Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lesson 19: Anger is the manifestation of Fear…?

And are you afraid yet? For till you don't feel the fear, you won't feel the anger.

Suresh* (name changed to protect identity) has old parents at home, he’s their only support. Like any other young guy, he also likes this girl. She stays in his colony. They don’t speak much, except he ensures he takes a round of her house when she is outside, drying clothes or sweeping the porch. He is an autorickshaw driver. Suresh and his family faced a severe money crunch for three years so that Suresh could buy his own auto. Usually, autorickshaw drivers work under contractors and pay anything between Rs 300-350 as daily rental charges. Whatever they earn in a day – or not – they have to pay that amount for using someone else’s auto. Once he got his own auto, the family saw happier times. You and I perhaps would still find their living conditions pecuniary, but they were happy.

Last week, another autorickshaw driver – a local goon of sorts – murdered another auto guy, with a sickle (darati, in Hindi). The police came to their colony and picked up Suresh. He had not even raised a finger. There is proof, there were eye witnesses that he did NOT do anything. Currently Suresh is in jail. His bail has been refused. The murderer is roaming free; he has local-level politicians for friends. Suresh’s parents don’t know what to do. They are scared. Suresh’s friends are angry. Because they are afraid. That despite their friend being innocent, he will probably be booked in a false case.

I am scared because despite knowing Suresh – I know him through Umakant, my favourite auto-wallah – and yet, I cannot do anything… As a professional. They called me, the auto-drivers. I know them, they have my card. I had said, “Bhaiyya, kabhi zaroorat ho to batana,” (if you ever need me, call me). They called. I am media. People are supposed to be scared of me. I am angry. I am scared. Can I do anything? Will my channel/editor take up the story? Will METRO NOW take it up? But then, Suresh is an auto driver and such things only happen to little people. Not news, nah. Not TRP.

On the colony gate of Green Park Extension – one of Delhi’s relatively posh areas – there is a notice. A missing person’s notice. The girl in the picture is pretty… and has been missing since August 8, 2007. The notice is in font size 8, hardly visible; and has other posters sticking on it. I wonder if the girl is alive. Or gang-raped. Or maimed. Or perhaps sitting in a minister’s bedroom somewhere, to be used and then sold off. But you see, that missing girl is not any Adobe officer’s child. So no one in the media will bother about mobilizing forces and cameras to find her. Can I help her? You? Ha ha.

There was a comment on my employee-website… We had broken a story on Ministers being part of a racket where MINOR GIRLS are brought as house-helps, raped and made to have babies. The comment read, “Can you please help us find my brother’s daughter? She has been missing.” It was written by a Doctor… not an anonymous Rupa sticking on a busy colony gate. And yet; is their family angry, because they are scared? And what if tomorrow someone from your family is kidnapped? Will you trust the police or will you hold a press conference?

As a macabre joke, interestingly, my favourite autowallah Umakant, was the man who brought Adobe Anant back home in his auto: It was out in the newspapers, please check. And today, his best friend Suresh languishes in jail.

I had mentioned a DJ-event sometime back (on the sprawling Garden of Five Sense, under the aegis of Delhi Tourism) in one of my earlier posts. The organizers had paid all taxes and taken all permissions to hold an event. Yet, the police interrupted the event much before the sanctioned-time. No one could do anything but go home. Meanwhile, this Italian restaurant flouts rules every Saturday. Why? Because they pay the cops. Tomorrow, when the same cops come and declare they are going to bulldoze the place, I wonder how much money the restaurant would shell out.

Does Delhi remember Turquoise Cottage? THE Media hub on Wednesdays? Quite interesting that despite frequenting that place and joining communities in its praise, I really did not see ANY media support IN the papers on or TV for “our beloved TC”. That restaurant too used to be open till 2 am. Any guesses how? And yet. Shrug.

Do you have a friend in the Air Force or the Army? What will you do tomorrow if you learn your friend was shot dead in Drass; trying to protect a post, the location of which was compromised BY another corrupt official or perhaps some buffalo-loving politician? Or because some extremely intelligent politico – usually with a criminal record and no education – decided that that particular post did not need many soldiers? Or what if your pilot friend crashes, flying the decrepit helicopter the Air Force has? Will you do a Rang De Basanti? It IS a real situation, the b******s really don’t care. And how many times, the Rang De Basanti... for each soldier? Each missing person? Each religious riot?

Ditto for those who might have seen ‘Crash’. It could be your girlfriend and a policeman’s hand under her skirt while you are held at gunpoint. Gurgaon Police nearly did it to me in 2004. We were waiting at a Gurgaon colony-crossing, waiting for another couple to come in their car and lead us to their house. It was 9.30 pm. So these drunk cops come and while they are talking to my male friend, are checking me out. I will never forget. This burly cop, spat, then cleaning his teeth with this little finger, was pointedly staring at my breasts. I could FEEL his look. Then pointedly looking at my crotch – jeans – he asked my friend, “It’s not safe for medam to be traveling with you. Leave her here. Go find your friend.” I took out my press card then, like an ass. It was a lame gesture. The cops started laughing and said, “Arre medam, biyaabaan main camera nahi hote.” (There are no cameras in the jungle.) I swear, IF a policeman EVER touches me…

Yes. I am angry BECAUSE I am scared. And I am thinking. I really did not like the ending for Rang De Basanti. Does it have to be that? What happens when josh (adrenaline) and hosh (intelligence) come together? If a handful FEW can find ways to tweak the law for their benefit… WHAT happens when an ENTIRE nation puts its head together? Joins hands? Or even a handful? Do we always HAVE to be the victims?

And for how long? And for HOW long will you live in fear… Turn it to anger. Yes, Anger is a manifestation of fear. Feel the fear. But GIVE me your anger.

I will be afraid; and yet I will transform that fear into potent anger. Anger that DOES something. But, I will use my brains. Josh aur hosh. That will be my contribution today. Yours?

12 comments:

Crimson Feet said...

piercing!!

Naseeb said...

The fear that manifests into anger...pure JOSH, and then we lose our hosh along the way.Just seeing red. Which takes me nowhere.
How do we change it? Where do we begin?

indianphoenix said...

I too would like to know by just posting this how u or anyone can change things around in india
how will u make shitizen into citizen
u said this was ur contribution and what was other peoples reading it
my contribution is nothing and yes we would surely like to know who we can contribute

Crimson Feet said...

dear naseeb and indian phoenix ... glad to see ur comment and the intention to actually DO....

just to let u know that the shitizen community is less than a month old and we are already doing on ground work...

the main idea being that EVERYBODY does at least the basic things that they can....

we do stuff rt from following the traffic rules, not littering, not eve teasing, making sure that we dont bribe, collect rt information abt election candidates and vote intelligently... to collecting socks and t shirts to distribute among poor kids, associating with anti child sex abuse organisations to fight cases, and the major thrust rt now is the commonwealth games site on yamuna river bed!...

we can only take it step by step..

all that u and i can do is make more ppl aware that the BASIC contributions will go a long way in improving the quality of life for each of us...

that makes us a citizen...

so the first thing u can do is spread the word... if u have strong opinions, write them. if u have ideas, we will get together and apply them...

shitizen is not a magic wand neither a arm chair social revolution...
its only abt using the power of internet to create a scaleable platform for those who WANT TO DO!..

mail anythng that u intend to... at jhoomur@gmail.com

welcome !!

Naseeb said...

Crimson feet,
I totally understand what you are saying. I don't expect things to happen magically and by no means was I being cynical.
I was actually asking/thinkin out loud how and where can we start to make things a reality.

Slowly and steadily, I suppose.
Will be here more often I'm sure.
Till then...

Crimson Feet said...

@ naseeb...
apologise if i came across too strongly... i just went with the flow...
didnt even intend to hint that u r bein sarcastic... but may be indian phoenix has a lil more strong views and i wanted to make sure that we all are on the same plane.. as in we all want to DO... not just talk...

good to have u guys...

stick around

cheers

serendipity said...

it is scary...yes, i am scared and i fear what lies ahead and yes, it does fill me up with anger

Anonymous said...

I'm Anonymous,because i'm scared of my current thoughts.

Been reading and thinking all this time.

Why do we tolerate things in life.When someone is cruel to us,why is it that we do not respond back with equal cruelty? What have we achieved so far by being good?Have we able to change someone or something by our smile?And what is it that we expect by good deeds;a trophy when we die?most probably given by the person who was cruel to us!!

Even Misraji is taking law into his hands.

Just now i see a girl being paraded around as she was caught with a man from a hotel.The moral police are two ladies.Wasnt the man equally responsible?And what did they do so wrong to be humiliated thus?

I want to beat up those two ladies.No,not at day time.I don't want to be caught either,you know.But i want them to know they were wrong.And the only way to make them believe it is fear and pain.

Yes,pain will bring fear and then will make anyone think twice before being a Shitizen, again.

I dont want to smile anymore.I dont want to be good to the wrong people anymore.

If you give me shit, i will give you double shit.

Naseeb said...

@Anonymous
The two ladies don't know any better- so by beating them up, what are we solving? Nothing? Creating more hatred. Trust me, hate only propagates hate...
Where do we stand then? Right alongside the wrong and hateful.Step back, and find a better more peaceful way, which is probably the longer route but more efficient.
Let's not stoop down to 'their' level.
Instead of double shit, lets scoop the shit they give, gift wrap it and hand it back to them.

@Crimson Feet, I didnt take it harshly but just wanted to make sure I wasn't misunderstood ;)

Anonymous said...

@Naseeb
I know hate propagates hate.And i also believe now that love does not always stop hate.So in certain circumstances,hate should be dealt with hate.It depends.And thats where we have to use our brains.

Those ladies do not deserve gift wrapped $***, they will only learn with a quickie.And then maybe later we could preach them about the importance of right thinking.

Goli said...

This is a first time that I have come to your blog, and I really liked it. I do understand the idea behind the blog, and I think you guys are doing good work.

There are lot of things that sometimes cant be helped, but I am sure slowly and surely we are going to try to pick up some of this stories and bring them in limelite, and also use RTI to get things going.

Keep writing.

Crimson Feet said...

welcome goli!!... good to find more support!!... stay around..

cheers