It was a lovely morning. I started my car and was about to drive to work when the mobile phone rang. An office colleague was on the line. He started off by saying "Boss I have very bad news." I braced myself, my mind racing through a hundred things that could have gone wrong and responded "What is it?" He informed me that the son of an office colleague had just committed suicide.
I am sitting in my garden next to one of the ponds under the green canopy of trees. I watch the Koi fishes swim around. They collect around the waterfall falling from the rockery next to the pond. I marvel at their vivid colors as I throw food into the pond and watch them explode in a feeding frenzy.
When we talk about the political and social scenario in our country most people react pessimistically. Their pessimism has reached such heights that I saw very few tri-color flags hoisted by people in their homes on this Republic Day.
The shrill tunes of the phone bell drilled it’s way into the layers of my cozy, warmth induced sleep. It was like someone was throwing cold water on me, only more irritating. I tried putting a pillow over my head but my sleep had been infected by the curiosity bug.
When I was a school student, for years we studied a subject named Moral Science. The Moral Science books were full of stories and examples to illustrate what constitutes a good act and what makes an action a sin. They spoke at length about God and His expectations from us, His children. There were Points to Remember listed after every lesson and we were supposed to mug them up.
Recently some of my batch mates of the good old engineering college days got together from different parts of the country and went to our alma mater. They then posted pictures of the institutute and the hostel. It was nice to see my friends after decades. I keep visiting my college off and on. Though I must admit, due to the demands of my job I am unable to visit my alma mater as frequently as I would have liked.
As India progresses, more and more people shift up the economic ladder. As they do so their hopes and aspirations for the future transform. In particular, the younger people rising from below the poverty line to become the new middle class find themselves lost in the ever changing times. They do not have the stabilizing effects of education, training or sanskar to guide them. Their parents lived a very different life and hence did not equip their children to transform themselves gracefully with these fast changing times. Their economic and social transformation gives them a high that they are often unable to cope with. For the first time in their lives they have pockets full of money to buy some luxuries.
What is the mother of all maladies that India suffers from? To my mind it is corruption. Corruption has become instutionalized in almost every system of our country. What makes a person corrupt? Narrow selfish interests and no sense of belonging or responsibility towards ones society or country. A person becomes corrupt when his self love surpasses his love for his society and his country.
I concealed a yawn. I was bored. I was one of the invitees at a function organized by a school. The vice principal was addressing a crowd of parents and children over the sound system. “Sir has kindly consented …. Blah, blah, blah… sir was kind enough… blah, blah, blah… sir had the vision… blah, blah, blah… sir your guidance … blah, blah, blah… we followed your advice sir… blah, blah, blah….”.
Let me take you all on my time machine to the time when I was 24 years of age. My time machine is going to land in front of the office of a Mr. Singh, who is a senior officer in the large organization where I have just joined.
Curious teens and dirty old men who stay up late to watch skimpily-clad models on Fashion Television (FTV) have had a bad time as the government recently slapped a 10-day ban on Fashion Television (FTV) for showing visuals of topless women.
A friend of mine was keen on marrying a working girl. He reasoned that with the additional money he could purchase happiness in life. He rejected many offers until he hit the jackpot. He found a girl earning a fat salary and got married. Though they worked in different organizations, with some difficulty, they managed to get posted in the same city.