things you learn and there are things you learn.
Ever since I have been a presenter on radio (Aahaa FM), I must say the most important hours of my day have been invested on this show. Reading up papers compulsively and lately I see that I know some news articles by heart. Also noticed that Newspapers recycle news. Again and again sometimes over several months. Yes, I guess some things need to be reminded but nevertheless...
The 13th of May 2009, I wonder whether I was this interested or followed happenings as much as I have this time. Or rather I did because it was part of my schedule and I had to do it. And if given a choice, I realize I would still read 6 newspapers a day. I read the English papers myself and simultaneously anything that is exclusive in the Tamil papers is read out to me. Obviously most information is common. Its perhaps the approach and insight, if I daresay, that is different.
In all these days of hosting the show, 2 years + of talking to a minimum of 50 people in the one hour between 8 and 9 AM every weekday, listening to their opinions, getting irate at people who still want to drive the communal caste divides deep, biting back a retort in such cases, tales of corruption, statements of hopelessness, its interesting how India has survived in spite of its people. People that complain, people that will bribe and still complain about corruption, people who are unaware of the basics of cleanliness, people who would rather be known as downtrodden because the country makes it easy for them to be that way. If you rise from the level of "downtrodden", read slums, here, and reach the middle class, there perhaps cannot be a worse treatment. Everything is difficult there. Of course it is a different matter that there are several people who choose to live in the slums do so as a matter of choice, its easy and I have heard that a lot of them own a couple of apartments, and rent it out. Some own quite a bit of property, love to live with garbage and germs and pan stains everywhere because someone has told them not to rise from there. Despite that survival happens.
I came to know of North Madras and how it is maintained that way, though that is a major vote bank, promises are made, tenure after tenure and none kept. Most callers had one question - Why? Why this? Why that? Why can it not happen? And some actually said North Madras has a lot of settlers from out of Tamilnadu and since it is not their land, they have no such attachment and maintain the area in a crappy manner. Good buses do not ply there as MTC employees tend to mention that the North Madras bus users will damage the vehicles. One man actually said that North Madras is not meant to be a residential area and permits to live there have been given illegally by the corporation and now they are facing the music. Infrastructure will always be in shambles. But despite that North Madras is still a hub.
Despite laziness, despite mediocrity, despite Indians that scream hoarse saying a hundred thousand times that India will never improve, whether the Indians are living here or abroad, despite the red tape and despite all the negativity India survives. More than anything else, I think the most magical thing is the way we survive with all the people around drumming so much negative statements, you ll never be this, you ll never improve, to the worst statements handed out to this land.
Perhaps because of the hope that every young Indian garners in his heart that beats with all its might. A heart that hopes for change. The heart that believes that change is possible and that it can contribute to it, until of course well-meaning people and uncles and aunts and sons and daughters who live abroad, especially amaeeericaaa, advice and drill it into their minds that India will never survive as reported by the callers :)
I have heard enough of that too. And I believe a lot more people do. I know for a fact that a lot of the callers on my show are hoping against hope and I know that in the heart of hearts every Indian believes we live in a magic land. A land of infinite possibilities. Perhaps someone just has to wave a wand. Or maybe we can wave the wand ourselves. At least project it from the depths of our subconscious and everyday I dream of a country that is going to prove every Indian who is contributing to the 'system' that is in my country now, wrong. And that day - I know I ll see that when I am alive and kicking and perhaps skydiving somewhere - that day I shall look forward to smiling. A smile that a country will revel in. That which will come from every Indian who is true to his heart. And on that day, no matter how much anyone tries, there will be no caste creed community thing. Sooner or later India is going to be a land which shall not have any divisions based on caste/community/creed/religion.
Hoping for that, if you are supposed to be voting tomorrow, no matter where you are, paid leave or not, turn up and vote. After all there are people who vote scores of times, subject their index fingers and its nail bed to super harsh chemicals, all for the love of voting several times in one day, travels from one booth to another, for his favorite party, in exchange for whatever or as a result for brain washing.
And All you need to do is just get out and vote once. Ain't it easy? So go out and vote.