to whatever extent) because of the small minority that is good rather than the large majority that is mediocre. And one needs to have courage to be good, one needs a big heart, one needs to have patience and understanding.

I agree that hypocrisy is a common human trait and we are not the only nation suffering from it. But I don't think education is either necessary or sufficient for civilized nature. One can be uneducated and still be truly civilized. And one can be highly educated and animal-like (look around and you find examples of this type)...

Manasi said...

I agree...and whats even worse is that as presented in your blog, law abiding citizen finds himself defeated. The usual rule-breakers move about happily while the generally OBEDIENT person pays the price the only time he takes liberty.

heliophile said...

@Suneel, Anu

True, hypocrisy is a rather human trait. But somehow I think in our culture it is more prevalent (I may be wrong). Somehow we boast about having the most civilized culture than the West but ultimately commit similar or worse things. This is this paradox which hurts me.

True when you say that we exist and flourish because of the small minority that is good.

Another worse thing is that many times the law abiding citizens finally give up and join the other party.

One of my friends said that style in which I presented this blog was exactly similar to one of my previous posts, but somehow I liked this style. He also said that the incidences mentioned are rather cliche ones. I agree completely. But somehow it is my failure that I couldn't bring more creativity in presenting the otherwise cliche situations. I hope to do better next time.


Suneel Madhekar said...

Hmm... That is precisely the rule of the jungle... The mighty thrive. The weak make a mistake and they perish. It is this very concept of might-is-right that the human society should rise above...

You're right, the traditional Indian society is indeed closed to ideas and is therefore, both hypocritical and mediocre. Every society has this trait to some extent or the other. When you say this trait is more prevalent among Indians, I don't know with which society you're trying to compare.

One reason for societies and individuals to be hypocritical about their current state even though they're being pathetic is the natural resistance to change. Being open to ideas necessitates change which takes effort which we try to minimize...

Rupesh Nasre. said...

Good thought, nicely written.

vindy said...
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vindy said...

I have lived this life, seen many others living it and also thought this thought n number of times...thanks for bringing this up so nicely...Over a numerous experiences that I have had, I have realized that a major crop behave in a manner that you have so rightly complained about and if one tries to go by the rules then he is most definitely going to be at the receiving end of all injustice done...But I have lately started to look at it in a different way...I believe that the people who don't have the time and the conscience to think about rules or just behave fairly, are extremely unlucky from many viewpoints...There could be numerous reasons for their behaviour...Maybe they were never taught, or maybe they were not taught to abide by something that they were taught..Maybe they are going through a major crisis to the extent that all kinds of rightful actions have now become mere masked interrupts and the only thought plaguing their mind is the sequence of of events which has led that individual into the predicament that he or she is going through and he constantly making frantic efforts to get out of it...maybe they don't realize the fun of going by the rules, which are normally ignored and breaking the ones which are only superficial and namesake and mostly unjustified; like always eating the ice cream cone from top towards bottom and not the other way around; like never walking backwards; like never dancing to a nice tune since you are already a grownup; like always ringing the bell or knocking the door in a manner that you are so used to over the years; etc. etc....but you know, there is one class of individuals who always abide by the rules that they are told to and always believe in doing the things, which don't have any stipulated procedure of doing, their own way...those are the CHILDREN...when they grow up, they lose the ability to forget the wrong, unwanted things like all the tensions in their life, the wrong events that they witness, the pressures at workplace, the emotional upheavals in their relationships with various kinds of people etc....thats when all the rules and the rightful behaviour that you have mentioned take a i feel utmost sympathy for such people who can't even follow the simple rules like not smoking in a public place, like not breaking queues etc. The only way to help them is to give them a nice smile and maybe, try to explain some simple things to again there is a risk of the subject hitting back at you, but again a smile normally suffices to calm the tensions...let us bring back the child within day, surely, all will be smiling..hehe...and sorry for such a long comment...hehe

Mansi said...

Hey there...surely a thought provoking post!However, I believe that it's the duty of the government to make stricter laws. makers can't be law breakers right?? but that's what happens here...right from the watchmen who spit on the the ticket checkers in the railways who take fine without a receipt..I guess, the root of the problem is the fact that educated & civilised people like us stay away from our law making body, the government!

Mansi said...

and yeah...i added your link to my blog page...hope u dont mind! :)

Suneel Madhekar said...

The government is merely a part of the society and all evils that plague the society plague the government as well. Government work generally entails huge responsibility and if people of good quality stay away, then the situation gets aggravated. I agree that there is an immediate need for good people to join the government. BTW, the government does not make laws. It only executes. It is the politicians that make laws.

Darshan said...

LAI BHARI SIR.u have hit the right target ashtis was the sensitive issue for many people likeme . we dont say anything even if we are awarded with social injustice as u traced. good . i can say like "anyayala wacha fodli"

radhika said...

Very nice Onkar..
very well written
I want to put thoughts of this kind.. dont know if i am lazy or cannot put them in proper form.
but ll try..

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