straight from the heart
P. Sainath in conversation with srinivasan jain on ndtv 24x7 may well be the proverbial straw that broke the back of the camel. the plight of the indian farmers and the consistent short sighted policies of the government made me very angry. angry at the system that favours the rich, powerful and influential. i am feeling so guilty that i have been one of the many who got carried away by the surge of globalisation and liberalisation. decade and a half later india, the real india, lies abused and discarded.
many a times the anger within at the dismal picture would prompt a reaction- buy a ad-mag from the street vendor, a baloon from a young girl... after all the 10 or 5 rupees is something i waste without thinking most of the time; here it could mean a meal for someone (am i assuming too much here).
the other day as i drove in my car, an incident played out in the open. an elderly man was desperately trying to cross the road. as usual the drivers were not making any exceptions. a lady on a two-wheeler slowed down- i thought that at last someone is going to help- saw the man make it to the divider and sped off. something made me park my car, get out and hold the man's hand and help him cross the rest of the road. his hands were shaking- that was the thing that had struck me initially. here was a man in his 60s, on his own, making his way back home. the difference here being, the man had Parkinsons. my father suffered from the same in his last few months of existence. I cried looking at the man as he reminded me so much of my frail father. but would i have helped if this was not the case. does tragedy have to befall on one before we realise the enormity of the situation and reach out.
i used to feel that a messiah, powerful with godly powers, has to walk the world to cleans it; afterall we normal humans have no supernatural powers, loads of money or any such thing to help others. today i realise that each one of us has an obligation beyond our immediate family. we care so much for our children, feed them, clothe them and protect them; when i see the children of the beggars at the road intersections, i feel helpless and useless to do anything. the young, hungry, painful faces haunt me- got to do something. but what...