I wrote this heading for a long time now, but, could not bring myself to overcome my mental block to write about it. It is rather impossible to be honest & not admit that you are also in the same trap as any other person on the road…it was pointless to write if I can’t be honest here…
Scene 01 – Every time I spend a few hundred bucks watching a movie in a multiplex, I return on the bus or auto & board my metro train home. Convenient & some sort of a consolation for the guilt of splurging on 3D…it became an habit to see this ticket being handed over to me & me forking out six bucks for this 10 minutes trip. Like all things Kolkatan, it has turned into an “entitlement”. However, here was a day when, I decided to watch a late evening show & to my surprise as I came out of the mall, there wasn’t anything available to the metro. Realizing my goof-up & after a half-hour, half-hearted try; I started walking…quite a bit later, after a few changes, I reach home…agitated less on my error, more on not receiving my “entitlement”….the bus & auto. It seemed for a while that my movie watching hinged on the six bucks for bus ticket & five bucks for metro & God save the city for daring to take away my entitlement!!!
Scene 02 – I work, I play, I go out with friends for a beer, I watch movies, I get up at ten on holidays, I am buzzing on the social media, everyone’s remarking / liking the latest photo of the “fisherman at the ghat” I posted on Instagram or the previous article I wrote here. The thirties are feeling like the twenties again or rather in some ways teenage years. Here’s a day, the data’s exhausted and I go on 2G instead of the usual fare, no social networking…Here’s a month when I haven’t gone out for beer, got lots of work at office…Damn!!! a frustrating life…Can’t a person get his bit of relaxation these days!!!
My house, My career, My work area, My goals, My vacations, My aspirations, My creations, My issues, My family, My friends, My contacts…we are all too entrenched into this trap especially in the urban milieu, so much so that we are not ready to compromise even the slightest of ground for anyone or anything, sometimes, even for the people who comprise our life!!!
Here’s a few questions to myself…
– What’s with the girl at the counter at the multiplex, whom I spoke to in the morning while booking the ticket, met at the counter while receiving the ticket printout in the evening & saw closing the counters as I exited.
– What’s with the metro train driver? Shirt button’s mostly out, the cabin door opened to counter temperatures, every now & then cleaning up the mess below the wheels when someone decided to end their life in front of the train. Does his family spare him from the rituals when he is home?
– What’s with the bus conductor (“you know….kinda rude!!!”). All kinds of notes tucked between his fingers & ticket rolls floating. Why is he kind of the God of this route….Omnipresent, Omnipotent & Omniscient throughout the day?
– What’s with the bar man & the waiter who attended to us at that Goddamned party well into the night constantly bearing the barrage of our beered-up rants???
– What’s with the customer care guys / girls of the innumerable BPOs who often turn lifesavers (if you choose to call reducing of the data speed to 2G as a life & death situation, especially in a city!!!)???
– What’s with the subordinate at office whom I pass quite a bit of my work or that colleague who lost his parents or that colleague who was unfairly sorted out in his dept appraisals or that colleague who could not attend his family members cremation since he has exhausted his leave during their treatment when alive???
– What’s with the nearly 65 yr old driver who picked me up from the airport for an hours journey to drop me home at midnight??? He has two more pick ups before he could retire for the night…
– What’s with that lady who at 87 feeds two of her grandchildren with her earnings, refuses alms, has become a star feature on social network & yet who does not get a consideration from most people or help in crossing a busy street???
I shudder to think of their conditions, in awe of their hard work & motivation & scared as hell to relate to their situation, perhaps because I don’t have time to see beyond myself & the aptitude to consider their conditions. I am too entrenched in my ₹6 entitlement & very happy to heave a sigh of relief “Thank God, its not me…”
This is my self centered cocoon & my ₹6 route to Narcissism…..