The Common Man


09/07/2013 by Siddiqui Fayesal

I’m going to take a break from my travelogue and pen a few words about what is going wrong in my country these days. It’s not that I don’t have enough matter; I do. I’m just wondering if I should just come out and say it. Because it s happens that when I rant and crib people tell me to shut up. They tell me that I should either stand up and do something or shut my mouth and accept it all.

I really don’t know how that’d work! I’m not saying that my cribbing and anting will change the world. No Sir, it wont. But, do something?

Like what? Come out in a demonstration? A black armband march? Shout slogans? Like I’ve not done that already!

I do what I can. I occasionally write about it; I debate about it. No what else do I do? Leave home and fight a war? Sneak in an AK-47 and kill the bastards who’re doing this to us? Actually, the idea is pretty much appealing, and I’d love to do it! I’d shoot the likes of our politician and then I can truly say that I’ve done something drastic! But, the question that was raised was not about “doing something drastic” it was merely an intrusion in the normalcy of the everyday. Something that makes a dent in the daily life. So one can say with pride that, ‘Yes, I did something about IT’. The IT can be anything. From 30% contamination of drinking water to 80% potholes in a kilometre of paved road. There is no dearth of reasons.

Of course I can rant. What DO you want me to do?

I begged my father to buy a new car. We bought it after a year of intense debate. A CNG car is a little expensive but running it is cheap. While a litre of Petrol costs around 77 a kg of CNG costs 34. So this way I wouldn’t ned to ask dad for cash everytime I needed to refuel. I could obviously afford CNG by my allowance. But, suddenly, BOOM, one fine morning I read that Gas prices will double by next year. WHAAAT???

I felt so nice and fuzzy when I read that it would attract Foreign interest and that it would be an incentive for nationalised drillers and oil riggers to drill deeper and produce more oil. That’s what they sell me! They have the audacity to tell me upfront  that we want foreign investors here so that India becomes a viable market to them and, of course, assholes like the Ambanis can roll around deeper in their profits.

I’m supposed to do what exactly?

Today I read in my newspaper that our drinking water is contaminated with E. Coli. What is even more astounding that their concentration is up by 4 times in a month! A month! Basic necessity like clean drinking water, affordable gas is like a utopian dream. And, I’m not only ranting because the gas for my car is expensive. I’m ranting on behalf of the thousands that will have to cut corners when they buy food, because if gas prices sky-rocket, then everything goes high. That basic economics is, I suppose, easy for everyone to understand! There are deaths due to potholes everyday. One is riding at a speed of 50kmph and suddenly he sees a foot deep and a foot wide pothole (really? A Pothole!!! A fucking crater instead) and what do you do? You either swerve around it and risk the motorists coming from your left or right to ram into you, or, you screech to a halt risk getting killed by the car\bike\bus\truck\trailer coming from behind.

What do I do? Write letters to the BMC (Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation)? How many, I ask? How many in a single calendar year, I ask?

Petrol price rises; food prices increase. The market is fucked up so you mean I earn less and pay more? And I’m supposed to do what exactly? Write to the PMO? And get what, killed? Remember Satyendra Dubey, right? I’m sorry I’m not ready to get killed already. I’ve got my Ma and Pa to take care of. I know I’m not doing anything drastic, but, mind you, I’m doing much more than just twiddling my thumb. I rant!

Yes, I do. And trust me, it begins like this…

Siddiqui F.

3 thoughts on “The Common Man

  1. Tame SheWolf says:

    I share your sentiments. I don’t like feeling helpless, so I am apathetic.

    Like we’ve to “do something/fight” for basic necessities. Our standard of living is that low. It’s just.. Sigh.

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