May 20, 2007
ever travelled some thousand kilometers by train, with a WL marked on your travelling ticket ??
if you haven't had the luxury, kindly do not even dream of it.
well, i've been accustomed to it, since a couple of mishaps. what better can one expect when he opts out for the eleventh hour plans for a 22 hour journey !!
ever been on a reservation counter at blood thirsty summer noons ?? the queue seems to be waiting for a few drops of heavenly water. and mind you, there have been times when i joined the line at noon, fighting through the staff's lunch breaks & frequent chat sessions, to witness the ticket window shutter being slammed on my face at 8 P.M., when i was standing right in front of it, sweat & frustration dripping from each & every part of my body.
well, rules are rules, but man is what they are born for after all. since then, i've preferred am AGENT (an unofficial copy of an official post, have a look for yourself). His work doesn't fall into James Bond categorization, but his attitude is pretty synonymous. he gets the ticket done for you, for any train, at any time, for any destination station, even at the eleventh hour, by means that are termed as trade secrets of his, jst for a bargain of a gandhian note, with a figure 100 embarked on it. you call him a crook, may God's grace be with you, b'cause then your God is the one who's gonna get u a birth (needless to say, on a train). i prefer calling him an angel, b'cause he helps those in need & takes away none from anyone deserving.
neways, in a 2 year long money-service relationship, my angel for the first time failed to deliver his words & left me up with a waiting list 3. onboard a 20 hour bound train for my destination, i enquired a TTE whether by any chance, my ticket has been confirmed. & the answer was a no, even before i could complete my begging question. he turned his back on me & kept drifting. a couple of minutes passed, & the man returned & made his eyes move so artistically indicating me to follow him, which i did, with no understanding of the circumstances
we stopped, before an empty birth & he whispered "kharcha paani".
perplexed amidst the thankfulness & frustration, i queried, a bit hesitantly "how much, sir ??" (i'd prefer replacing the title i bestowed upon him with a four letter beautiful word, after all, India is just second to frenchmen in this field). i handed him his demand of Rs.150, without bargaining, but yes, with anger. probably realising, he uttered, "i haven't asked you much", & i surrendered with a pathetic smile.
while he was making some scribblings on the reservation chart, i tried to fetch his name plate, but found it missing. what again do you call him, a crook ??? i don't give a damn & i'd prefer calling him a saviour. he took nothing from a deserving, & helped a soul in need.
do you consider me selfish & self-centred, a part of the corrupt system. oh yes i'm, & if you claim you are not, probably you don't use Saint-Gobain mirrors to reflect your soul. i love my country as much as anyone else can. i could have slept on the train floor, making the TTE beg me not to complain for his demand. what would my country have gained then !! one corrupt man eradicated, probably temporarily from the system of endless loopholes., thats it !! by giving him the money, nation still gains nothing more, but 2 of it's citizens are content, for the time-being, and that is sufficient for a mother i guess !!!
i'm corrupt, if you may say so, i'm selfish, if you may say so, but you are no different, & i can bet on that. this is what makes corruption an exponentially aggravating disease, leaving behing no possible hopes of recovery. if you claim to remove corruption from the entire system, you are probably dreaming of a wonderland, or you are likely to be insane, 'cause it would take the effort of wiping out the entire rotten crop & growing up a fresh one, requiring a few centuries or milleniums i believe.
what i suggest is the incorporation of a few unavoidable & exemplary connotations, as a part of A VIABLE SYSTEM, not corruption-free, but corruption-sustainable.
but just when i pen down these words, some voice from heaven up above yells at me, telling me repeatedly that i have not the slightest idea of what maturity & intelligibility it takes to run a nation that was once called THE GOLDEN BIRD.
hello think tanks, though unworthy, do i succeed in ringing some bells out there in your kindergardens !!!