Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Old Man & His Sinking Feelings

Today evening, I was in the local electricity office for some matter related to my monthly bill cycles. As I was waiting for my turn, I happen to chat with a man in his late sixties. He was a daily wage earner as a contract labor with Military Engineering Service. I happen to talk with him for around 15-20 minutes and I really felt so awkward and sad after the conversation. He was not having electricity in his house for the last 1 week, not because he didn't pay the bill in time, but because of some technical fault with the connection. All his efforts to get the required help from the electricity dept. was in vain. He is a poor man, but I believe he is richer than many of us, because I found him honest. He told that he always pays his bill on the very next day of getting the bill even though he may not have enough money to buy food, because he belives that its his duty to pay the bill for the electricity which he has consumed. He told me he is supposed to get Rs. 7000 per month as salary but gets only Rs. 3500. Thanks to all the corrupted officials, contractors and other middle men, who first take their shares from the livelihood of a poor man. When I told the old man, why they don't complaint? He told its of no use as whoever raises his voice will end up losing his job. Because, there are so many poor people who is willing to work even for a sum lesser than Rs. 3500. The next few sentences, which the old man said made me feel worse. Ofcourse it was not his fault either. He mentioned, people who deprieve the poor men from their hard earned money, buys flats, apartments, cars which costs lakhs and lakhs of rupees. But, the poor man was probably not aware of people like us, who pays 33% of their hard earned income as tax to the filthy Government and lead their rest of lives with Home Loan, Car Loan, Personal Loan and all sorts of debts. I didn't try to correct the old man, because I know, if I had to live a life with just Rs. 3500 per month, I would also have a similar state of mind. Then he told me, life would have been better if British were still in India. He had led some years of his childhood before independence, and he still feels that life was far better then. We got INDEPENDENCE 61 years back, but just in papers. 61 years back we were slave to British and now we are slaves of our own country men. Mann, all these conversation was just too much to digest for me. By that time, my turn to meet the electricty official came and I left.

But, I believe the story of this man is just like the other stories which are heard or read in newspaper and soon forgotten. I remembered it probably just to fill up another post for my blog and tomorrow I will continue my life again with "#include stdio.h". May be, like any other coward, I also believe in the anthem of "Who Cares?" and conclude everything with a fucking punchline called "Life Moves On..." I remember the dialogues by Nana Patekar in the movie Krantiveer:

Find it so true and realistic.

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