Friday, August 30, 2013


Being crooked by a rickshawala gave rise to profound thoughts.

The moment I was not careful, he charged an impossible amount of fare. My fault was that I did not fix the fare from beforehand. And though I could have argued with him after having got down at my door for having been dishonest and charging double the usual fare, I realized that it was, after all, my mistake. I was careless. I did not think of doing the usual – being careful.

And so it is with everyone around us. The moment we stop watching our back, we get a reminder – sometimes in the form of accidents or sometimes as betrayals – that we can’t afford a single moment of slack. It’s imperative that we work like machines. The basic honesty and trustworthiness has become so rare – and I’m sure that most of us regret it – that if we find an honest taxi driver or an honest maid, we become overwhelmed with the presence of goodness in human beings.

But this was hardly the case with our parents’ generation, let alone that of our grandparents. They could trust, without having the lurking fear of being cheated.

And can we blame only the poor economy for this? Isn't there a continuous degradation of humanity which has less to do with the fall of the Rupee and more with the rise of Capitalism? The want of more. Better mobile, better clothes, better shoes, more brands; you have the i-phone, you want the i-pad – you have the Metro, you want the Louboutin.

Am I any different? May be not. I have been thinking of buying a new phone for some time now. And after today’s experience, I wonder if my phone isn't working fine for me. I have all the required features in it. Then why do I need a new one? Anyway, this longing for “more” is hardly going to stop anywhere.


Moo Moo said...

Lovely post. It's something that I often think about. When the world around me talks brands and moves on at a breackneck speed to iPhone 5 from 4, only to play games, I realise that my phone has a chipped cover, my bag may be shabby but may God help me live a righer life. You need a lot of strength to hold your own when there's a whirlpool at every turn and people are plunging into it headlong all the time. And yes every time I meet a kind auto or taxi driver I feel God is ebing kind to me; it's become a rare virtue!

Nivedita said...

Na. The fault was not yours. The man was dishonest. I don't think this would have been a case during our grandparent's time. But even then, things were not rosy.
But I suspect that if you were a man, the rishawallah would not have overcharged and just an argument would have been enough. Chances are low that your brother would have been cheated that way.
But despait not. There are still good people around. People without motive who come forward and help you out in the streets. That makes me have faith in my fellow human beings once more and perhaps prepares me to get cheated once more.

Simantini Sinha said...

Shiny - Yes, a LOT of strength to keep oneself from the ever-so-advanced gadgets.

Nivedita - The end line of your comment was brilliant!