Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Life is a Zoo in a Jungle!

Musings on a Bandh Day


When can one declare that life is getting too predictable, too routine and hence very very boring? Whenever you feel that time is ripe for such candid declaration…life outsmart you with a new twist or turn and you end up realizing once again like John Lennon that -Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans. Well,its not always that such sudden changes bring any excitement or fresh energy in the otherwise routine life…at times it also fills you with a deep sense of hopelessness and anger. I am facing all these emotions today.

No I was not making any other plans for today। I was all set to reach office and work ॥as usual. But then, someone somewhere decided to call a Bandh…and my day goes topsy- turvy. I wonder how long these useless buggers in employees’ union will take to realize the futility of this Bandh . Bandh in this city is mostly without any conviction. People stay at home enjoy the unexpected holiday(which conveniently happens to be on Friday or Monday in most cases .)…but usually there is no support to the issues or protest mechanism of bandh. Most people stay at home so that they are not harassed by the goons sitting in the associations/political parties …..others because of transport problem. In the end it is a forced support- much like forced membership and forced subscription of association in the offices. But then most people in our world allow themselves to be taken against their own will ...

"जिस तरह हमको बजाओ इस सभा में
आदमी नहीं हैं, हम झुनझुने हैं " -(दुष्यंत कुमार)

It is a hopeless situation for everybody. All the officers in my office have to come and sit in office for whole day without much work to do. Majority of other officials are compelled by the union to take leave. Many are not allowed to enter the office by force. The conviction on the issues in question , is so less that even the biggest union leaders will apply leave for “urgent private work” and would not dare to mention strike/bandh in the leave application fearing Dies Non . It is such a wastage of public money and resources…and surprisingly no one in this state is bothered actually. They blame UP-Bihar to be such passive sufferers of political hell but in their own states they fail to curb this menace of unnecessary unionism. These bandhs come with some rituals e.g burning a government bus/vehicle and throwing stones on some commuters. In the evening everybody sits happily in their home claiming the success/failure of bandh depending on which side of the bandh you are. So today I am again in office …all alone on the entire floor…not much work to do….no pending files either. Its almost like a habit....whenever you try discussing the horror of a bandh people are ready with even better tales of a bandh that happened in the year so and so. How many people were stranded on railway stations or how many buses were burnt . This happened last year too…and also year before . Going by the way people have adopted it in their lifestyle. I am sure they will miss these surprise holidays if they don’t hear of a bandh or two every year .
So Mark Tully you were right when you said that time stops in India. We fail to learn from our past…some of us continue to drag the country back...in an impossible attempt to turn the clocks back .I feel frustrated, angry …disappointed that even youngsters over here are being brainwashed in this culture of bandh and laissez-faire approach to life. . Its so sad to find the younger members of staff getting initiated in the culture of false medical bills, coming late-going early and taking it easy when it comes to work. To make the matter worse, even the private sector in this city of joy , fails to show the corporate culture found everywhere else in similar organisations. They too try to take excuse of bandh and stay at home...even though some companies take it back by opening offices on the next sundays/saturdays.
On days like this I feel it’s not true that life is one damn thing after another; it is one damn thing over and over…It just fail to make sense…and worse, noone is bothered to look for any sense and meaning in it ….in other words....life on such days becomes a zoo in a jungle. And tomorrow there is another bandh called by another political party .....
NB: It was heartening to read this story in The Telegaph today(31.10.07) I will defy Bandh .

1 comment:

Advait said...

Yes, Bandhs are a nuisance. It has become a cultural tradition in West bengal. You should see how these parties stop people from going to their offices in Salt Lake. Good thing is (Buddha's influence, perhaps) Mamta Banerjee left ITES and Salt Lake out of Bandh. When I was in Kolkata There were at least 3 major bandhs a year. Hoping it comes down further.