This is going to be a long rant, so bear with me, I need to vent this, need to get this out, like a sneeze, a cough, whatever.
The feeling of a sense of victory soon fades off. The question that remains is what next? Where do we go from here? I am speaking of India's win in the Cricket World Cup which brought those warm fuzzy feelings into poor me suffering so many personal defeats through a lifetime. Yes, there's always a ray of hope and one holds to that ray like it is the only thing, the only straw to be clutched it. The world when we see it - I am not speaking of those smart-assed-fun-men-and-women who make a joke a minute and smile all the time like fools - has a lot of pain. This pain goes largely unacknowledged.
Just today it happened before me. I was coming out of a mall in New Bombay after buying something rather expensive and feeling utterly foolish. There was this woman outside and her son. She was dressed in the traditional sari and her son was a bit distracted playing at being a cricketer, you know, making action of making a defensive stroke. She was pointing to him and begging people for money. Probably, I am just guessing, she wants him to go to school and be a cricket player - experience the joy of holding a willow and thump a ball like Sachin. It's hot and the afternoon sun is like a desert typhoon on my head and back. I am dazed by the heat. I hold out whatever I can to her outstretched palm, feeling guilty as I did so. What shameful thing to do.
It's all very well for us to shop in malls and bring home airconditioners. Yes, we deserve it, because we work hard for it. What about that woman?
Does her son who dreams of playing the game he loves so dearly know that he has no chance of every distinguishing himself in the sport? Who robbed him of his chances? I wrote about pain going unacknowledged towards the beginning of this rant. This is the pain! I hear about several crores handed over to cricketers by the BCCI and governments around the country. Would these be justified when one in two people in Bombay lives in slums so putrid with faeces and piss that once you go there you would shudder at the prospect of going again? Netas handover money as if it belong to their fathers. Is this justified when their (woman's) problems aren't even addressed? What about the scams that have rocked politics recently: 2G scam, CWG scam (remember toilet rolls at Rs 4000 each?), the Palmolein scam, the, the, the, I don't remember. I can't keep a track of all of them.
Well, these dark thoughts came to me when I went to buy me an airconditioner. It was getting unusually hot and the entire area where I live has been dug by the authorities and the dust gets blown in all the time. I hate dust. I am allergic to it. It gets into my lungs and gives me a nasty cough. So I need protection. Therefore the airconditioner as a last resort. To make matters worse a slum came up near where I live. I got it removed but it has come back again. I have again written to the ward officer as follows (don't mind my language, when I complain, I complain):