26/10/2007 by Siddiqui Fayesal
What a beautiful line…. Not surprisingly though it’s a line in a song by Linkin Park… anyway, my question is “Is it the truth?”.
Rehan was on his usual routine he followed every Friday after noon. He kick started his bike and prepared for the 4 km journey toward his favourite mosque for his weekly Friday prayers. On the whole journey he was busy thinking of ways and means of using his desire of a corruption free world. On how to translate his ideas into a flow of laws and rules. He decided that the only way to do his bit for the society is by giving motion to his ideas…. He was a staunch believer in a theory he had propounded…. He firmly believed that though corruption flowed from a lower level to a higher level it had to be corrected by checking the higher levels first… is theory meant to say that though a clerk is more likely to be corrupt than a high court judge if one has to correct the deviation the judge has to be shown the door first….. but his theory was based on relativity…. and there was one thing that Rehan believed in but there was no way to find out if it actually was the truth or not…. He had a lot of faith in the countries judiciary. And by that he did not mean the police he saw on the streets or the traffic cop…. He meant the ones sitting on the high chair and making the final decisions… but, then again, the core was relativity….
He was not 100% sure of anything…. Nothing he saw made him believe that people did anything only for the society…well, if that made them do something atleast.. And he was even afraid of things going within him too… he thought that he was as selfless as he could get but a deeper retrospect made him see some light…. He saw that he was not better than the next person who did some good, albeit for selfless reasons. He realized that the only way he thought of doing some good is only when he saw that HE was wronged….
He sighed and realized that maybe it was supposed to be this way….
He came to the pay and park where he usually parked his bike and glanced at the rates…. He smirked and saw a potential way to kick start his campaign of a corrupt free world… the attendant tore a slip and started to walk away after saying:
“Saab, paanch rupiya chutta dena” (sir, please give my Rs 5 in change)…
Rehan asked him “kyon bhaiyya, rate toh sirf ek rupay ka hia na” (but why, the rate is Rs 1 only, isn’t)
“saabji, naya contract bana hai. Ab paanch ripya hi lagega” (there’s a new contractor and from now on it’ll be Rs 5 only)
Rehan checked the receipt and noted that only his incoming time was noted and obviously no out going time….. and further the amount to be paid was nowhere in sight….. he knew that the attendant is lying and is going to pocket the 4 extra bucks..
Rehan walked away saying, “main sirk ek rupya doonga. Usse ek paisa bhi zyaada nahin doonga” (I’ll give you knly a rupee and not a penny more than that)
Rehan walked the rest with a new bounce in his step…. he knew exactly what he wanted to and why?? He knew that the organisation who is under contract by the government is ordered to receive from bikers only a rupee for an hour as a service charge… but these contractors ordered the attendant to ask for not less than Rs 5 (which, incidentally, is the charge of parking a bike beyond 4 hours.) and so Rehan knew that he will be asked for a fiver and he will not give in.. he knew this was VERY VERY insignificant but he also knew that he HAS to start from somewhere and he was contended with the small step toward a pure futuristic world….
He prayed and returned to the parking lot. He removed his bike and put his hand in the pocket to remove a buck when the attendant said, “saab paanch hi dena na” (please gimmi a fiver only please)
Rehan removed a coin and said, showing it to him, “dekh bhaiya main isse zyadah nahi de sakta. Jo sahi hai wahi doonga aur uske oopar ek paisa nahi” (see, I’ll give you only a rupee and nothing more than that. I’ll give you only what is right)
The attendant said something that made Rehan really believe in the song he had heard….
The attendant turned away and said, “saab aap ek garib ke peth pe laath maar rahen ho.. humein bhi kuch paise upar se mill jata hai. Aap who ek rupiya bhi rakh lijiye” (sir, you’re killing another poor guy.. this way even we get a few extra bucks.. you can keep that rupee with you as well)
Rehan felt small and sad…. He kept the Rupee 1 coin on the seat of an adjacent bike and added 2 more rupee 2 coins to it and left the parking lot… with tears streaming down his face…
It is so true he thought…. No matter what happens…. Only the poor suffers the most….
So cruel, yet so true… “when the rich wage war it’s the poor who die”…. Indeed….