We humans are a strange lot. We don’t care for anything we own unless we loose it. And then we miss what we no longer own. And the cycle continues.
I miss complaining about how little my one vote can do to change the system. I miss my Dad chanting “No vote, no college” mantra when I used my extra important morning class excuse(the one that I otherwise conveniently bunked). I miss my right to vote in this country. Yes, I made an informed decision to become a “Videshi” but back then I didn’t think about what I would loose. When Jaago Re plays on TV, I keep thinking about how I cannot wake up from this slumber, how I cannot be one insignificant number in the one billion target. Why? Because nobody cares about my Perfectly Indian Soul.
So all those of you who plan to hit the snooze button, think about it for a minute. Would you rather try and make your feeble voice heard or have no voice at all? Think about everything that our past generations may have sacrificed so that we could have this luxury that was once their dream. It must have been each of our grandparent’s vision to see their future generations having a say in the country. What would they say if they saw this apathy? If not for us or our ideals, do it for them.
Go make your mark. Nothing may change if you do, but if you don’t then what is the use of all the gyaan that comes later? The word democracy itself says “crazy”, so quirks are part and parcel of it. Everyone is free to pick on the quirks but does it do any good? We have a long time to pick on the quirks, I’ll join you in the rants but first go vote.
I’ve often wondered why we like to complain and not take action?
Why do we like to criticize and call it constructive? Is criticism ever constructive?
I criticize the netas for the infrastructure(or the lack of it) and everything bad that happens in the country. Once I get tired, I give up. I don’t lift a finger to change things. And best of all, I call it constructive criticism.
I wonder why there is this inertia to make a change, however insignificant it may be? The Auto Driver at a crowded intersection, who instead of moaning like the rest of us, took control of the situation and made me think. Sandeep Unnikrishanan and Vijayant Thapar, took charge and made me ponder.
If the Auto driver had not done what he did, the intersection would have been a mess but Bangalore would have survived.
If Sandeep had not said “I’ll handle them”, many more innocent lives would have been lost but surely Mumbai would have still made it.
If Vijayant had not died fighting for our tomorrow, many lives would have been lost but India would have still survived. But then, India would have lost her soul if people who act and make a difference, were not in our midst.
Where would India be if they did what I do? Where did the helpless Aam Aadmis like the Auto driver, Sandeep and Vijayant get the motivation from? Ever wondered where the country would be today without them?
I’m sure the motivation started from within, a thought that provoked action. Maybe we should start by thinking positive. Maybe the small change that we need to make is to stop being the critique and start being the optimist. Let’s make a start by thinking positive.
Like Farhan Akhtar rightfully sang, socha nahi toh socho abhi…
And the dirty politics continue. But this time there is a difference. After the initial shock has died down, resigning to whatever has happened would have been a normal reaction. Not really Apathy but a sense of helplessness would take over. Not this time however. This time, the average Indian seems to be determined to make a difference. It is evident by the number of candle light vigils that are still being held, the number of letter that are still being written to editors all over the country, the number of SMSes still being sent to all the news channels in India and the questions people are still asking the leaders of the country. Of course, people are still lashing out at politicians, but then they are also coming up with propositions to safeguard the country. We are telling everyone who cares to listen that we will not let this happen again. Indians are also not waiting for the ones in power, rather, they are starting off with small initiatives, hoping for a change. They are motivating others to follow suit. Here is my humble attempt to motivate my fellow country men.
This video reminds me on an incident that happened last week. Driving through the maze called Bangalore roads, I came to an intersection where the traffic seemed to be a standstill. There was utter chaos and people were literally shouting at each other on top of their voices. I as usual, cribbed about the lack of traffic policemen in the city, even at prime intersections and resigned to the fact that I may stay stuck there for a while. Then I saw this Auto driver in front of me meandering through traffic towards the curb(almost getting on it) and I thought to myself that these auto drivers as usual are going to worsen the situation. But not this guy, he was different. He parked his auto right in the middle of the intersection(still beats me as to how he got there), climbed onto his roof and started directing traffic. Within minutes the intersection was cleared of cars and in a few more minutes, I was able to get out of the mess along with other relieved drivers. In my rear view mirror, I watched him continue to direct traffic. I’m not sure if he was there for long but his action cleared a huge traffic pile up on a crowded road.
Tum chalo toh Hindustan chale! The boy in this video and the auto driver taught me a very valuable lesson – make a difference. Don’t sit back, demand respect, for ourselves and our country. Do something today, light a candle, write a letter to the press, question a minister or come up with ideas for a safer country. Our children will be grateful that we did.