विकास की ट्रेन लेट है

“इस देश का कुछ नहीं हो सकता ” मैं अपनी किताब के पन्नों में डूबी हुई थी की अनायास ही इन शब्दों ने मेरा ध्यान आकर्षित कर लिया, मैं वक्ता की इस निराशा का कारण तो जानती थी पर उस निराशा के पीछे हर रोज़ एक नया चेहरा देखने की आदत सी हो गयी थी | मैनें अपनी किताब से नज़र हटाते हुए पास बैठे समूह की ओर देखा, आज फिर हमेशा की तरह ट्रेन लेट थी और हमेशा की ही तरह कुछ अज़नबी देश की स्थिति का विश्लेषण करते हुए परिचित बन गये थे| ध्यान से सुनने पर पता चला की अंकल रिटायर्ड अफसर थे और हाल ही में अपने बेटे के पास अमेरिका रह कर आये थे वो पास बैठे लोगों को बता रहे थे की क्यों लोग विदेश में रहना पसंद करते हैं | यातायात ,रहन-सहन,चिकित्सा सुविधाओं आदि चीजों से वो बहुत प्रभावित थे | “स्वच्छ भारत का इरादा तो अच्छा है पर अमेरिका के स्तर तक पहुंचने में इसे अभी भी कई वर्ष लगेंगे |” अंकल ने पानी की खाली बोतल को कुर्सी के नीचे सरकाते हुए कहा | शायद वाकई उनकी सोच सही थी इस देश का कुछ नहीं हो सकता| पर इस निराशा के समय में भी मैं आसक्त हूँ और वजह है मेरी माँ जो सरकारी अफसर तो नहीं है और ना ही विदेश घूमी है पर वो इस स्वच्छता अभियान की एक इकाई है जिसने आज तक हमें सड़क पर कूड़ा नही फेंकना दिया | क्योंकि शायद वो यह जानती है की समस्या का विश्लेषण उसका निदान नहीं है|
स्टेशन पर बैठ कर देश की स्थिति पर टिप्पणी करने से कुछ नहीं बदलेगा ; अब समय है कि मंदिर-मस्जिद को मुद्दा बनाकर राजनीति के मंदिर में आसीन इन सत्ताधारीयों से पूछा जाए की,” हमारी आस्था की जो कीमत आपने आँकी है वो हमारे समय की क्यों नहीं आँकी ? ” जहाँ जापान, जर्मनी आदि जैसे देशों में पांच मिनट की भी देरी पर रेलवे कंपनी को ‘डिले सर्टिफिकेट’ जारी करना पड़ता है वहीं भारत में पांच घंटे की देरी भी लोगों को आम लगती है | विकास की दौड़ में समय की पाबंदी के महत्व को नकारना ही हार है|

Why we do, what we do

Harry Harlow’s experiment published in Principles of general psychology gives insight into the otherwise paradoxical statement “why we do what we do”. In his experiement Harlow put up five monkeys into a cage in order to understand the trend that follows. The result if put into words of monkeys(if they could speak) would have been, ” I don’t know. That’s how things are done around here”.Although this experiment explains the majoritarian (approximately around 90%) approach of how things are done (giving rise to the nobel culture of mediocrity )yet does not suffice the longing of a seeker. This experiment fails to explain the exceptional behavior where people try something out of the box and achieve extraordinary results. Fair enough! The experiment was intended for monkeys (imitators).

While most of the people shy away from trying something different, preferring a safer route; the off-roaders enjoy their journey along with the destination making desire to tread a path left unexplored a quintessential prerequisite for pathbreakers. Ancient, medieval or modern every aeon had some great minds who left behind their footprints on the sands of time. History have it that the trudge wasn’t easy. The Philosophies of Socrates, Copernicus’s theory of heliocentric solar system or Thomas Edison’s failed experiments were not very much welcomed and were even ridiculed. Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of non-voilence and hunger strike against an oppressive colonial arrangement would have looked nothing more than a farce. Cinematic excellence of Chetan Anand and Satayajit Rey took a while to get recognition but could never attract masses.Latest and my personal favorite Afroz shah’s resolution to clean up the dying beaches initially may have looked stupid to some onlookers as everyday ocean would add another million ton of garbage. But when some eyes were busy calculating the daily garbage surplus many hands came forward to help clean it up. Changes do happen when they are desired and are worked upon putting all one’s eggs in one basket.

Wait it is still too early to jump into any conclusion because now we don’t know why everybody responds the way they do. If we know doing things differently yield unprecedented results (either good or bad) then why don’t we imitate that behavior. Looking deep into this question would give rise to another question unlocking yet another esoteric dimension in space and time to ponder over. This arrangement looks much like a spiral traversing inwards; having no finite end. What else could be a better place for inquisitive minds to reside in?

Only when it happens to us..

There are incidents in life that leave us thinking how selfish, thankless and unempathetic we are. It was a cold January morning and my train was typically late, and finally reached Dehradun Railway station. As I alighted from my AC coach, a cold breeze hit my face making it difficult for me to breathe. I could sense the intensity of the cold waves, I looked at my cellphone screen it showed

5:30 am

Tues. Jan.22

Cloudy 6°

I regretted my misjudgment about the temperature of this place and all I had to fight this biting cold was my woolen top( I wonder why they call it woolen though) and a sweatshirt. I pulled the hood over my head and started climbing the stairs of the footover bridge ,I hurried towards the exit rubbing my hands together to generate some heat and covered my nose with my hands. It was still dark, there were not many people on the street, I increased my pace walking past empty street that felt a bit longer than usual, my hands cold, feet numb and body shivering,my brain was not functioning properly. Although I am not a big fan of tea on usual basis yet a hot cup of tea was something I craved the most at this time.I saw a tea stall when I reached the main lane. I ordered my tea and looked around for a place to sit. To the left of the stall was a electronic goods’ showroom, infront of the closed showroom were five people lying down on the floor, four fast asleep with thin blankets on, fifth one,who was probably in his late fifties, was sitting wrapping his blanket around himself. Don’t know what woke him up earlier than others, body clock or the cold. His face was calm, I didn’t saw any agitation on his face similar to one that the icy wind has left on my face in just half an hour, as if his body has accustomed to the chilling cold throughout the frosty night or who knows throughout this season or may be his entire life passed away on the streets adjusting to the moods of the nature while I slept comfortably adjusting the temperature of my room. Just half an hour in this breezy morning made me rate it as the worst morning of my life. How do people having no roof over their heads rate their mornings? Are winter nights worst for them or summer afternoons? For me tomorrow is certainly a better morning, for them all depends on the mercy of the ruthless weather.The realisation slapped me hard enough to make me feel the warmth of it, blood rushed to my face. My hands still frozen, my feet numb yet, but my brain was now calm and relaxed. I handed over the cup to that man for he needed it more than I did. I walked away smiling to myself .

It was not that I saw someone sleeping on footpath for the first time with this thin blanket, infact it is a daily sight during my morning walks. I felt bad on other days but today I felt helpless, because now my heart wants to help.What made me so empathetic suddenly? Why this epiphany occurred? Answer is simple.It is the nature of pain,hardships and sufferings to be felt by one only when they are personal. It is unfair only when it is happening to us rest of the times we don’t care. No matter how many times it has been said before in how many ways we always learn our lessons the harder way.

I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.

-Hellen Keller

Now I know the meaning of this quote more clearly than I knew of it before. The poverty, malnutrition and hunger indices remain only figures for us unless we sleep with empty stomach. Putting ourselves in someone place in one thing and actually being in that place is totally different. All I wish for now is a better day, a better week, a better century for all and a little courage to make the difference.

My first blog

“You learn something only by doing it.” read the notice board. It has been years since I have left this place and yet it looks so dear and near, don’t know what my eyes search for everytime I pass by this place. And the little notice board on the office wall that my eyes can’t resist, no matter how much hurry I am in, my head tilts to peep through the bars of the old iron gate. Nothing much has changed here, The faded board above the old gate, which bears the name of the school is still readable, the trees look like they have siezed to grow since more than a decade ago. The open window near the principal office still serves as cash counter for fee deposit purpose, although the heap of registers on the table might have been replaced by a desktop. Everything is just the same which I can’t say about myself because now ‘Tomorrow will be a holiday.’ written with coloured chalk doesn’t mean anything to me so the thought for the day enjoys my undivided attention . How true is that, There are so many things I have been procrastinating, waiting for the right time because I don’t know how to do them. I want my own blog, I always did but I thought I would start once I learn to blog. Here is the hack, how will I learn if don’t try to learn. That’s how I learned all I know. The first time I held a pencil i might have not known what to do with it. Did I know those alphabets already? No, I learned it all gradually.

Throughout my childhood I never understood why that thought for the day column is updated everyday when what I like to see is the holiday notice there but today it makes so much sense. Some lessons are learned much later in life and it’s better to learn late than never. Here I am, setting up my first blog post. Bear with me, Your suggestions and feed back are very important to make my learning process smooth and enriching. Thanks for reading! Will come back with another post soon.