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Monday, July 05, 2010

Justifying a Bandh - Almost




Sitting in the corner of his shanty, Manohar kept dreading the onset of evening.....the time when his children, sleeping on a half starved stomach, would wake up and inevitably ask for some food. It was a wish he could not fulfill this evening. A question he could not answer this evening. Of course, his children would understand his silence soon enough and would not say another single word but that would only heighten his sense of despair.



All this of course because unlike other days he had not  been able to go to work today.....work, which to him, was to sell tea in a kettle roaming around the central business hub of Calcutta, the place of his living. No, he was not sick today...at least not as sick that it would hamper his daily labor. The reason for this uncalled for day @ home was much more far reaching...it was in fact, because of the sickness of some members of the higher echelons of society, a sickness which was ingrained in the minds of the people in the seat of power. The high and mighty had decided that today would be a day of protest. A protest which would manifest itself in people not going to work. So, it was a holiday for the people of the city. No one ventured out because most of the population actually welcomed a holiday from the tediousness of everyday work and those very few, who wanted to work were not brave enough to take on the proposed vandalism of the supporters of the shutdown.

So with the city in a 'Total Shutdown' mode, there was no point in Manohar venturing out with his kettle of lemon tea and that meant that today his family would not even have the bare essentials in the name of food that they managed everyday. To Manohar's simple mind, it was unfathomable how everyone not working would help in alleviating the rising prices. Yes, price rise was the issue cited for this latest cherished holiday. In fact, his thinking told him that everyone not working for a full day would actually be pretty heavy on an already failing economy along with of course, many other families like his own, going without food for the day. But then he banished the thought from his mind thinking that the country's administrators were much wiser than he ever could hope to be. And if they said that a day without work would help, then it surely would help in some way or the other. How did it matter if some people did not have food for the whole. Wasn't it a trivial price to pay for the betterment of the nation.

With these final thoughts, Manohar moved towards his now awake children who were playing around outside the shanty. Seemingly, they had already been convinced about the betterment of the lack of food today by their mother. He did not know what logic and reason she had cited, perhaps it was the same that he had used to convince himself.

And then he smiled ruefully @ the irony of it all.



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1 eulogies: on "Justifying a Bandh - Almost"

Ria said...

I find bandhs absolutely ridiculous!! Doesnt make any sense....neither does it lead to anything substantial.

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