21 July, 2006

Fear in life

In everyday's life, it is difficult to pass a day without having seen someone with somekind of fear. Most of us are imbibed with fear from our early days of life. Just to ease out their job, parents cultivate this fear when we are children. 'Boochandi' comes into our life very soon. In my childhood days I have heard women talking about 'Gudu Gudu Pandi'. ( A terrorising look beggar with long beard and turban). I was always afraid of this man. I wondered why he came early morning. My friends used to say that he visits graveyard in the mornings and comes with magical powers of Sattan. If we do not give him clothes, he will curse us and do harm to us. It took long time for me to get rid of this fear. People have fear of different kinds. It is because our mind is conditioned so much. Let me share my recent experience. Very suddenly, there was a need for me to visit home land, for few weeks. I had to chose a 'Desi' airlines, hoping a new experience. True to my expectations it was a strange experience. Just fifteen minutes was left for the departure and there was no announcement of the delay. Public were left to their own guessing. After we boarded the flight, there was no apology or reason for delay. The pilot explained the reason only when we were about to land in Mumbai. Again, the connection flight was delayed, and landed late in Chennai. No explanations. After a toil of two and half hours, it was learnt that my baggage had not arrived along with few more passenger's baggage. There were 20 of us left to be attended by two of the airlines staff. A supervisor was sitting next to them, gossipping family matters, than attending to the other staff. I lost patience and had to crib and complaint loudly. Everyone else had so much of fear, to complaint. Every other passenger were undergoing the similar experience, but did not want to talk about it . The reason being fear. Because I was not afraid, I made a loud appeal and was later taken to the Manager for some interim allowance. I did not have a single cloth to wear and have to rush to a quick shopping after a traumatic air travel.

The public awareness is very less in our country. Even in those days whenever there was a loudspeaker menace near my residence, and I complained, I was looked down by many of the neighbours for raising my voice. The basic reason was fear. We have great tolerance. I agree... but what is the compensation. Why do we need to be afraid? The other day, I was standing in a queue for buying a train ticket to travel by suburban train in Tambaram railway station. A group of youth went straight to the counter, without having consideration about the long queue of people waiting. Nobody wanted to ask them to get back to line. I had to call the leader and asked him to get back to the queue, for which he passed a circastic comment, and said that he did not mind to buy after me. He bought the tickets after me, but still the public allowed him. I could not do anything after my job was done since it was the responsibility of others who were waiting after me. Incidents like this followed everywhere. At times, even walking on the road was so tough. It was more of a 'do what you can' attitude.

I had been to Tirupathi on a pilgrimage trip. It was a day full of similar experiences. Somewhere I read as Bombay was rated as a rudest city. Chennai was not in the list at all. If this kind of fear exists among the public, then we can never progress. In today's world, everyone is talking about the technological development that has been happening in our land. I do not find any great differences, if we could not improve our public awareness and discipline.

The picture in this post was shot in front of Buckingham palace. There was a huge crowd waiting to watch the change of guard and this creature was not afraid of anyone. When I approached to take a picture of her unique pose of standing on a leg, she was not bothered and did not shy away, and posed fearlessly.