Jun 29, 2010

The curious case of the conductor who smiled!!

So, i'm getting into just another bus.. And then i look into my wallet for exact change so that i can hand it to the conductor and he wouldn't scowl at me and behave like he found me peeking into his bedroom at night.. The cost of the ticket happened to be Rs. 5.00 and alas, i discovered that i had exactly Rs. 4.50 in my wallet as change.. Well, you may suggest that he would have had change too, but, conductors don't take kindly to being given Rs. 500 notes for a Rs. 5 ticket.. So, i waited, quivering, for him to approach me and ask fr "tickayyyt", which he dutifully did.. So, i handed over to him the change i had.. Lo and behold, he broke into the broadest grin i had ever seen a conductor giving and said "Naalku vare ide".. So, i returned the smile and he moved on with his 'collection'..

Now, what that did to me was something strange.. For the first time in weeks, it got me thinking about what mattered to me the most.. Do not ask for a link between the two issues for i cannot provide one.. And i contemplated.. Was it the ppl who mattered or the smile? Was it the place which mattered? Or the mood? Or the occasion? Or the feeling? Would i be able to feel happy if i were to see a stranger, totally unrelated to me smiling in pure joy? Would i feel sad if someone i knew were to be undergoing a rough patch? The answers i came up with surprised me a bit.. And i'm pretty sure that you'd amuse yourselves too if you asked the same question..

And then, it was clear.. It was all about the collective conscience.. Yes, i would be happy if i saw a stranger crying tears of joy.. Yes, i would feel the pain of a dear one and yes, i would sacrifice a part of my happiness for the greater good.. Unfortunately, not many, today, seem to echo that sentiment.. It's all about you, your food, clothing and shelter.. It doesn't matter if someone's child is born with three legs and five hands because of some chemical factory.. You need those chemicals for the battery to run your ultra-expensive classy elegant car.. If you were to walk the 500 mts. to your neighborhood grocery store, what would the difference be between you and your lowly eco-friendly neighbour?? He deserves to be shown, the world deserves to be shown that you are above them, all of them.. Ha, why such issues, it's so darn important for you to show your 'false-best-friend' that you can get more marks than them, you can sing, dance, jump, run, swim better than them.. You're, ofcourse, smarter, more sophisticated and better than them.. Why, they are so foolish they don't even realise you are their 'best-friend' only for that reason.. You could even take over the world if you wanted to.. Right?

WRONG, i tell you.. And i shall say it to each of your faces if i have to.. We need to realise that we stopped being human ages ago.. We stopped being human when the first slave was enslaved, when the last dodo was killed, when religions divided us, when radioactive bombs were dropped, when money took over, when we stopped being social animals.. Yes, we have stopped being social animals.. The part of us which was supposed to Care, just died.. And unless we care, we can't be human.. Two things govern the world today, Lust and Rage..

Lust, being what it is, makes people do crazy stuff.. There are either ppl who are smart enough to get away with it or ppl who will end up being termed creeps.. Yes, this is what prithvi means when he says Raging libidos and i completely fall in line with his views..

Rage, now, is what is more dangerous.. It is a multi-faceted foe and unless we overcome this foe, who lies in each and every one of us, we shall not progress.. Rage arises from the desire to seek revenge, from envy, from helplessness, from unfairness, from rejection, from dissatisfaction, from greed, from the need for power, from the need to be better than the rest and a lot of such stuff.. What it leads to is futile attempts at achieving your goal.. Even in cases where attempts aren't futile, one must bear in mind the cost at which success is achieved.. No, it isn't right to have a person "taken-out" so that you can occupy that person's position, no matter whether you can be traced or not.. Nor, should it be right for you to go and perform the miracle of "tit-for-tat".. Why? Because that is what makes you different from them.. Because you, atleast, must try to be human.. Yes, defend yourself at all costs, but never be the initial offender.. Also, be smart, stick to the people who care for you.. Trust, once broken, will rarely be the same again.. If someone looks out for you all the while and sticks to you, ask yourself whether it is because they care.. If you realise the answer is yes, never let go.. Be smart like that..

What the world needs is more people who are human and who care.. And perhaps, through that, more conductors who smile.. :)


********* Update *********
Well, i was thinking some more about it yesterday night (What else would i do with a caed exam on hand?).. And i just thought of a couple more examples.. There is this li'l country called the U. S. of A. .. Well, to start of with, they were nothing but a bunch of hobos, like they think that the people in thirld world countries currently are.. But then, along came those wars of damnation.. Did they care? Were they Human? No siree!! All they wanted was to make money.. They had the industrial revolution in their stride, didn't they? So, off they went, selling arms left right and centre.. Now, when they blame Hitler and Mussolini, they conveniently slip themselves off the list.. But the rest of the world ain't blind now, is it? Also, their policies of You drop one bomb on us, we'll drop two and You take down two towers and we'll take down two nations hasn't really gone down well with the rest of the world.. This is because they aren't as stupid, blind, haughty, arrogant, ruthless, robots.. The reason the world hates the US of A is not because they are jealous, it's because the US are being snobs..

On the other hand, take India for example, whatte beautiful nation.. Whatte peaceful people.. Whatte friendly government.. Yes, there is corruption that nauseates.. Yes, there are women being raped, children being abused, wives being beaten, senior citizens' throats slit, fetuses squished, extortions happening, police hand in glove with the culprits.. But, we still have beauty, we still have the Taj mahal don't we? All is well.. Yes, the economy is booming! No matter where the land to roll out your Nanos comes from.. No matter how many poor peoples' livelihoods it ruins, no matter the blood shed over it, no matter the govt. forcibly taking away land.. We still get our Rs. 1,00,000 car on time.. Yayyy!!
What, i wonder, is the difference between Pakistan which asks fr a piece of Kashmir (or the whole of it) and a govt. which snatches land from it's own people?
What is the difference between Pakistan which kills Indians and Indian Hindus who kill Indian Muslims in return? And between what Israel and Palestine are stuck at? Ah, yes, they are of different nationality.. So, that should be fine.. Question, WHO decided that it was fine to kill a person cuz he is of different nationality but not if he is of different religion? Isn't he still a human being?
Aren't you still a human being?
Seek answers..


  1. okay, good post, and i completely appreciate your concept of "greater good", and ofcourse, this is something we use in our arguments in many debates as well.

    More importantly, i do appreciate your idea of how bad the world is, and kudos for having given it a thought.

    My idea is that, it's these "feelings" which are the reason for the amazing development humans have shown over the past millennium, and at the same time, they are the root cause of our destruction too. So the question is, what would happen to the human race, if you somehow make a man not "feel"?

  2. You do not make a man ( or one of your species) not feel.. You just try to control the amount of feelings and channel it instead, in a positive way.. Say, like, house elves, for example, if they existed.. They, unless mistreated, are glad to help and expect nothing in return.. Now, you might say that they are slaves and don't have a choice and stuff.. Which i'll agree to.. But then, humans aren't like that, are they? They're free, masters of their own will ( Except 377, self mutilation, etc.).. So, if a human decides to take a stand and just Care, nothing can or will stop him.. For example, i saw a jackfruit vendor donating a hundred bucks to charity yesterday.. And, you must have read abt the beggar who donates to charity, was all over newspapers recently.. Li'l things which matter..