Thursday, August 25, 2011


India is the land of Ram, Krishna, Buddha, Mahavir Jain of mythical era and Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru Jayaprakash Narayan and Anna Hazare of modern times. They have been the Apostles of peace, preaching patience and non-violence through centuries of Indian history. Many people feel that the values of life glorified by these "giants' are lost on the "Pygmies" of the modern day world. Really? Look at the present day Indians and it may not be quite true. It is truly remarkable that every Indian has the ability to be a Gandhi with unlimited patience and see apparently unacceptable things in the society with a positive outlook; otherwise there would have been a violent revolution by now. A few examples of the trials and tribulations the modern Indian citizens go through and how they are taken in their stride can be seen from a few examples below!.

For centuries washing the the area in front of the house but outside the gate every day with copious water, is a common sight in the southern parts of India. This results in lot of waste of water besides corroding the road. The practice probably is based on the belief that the Goddess of Wealth is welcomed into the house every day in the morning. It does not matter that it is a public nuisance. An optimist can look at it from a different angle. The over running water cleans the road to some extent, eroded road will be repaired providing business to some body and ground water is charged, albeit slightly!

Throwing garbage out is a favorite "hobby" for many house holds to keep their premises clean. Concept wise it is a good practice for citizens to keep their house clean, avoid disease causing vectors and protect themselves. It is another matter that accumulated garbage, besides being an eyesore, can pose serious health hazards to others in the neighborhood. Looking from another angle, this very garbage feeds street dogs and some time hungry beggars! Rag pickers thrive here and make some living!

Taking dogs without leash for a "walk" in the morning is a "done" thing with many people who feel their dogs deserve a free walk. If the dog causes nuisance to others it is immaterial and of no consequence to the dog owners. People For Animals (PFA) will appreciate such a gesture because the animal is given freedom without being pulled and dragged through a leash. Others walking in the same area may be frightened but eventually they may start loving the dogs. If any one is bitten, all the owner has to say is "sorry"!

Increased sound bytes, so common in many urban households from the blaring Sound Systems or TV sets or talking loudly are common to be tolerated as it is a part of city dwelling. Similarly honking the car or the two wheeler vehicles when approaching home is a common phenomenon with least botheration about its effect on the neighbor. The silver lining is that such honking wakes up the neighbor, especially in the middle of the night, who can be more alert in preventing house burglary!

What about the smell of cooking that permeates the neighborhood from an ill-designed kitchen? Though some people may not like it, the overbearing smell can arouse appetite at least in some people. Cooking fish can be really smelly but neighbors can always use masks to avoid any discomfort. The masks can be handy if and when an epidemic infection spreads through the neighborhood or leakage of chlorine from a nearby water treatment plant or from a chemical factory in the area! If more people use such masks, imagine the business potential for mask manufacturers and its impact on GDP of the country!
Many families waste significant amount of food every day because of ill planning or other reasons. Wealthier one is, greater can be the excess food thrown away. Though it is considered a national waste under the accepted norms, imagine how the dogs around the street and even beggars who can fill their stomach at least partially are benefited from this largess!.

During Diwali and other "joyous" occasions many families feel that the celebration is not complete unless there is bursting of fire crackers liberally with deafening noise. Though India is yet to make any impact in Olympics, when it comes to fire crackers, the competitive spirit to show off who can burst more crackers and varieties is phenomenal! Bigger the sound more satisfied they are though such cracker bash can cause immense discomfort to neighbors and natural creatures like birds, cats, dogs etc. But are they not serving the country by supporting the Sivakasi child labor based cracker industry?

Keeping others waiting for a meeting has become a national past time and the practioners of this "art" are growing exponentially lately. May be it will annoy some people but look at the indirect fall out of such delayed meetings when waiting people, who are otherwise busy, get rest, relaxation and time to observe nature!

Growing plants in other's plots and encroaching others land are frequently resorted to in urban areas which may be criminal from the law point but why is it not being realized that vacant land is put to better use? If every family starts putting up a vegetable garden in the neighboring vacant plot, imagine its impact on the nutrition and health of the community!. Encroached land will always become a subject of litigation and does not this give employment to hundreds of lawyers without a case to argue?

What about, sneezing, coughing, yawning, spitting, snotting etc in the open, especially in a crowded place? Though many may not like it and abhor the practice, one should not forget that these people are doing a national service by immunizing others through the bacteria and virus spewed out during their action! Smoking comes under another social service because the smoker while enjoying the puff also drives away flies and mosquitoes, protecting people nearby from their bites!

Those violating traffic rules are considered law breakers and can cause accidents which they are aware of any how. But look at the indirect effect of their unlawful activity. Those who are law abiding are forced to learn the advantages of defensive driving and reduce the chances of accidents. Besides the violators, by paying fines, are contributing to enrich the exchequer and benefit the country!.

Bribing and corruption are universal according to late Indira Gandhi though Anna Hazare may not agree. Why should any one object to this practice is not well understood. Are these bribe takers providing the bribe giver a "premium service" in expediting the service? If Indian Railways can loot the public through its Tatkal ticketing system forcing the passengers to pay 50% more, why not the babus use the same concept? Probably Finance Minister may come up with a proposal in the next budget to bring bribing within the ambit of the much dreaded "service tax"!

Gone lately to a restaurant for relaxation and enjoyment? One must admire the ingenuity of the catering sector in "milking" the customers. In a recent parody, a hilarious commentator has described how the size of the Idli has shrunken to that of a paracetamol tablet and how the hole in Vada has expanded making the customers wonder whether food is tending to be pharmaceutical items in size!
The cost of preparations has doubled or trebled during the last 2 years, pinching the pocket of the middle class citizens. But is it not a great national service from the catering sector to help its customers save precious money by reducing the number of visits and improve the health because lesser quantity of junk "foods" is consumed? One has to just see the situation in the US where people are becoming fatter and fatter every day because of frequent visits to restaurants serving nutritionally unbalanced foods, rich in calories and fat!
In India the people ought to be happy with no worries about other's wrong doings and a new James Bond movie can be on this subject entitled "Live well but not let others live in peace"!


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