06/05/2007 by Siddiqui Fayesal
There are times when I try and figure out about the nature of the various things I do. I used to take pride in my idiosyncrasy. The way I saw things in the light of ethics. If I thought an act was wrong I never camouflaged it and tried to justify it… agreed, its not that I always did the right thing but at least I knew that I was wrong and agreed when people pointed it out to me. Was I being a hypocrite, I started wondering…
I mean, yes, I knew I was wrong but I still did all those things that I always did. So yes, I was a hypocrite…an example will be a good idea at this juncture…The traffic signal. I never broke signals and always looked down upon people who broke them. Until I realized that I was never in a hurry while I was waiting ‘behind the stop line’ while guys kept honking behind my back and to my utter annoyance I also realized that I somehow broke them when I was in a hurry. I tried to curb this habit and I think I will succeed in it after a few months of hard work.
I only realized this some days back. I had 2 extra tickets for spider-man 3. One of my friends said that you can sell it in black and people will be ready to buy it even at 300 bucks. I said, “No dude, I wont be doing that at least.. I will sell it at the same price I bought it for myself and not for a buck more than that”. He asked me why was I being so stupid and not grabbing the opportunity of earning an extra 200 rupees. Very proud of my self , I said smugly, “well I don’t think that’s ethical”. This was what started the internal war between my mind and heart. He countered by saying, “what about the pirated books you buy from the streets. You are cheating aren’t you?”
The only thing I could come up with at the spur of the moment was,” Bro, no ones a complete angel just like no one is a complete devil. I have both inside me, living”. I got away by saying that. But I knew that winning in this verbal duel will not suffice. Now, I know not what I am. I hate hypocrites. But have I become one myself?
True, I cant afford the books original copy because they charge obscenely exorbitant prices. What is costing me 850 Rs cost me just 150 on the streets. Am I cheating??? Yes, I think I am. But does that mean that I stop reading books. Something that I cant live without.I swear by writers like W.H Auden, Premchand, Ted Huges, John Masefield, Alistair Maclean, James Patterson and the likes including of course the ever living soul in me William Shakespeare. The most number of books I have read are from the streets.
Does that mean that everytime I save a few penny I have to face the rising anger within me. Something I know is wrong but about which I cant do anything. Battling the odd mind with my heart. What is right then??? I cant run away from the truth… But I cant even deny the facts. I always believed that you cannot justify wrong deeds. I still do believe in that. Am I wrong??. Should I change the way I think. How else should I continue living. I see people living off scraps and I get to have a paratha at my thaal every Saturday. And I still cheat to get a little bit more out of my life.
Should I give up reading. I cant do that just like I cant give up this war between the interim body. I am scared. Have I really become a hypocrite??? I don’t see anyway out of this… Do you???
Is it alright to read pirated books and not break signals….. is it alright to demand 1 Rs back on the MRP of Rs 199….. is it right when I refuse to pay a penny more than the amount mentioned…. But then even they are making a living out of this extra 1 Rs aren’t they whereas I just fill my greed for books by cheating the rightful author of his royalty…. Am a confused??? Yes, I am……