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Iota of Sense

I went to a Nursery today, to buy some plants. Not sure about other cities, but here in Hyderabad we have these nurseries set up on roadside empty spaces . I got couple of plants and was making my way out to the Scooter. There were two guys who just came over on a bike. Should be in their twenties.

As I was arranging the plants on my vehicle, heard – “ Anna, mask compulsory” . I looked back , the nursery guy was saying it to one of the two guys who just got into the nursery.The non-mask guy dint heed to him. But the nursery- guy stood his ground.Then the non-mask guy retorted in Telugu, “ ikkada kooda mask avasarama” ( is mask needed even here ? )

The nursery guy calmly replied – “ corona ki avanni teliyadhu kadha anna” ( Corona doesnt know all these / it doesnt differentiate) .

The guy had to walk out of the nursery. The pathetic thing is that he was not even carrying one. By the expression of his friend, one can make out that they did have this conversation earlier and this fellow seems to have ignored.

If we , in all likeliness experience Third wave and other waves , its because of idiots like the the young guy who came on bike.Somehow if we manage to avert that, it would be thanks to people like the nursery guy. He was ready to lose his customer but not compromise on the safety. Dont know if he was a worker there or runs the nursery, his actions are much appreciated.

And there are few entitled idiots, who are quick to comment that Covid-19 spreads because of the lesser literate folks .

Image : https://antitrustlair.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/it-is-only-common-sense.jpg

Dumbing down the conversation

As expected, justifications and rationale for Modi’s appeal – to switch of the lights at 9 PM and holding on candles/flashlights for 9min…………are swamping up the social media space. 
Positively looking at his appeal, it is supposed to be an act of solidarity and skeptically it could be another PR stunt. 
But the rationale of attributing to some numerological, cosmic significance, light & heat waves and all the illogical stuff thrown in, that is being shared across the social media – makes one wonder the existence of any thinking faculties of those sharing. 

While these do amuse to an extent, it isn’t funny anymore. 

The dumbing down of intelligence en masse is quite evident. 

My concern is on two aspects, 
1. When an announcement is made a global pandemic that there would be a video address by the Prime Minister the next day. Expectation is that he would try address the issues concerning the pandemic: 
• The state of testing and plans to ramp it up. 
• The migration situation and the relief being offered to address it. (only 4 hrs. window period prior to lockdown could be for public, but not for govt. They could have planned well in advance and ready for the situations). 
• The resources and facilities for the health support system. 
• The religious narrative being expounded. 
• Clarity on MP CARES 
• Economy, job losses, relief for business etc. esp. MSME. 

Few might argue that the government has been making the relevant announcements. However, the information related to these is so scarce and ambiguous that a purported good communicator like Modi could have clearly explained it. 

With all the build-up, what is announced does not make much sense. 

The second and the bigger concern are the people. 

2. Religion, nationalism or any other affinity does have a tendency to dumb down the intellect when consumed more. 
The fact that SM is flooded with senseless logics within less time, does give raise to questions if these are also a pre-planned effort. 
Even if it is, the fact that a large number of people believe and share them, is beyond my understanding. This includes a good number of educated and supposed to be well-read ones, who I generally see to be saner individuals on most of occasions. 
This does point to a new lower bar of intelligence and logical thinking. 

The curse of this dumbness is that it does not allow people to question things which ought to be. It creates a state where in a narrative is set and it is being consumed without questions. 
Something, which is a much bigger issue. 

More than the theatrics, it is the un-questioned consumption which is a cause of worry.

Image Source : https://twitter.com/_ericalynn3/status/866781324769714176

Other Falls that matter

Few days back, the video of Narendra Modi slipping on Ganga Ghat went viral.

It did not take much long for people to react, share and come up with a host of memes relating to his slipping. He obviously missed a slip and yeah was amusing to see him slip and fall.

Such things are funny and do invoke instant reaction, especially when someone like him is involved. Looking at the reaction which this particular slip received from people, I couldn’t help but ponder over, if only people reacted to all his slips and falls. There were many.

Might not be the physical ones, but other instances where he slipped and fell flat on many a promises he fooled the public with. The biggest and the overarching of them all, the promise of “Acche Dn” i.e “good days” which he successfully sold to a nation, which believed and voted him to power in 2014. After 5 plus years and even after his re-election, the wait for ache din is still on. If the economic and other indicators are to be considered, we are primed for some real “bure din” i.e bad days.

His time at the helm is replete with such slips. Demonetization, the big one. It was supposed to be bungle for – fight against corruption, cash less economy, fight against terrorism etc etc etc…. whatever reason that they could think off. After three years, the fall was so bad that they don’t even talk about it. Quite unusual for a regime which has the habit on shouting over the top for the smallest of achievements, of which many are perceived ones.

GST was another huge slip. The fall set into motion at mid night with people just getting to fathom the hurt. There have been other major falls. The Standoff at Dhoklam which we sort of meekly pulled back. The terror attacks at Pathankot , and the one at Uri prior to that . They were some real big falls. Of course, they did try apply bandage in name of surgical attacks. The attack at Pulwama is a mystery, with the purpose more or less met in 2019 general elections.

There are these cases of financial offenders fleeing the country and the mess of unrecovered loans in banks.

The fumble with Rafale deal has been hushed and covered up, so is the attempt in respect to backing up of crony capitalism. The tumbling down of economy , is something there for all to see and feel but not many speak up.

These are few that I can think on top of my mind, where Modi managed to slip and fall. Alas, all these weren’t as amusing for our public as the one at Ganga Ghat.

Hope, CAA is a fall which people would take notice off

Picture Courtesy : https://inshorts.com/en/news/pm-modi-slips-on-stairs-after-returning-from-boating-in-ganga-video-surfaces-1576334793851

A tribute

With all the vilification that happens about you and the misinformation which is spread, it is tough for anyone to forget you. 
But we do need to make an effort to try remember you for the right reasons. 
For the visionary that you were, to take a nation burdened by the past and weakened by colonial loot and setting it on a path towards development. We failed you many times- the people, the leaders . But inspite of all it , the foundation was so strong that we continued to grow. For standing tall and being futuristic in guiding us inspite of knowing that the nation cannot match up to you, we still aren’t even after all these years.
For being an Institution builder. The institutions that you established and envisioned still are the ones that we rely on. The fact that there aren’t many other apart from what you envisioned, makes one think of what it could have been if it wasnt for your vision. 
For having the trust in democratic process and institutions. Being able to say “don’t spare me Shankar” , emphasising the importance of criticism in democracy. 
For having the priorities right in respect to the need for education as a right every one ought be having and believing in scientific temper. A trait the nation – leaders and people alike , lack now. 
For being a true world statesman who set an alternate vision amidst a bipolar world, unlike the global trotter we have now. 
For outliving the romanticism of Freedom struggle and taking up the burden of nation building, as all your pals from freedom movement gone before the reality of the state of nation kicked in.
Yes, it has not always been success stories, there have been ones we hoped you did better. For a man of your stature and influence- there are things which did have repercussions as we introspect in later day. 
The wealth of knowledge that you penned down, not only the books but also your various correspondences are a treasure trove for any one ready to spare the effort. I am still exploring. 
This age could have been great for you , with all the technology and know-how. We can only imagine what you could have envisioned and achieved, for you did achieve a lot inspite of all the handicap of those days. But, it is also true we might not have been where we are if it wasn’t for you at that point in our history. 
I know you through the ones you wrote and ones others wrote about you. There is lot that I need to read, but the admiration for you runs deep. 
We are so accustomed to decide and judge retrospectively that we fail to take cognisance of those times and circumstances. The failures of the current crop only shows we would have been worse off if it was they. 
Conveniently flogged for sins of those who came after and the nation, we fail to realise what you achieved. As I recall someone writing “ we still live in the house Nehru built” . 
Happy Birthday Jawaharlal Nehru.

An expression of gratitude and an expereince to ponder over.

It was the days of me starting an own business. A friend of mine, who is also a networking consultant was helping me out in setting up the IT infrastructure at my office. We went to CTC in Secunderabad to buy few desktops for the workspace.

After visiting a few vendors, we finalised the purchase of the desktops. With an intention to save on the transportation expenses, my friend suggested that we do self-transportation of the Desktops rather than asking the vendor to deliver them.

He went out to hire a means of conveyance while I got the desktops hauled downstairs. By the time we did it , my friend was able to find an Auto-Rickshaw. After placing them in the auto, decided that I would accompany the desktops back to the office in the Auto. He told that the process was already fixed and to pay the Autowallah 70 Rupees, or that was what I felt I heard.

On my way back, i was pondering whether it was 70 rupees or 170 rupees that i heard. I tried reaching my friend but to no avail. I did not want to embarrass myself if it was 170 and I offered only 70. At the same time, I did not want to ask the Auto driver because I felt if I told him my conundrum, he would pick the higher number of 170. My earlier experiences with the Auto guys was not the best of ones.

As we approached my office, my mind was flooded with thoughts of how to handle the minor situation I landed up with. I finally decided upon what has to be done.

I had this habbit of rounding of the fare to the nearest hundred if the fare fell short by 10-20 rupees. So, I decided to place a hundred rupee note in my shirt pocket before hand and draw the note out while paying him. Based on his reaction, I would take out the wallet and give him the additional amount if the amount was supposed to be 170 rupees.

Once the desktops were unloaded, I proceeded to enact the plan. I drew the 100 rupee note from my shirt pockect and gave it to him. Even before I could signal him to keep the change, he proceeded to pull notes from his pockect to hand me over the change. So it was 70 rupees afterall.

With a remorse already kicking in seeing him trying to give the change, I signalled him to keep the change. His reaction was something that I would remember for a long time. My words would fail to carry the exact emotion he displayed. He was not doubt elated. With a feeling of gratitude large writ on his face he folded his hands and proceeded to bow down. I knew what was coming and quickly stopped him in his tracks. I bid farewell and took the stairs.

I never imagined that 30 rupees would evoke so much of an emotion in someone. Might be he was already frustrated with all the haggling people do while hiring an Auto that even he did not expect that someone would ask him to keep the change. Or it could be that my friend was quite adamant with fixing the fare at 70 rupees that this came as a surprise for him.

Nevertheless , the showing of gratitude did shake me up. It was only a short time earlier that I was not even comfortable with clarifying my doubt about the fare with the suspicion that he would take advantage by saying it was 170 rupees.

The notions we carry.

p.c : https://www.flickr.com/photos/juliejordanscott/5982073991