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Saturday, October 23, 2004

The God of Small Things

Well, I have had it now. Already sick and tired of it, but the last few days have been the last straw. I had to write it. Dont know how to say it, but lets face it, we Indians(and this includes me) are a brood of petty, rustic people brash in every aspect of daily life. And I mean every. What does daily life actually consist of. Lets try to see. Daily life consists of a number of activities which are hmm...trivial, to say the least. We hardly ever think about them more than once, like our relations with our peers at work or in the classroom, the way we shop, the way we talk to the bus-conductor...u get the point..i am talking abt those things which are very common, trifles actually. But it is in these things that the God of small things lies. We guys have over 1000 Gods in our country some of which we most ardently follow. So what if another God is added to the list? Well, we most often tend to neglect this God. We offer sacrifices to the other Gods, offer thousands of rupees to the temples and do all sorts "havans" to placate the angry Gods, but no, not the God of small things. He is constantly relegated to the bottom of the devotion stack. Now u may thing, is this guy nuts, how do we placate the God of Small things...after all we have never heard of it, apart from the fact that it is the name of a Booker Prize winning novel.

All I am saying is that we should be more careful and observant when we go about doing those daily chores which are of no importance to us. Its like when we are riding our scooter on a narrow lane, we should keep in mind the cyclist coming from the otherside. And if, while walking into the toilet we collide with someone, we should say sorry. And may be the next time someone asks us for coffee, we should "at least have the courtesy to say no", instead of keeping mum. Silly, bucolic fools thats what we are. We are most frugal when it comes to using the P word(please) or the T-word(Thank You) or the S-word(sorry), but some how we are recklessly carefree when it comes to using the F-word or the Hindi versions of it.

Somehow, no one thinks it bad, or even wierd. I mean what the hell is happening? Havent our parents taught us to say Please, THank you, etc when we were young? Where did all those things go. And the most striking thing is not that we dont sorry often, ohh...no ..no sir, the thing which raises my hackles is that the person on the receiving end also has no qualms abt it. He is as happy to be offended(if at all he is) as the other person is in offending him. I mean I saw a scooterist nudge a cyclist, so that both were disbalanced. They didnt even exchanged glances, the scooterist changed gears and was on his way. The cyclist got up back on his cycle and was on his way too. I mean its as if we have become calous, too used to things like this and accept it as our fate.

C'mmon you guys, we are not as bad as this. I mean this is a country where Kings used to leave this Kingdom and go and live in the jungles. They used to leave all their money, all their wealth, even give their lives to keep their word. Those were big things, these are trifles. We should know better than this.


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