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.


Prabu Karthik said...

fear.. lack of basic assertiveness

rombo mukiyama 'yaaro ekkedo kettu pogattum, naan nalla irukanum, en kudumbam nalla irukanum' attitude

Jeevan said...

Have u left to London? i have also fear on Gudu Gudu Pandi, very sad to read your situaion in the airport.

Ram Viswanathan said...


PK summed it up nicely..

but, the leadership also has some responsibility in letting this kind of 'fear' pervade amongst its citizens..

Barbienan said...

very true balaji.people fear to open up and talk their rights, no discipline, no priciples in life. esp this is quite high in India and it puts us so down that we are in that part and not much change could be done by us.I experienced the same when we open up they see down at u as if it was ur mistake.

Raji said...

Very true..
I could so relate to the boochandi and gudu gudu pandi part
I was so petrified of boochandi that I resolved never to tell that tell-tale to my son.

Balaji S Rajan said...

PK - This is a big topic. I thought of writing it in few posts. Unfortunately it happens to everyone of us who visit for a memorable holiday. Some of my friends dislike my cribs. The problem is only when you move out you get to know what is international standard? We are very much behind in many things. During my onward journey I was reading Abdul Kalam's book "Wings...". I was so much inspired by his struggle in his career and his undying spirit. The book made me to feel so proud about our country. Within few hours of reading it, I had to face a third rated treatment at our own place. It is a shame that we are lacking in many things. Especially after a long gap when we land back in our land, we would like to see some cheerful faces, rather than the ones with Veerappan moustaches at the entrance of the aircraft and the immigration counters. Sorry for not replying for your comment. I normally reply to the comments before my next post. From now I shall change my habit.

Jeevan - Yes I have come back to London. Sorry that I could not meet you.

Ram - Yes PK summed it up nicely. I too feel that the leadership has some responsibility.

barbienan - You are 100% true. Yes..most of our people back at home want to go smoothly. They think that we should not ask as a matter of right. During my return journey I came back with my aged Mom. She was treated very badly and I was about to revolt for which my Mom was against. She wanted me to keep quiet and adjust.

Raji - The poochandi is very true. I hate elders terrorising the kids with Poochandi story. One of my elder relative used to tell stories about 'Rendu Kannan'. Most of the kids used to get scared. I used to tell those kids that every one is Rendu kannan... and that uncle was talking crap. Children get scared easily and this fear lasts with them which prevents them from questioining on anything.

Vicky Goes Crazy... said...

ya true n every sense .. most ppl dont raise there voice against issues n troubles ..

reason s "they are not aware" r "they fear those ppl mite b locals n goondas" ... n some cases ya they r rite ..

ya for making us eat ... pochandi will come .. for makin us coming in while its raining poochandi will come :D .. its true .. but still think abt it today ... it sound fun rite ... so depends how far we are terrorised with it :D ..

btw cool down dude .. u seem to boiled over the issues .. dont compare US or UK with india ..

India s n alwys b india :) .. no matter wat ..we are used to it now .. let try to change it slowly .. im sure u will accpet tat compared to 1980's today public banks passport office gov offices are responding much better rite :) .. so slowly things will change ..

so lets stop quibbing n change it :)

VIckraman V.P

nullity said...

The topic u have choosen is very nice and much needed..Unity in Diversity...that is what is needed right at this moment...when u look at this very deeply...u can see these kind of problems are more in the big cities...eg., chennai...read somewhere that thousands of people move to chennai from various districts for their livelihood...they live in different parts of the city...they are not united...its not only the fear against the rowdy group but also the inbuilt fear against all the fellow citizens, neighbours, etc., everyone is scared of every other one..these rowdies take this as an advantage…these rowdies form a group for a wrong cause…but whereas the working class do not form a group for a right cause…on the other hand when u see in the villages….they live in communities and they represent on a whole…they know each other and they get involved in each others problems…it is very easy to say that people should come out of this problem…but as u know all the greatest things done starts from a single step…that single step is very important…everywhere represent urself as a group…form groups for right cause…that’s not easy…but that is very much achievable…..we feel our duty is over as soon as we cast our vote…but participating in election is also very important……a group of software professionals can take up an assignment of educating a village on their rights and help them chose the right candidate (when u r in a group, the chances of getting attacked is very less)….a group of professionals working in a call centre can dedicate some time of theirs in organizing the ques in public places…..a group can stage a procession against the corruption… iam not saying that u will have to leave ur job do social work….its just what u can do on ur spare time….a group of four will spend more than four hours in a coffee pub doing nothing but chatting….if we want our surrounding to be clean, we need to put minimum effort…the change should start from us……first form groups for a noble cause…as told in “anniyan” chinna chinna alatchiyum nikkanumna we should act first……otherwise we can always choose to write and discuss/curse abt this and prove that we are conscious….my words may be too harsh….but I have read abt these stuffs very much and could see not much has happened so far….

Balaji S Rajan said...

Vicky - Thanks for visiting and your comments. I do accept that India has improved. But when we say globally, we need to improve in every aspect. Everyone keeps saying we have come through a lot. But what i mean is the speed. As a common man we see things in a normal way. But once when you start travelling you realise where we are. We have got a long way to go. We may be improving, but should do it more organised.

Balaji S Rajan said...


I accept your views. At the same time those which have to change should change quickly. Simple things like forming a queue, can be done by every individual. There is a kind of chaos in public service. The public themselves want things to be done first for them. If there are 100 and everyone wants it first, how is it possible. We should stick to some norms to see that everyone gets their job done quickly and quietly in organised manner. To co-operate, if few thugs (though literate) want to supercede everyone and get things done first, then it shows utter selfishness. We should not give way for such thing to happen. The fear in people is preventing them to even ask. People are ready to wait. I am still boiling when I think of the youth who wanted to buy ticket ahead of so many who were standing. Does he think that others are jobless. The youth was not illiterate. He explained me that if you need to come in queue it will take ages. He never bothered about the old ones who were standing in the queue. Also, the counter clerk was rude, in saying that he did not have exact change to give me back. This problem I see it only in our country especially Chennai. It is not our fault to be without change. Why the Railway counters are not having sufficient small coins, to exchange with public. It was not in the early morning. I went to buy ticket only in the evening peak hours. Even if he does not have change there is a way to answer. Why are they thinking that they are masters and we are slaves. Everyone working in Service line should understand that they are there to serve and not to express anger towards customers. Attitude of our people has to change. Some of them, even having come abroad do not change their attitude. Why I mean abroad is, if they say things are happening so..so in our place. Why can't they change and be in the right way, where things are happening in the right way. They still try all the short cuts. Again it is the attitude.

MellowDrama said...

Hmm..I think you are confusing apathy with fear. Lol Boochandi does bring back memories, mine was the Boochandi whistle man. Cold Delhi winters, he would take rounds of the colony blowing a whistle and banging this huge stick.. I totally understand where you are coming frm - regd delayed flights, no aplogies...it is awfully irritating and no amount of compaining seems to do any good. On the other hand you would think with all these airlines competing with each other, standards would rise:) THe National carriers need to shake things up if they have to keep up with the Deccans, Kingisheers and Paramounts of the World. Cheers!