Time Nahin Hai.......
Once in New Delhi, I was standing in a crowded grocer shop when a man suddenly entered barging his way through. He said to the shopkeeper " Bhaisahab, jaldi karna, time nahi hai." (Brother, make it fast, I have no time). The shopkeeper was perplexed and replied "Kya chahiye aapko, woh toh batao pehle" (what do you want, tell me that first!). The man replied "Two packets Wills navy cut" and then continued audaciously " batah diya na...ab to jaldi karo!!" (I have told you, now make it fast)!!
I looked around. Something glared at me right on my face. An India that is running fast. Dont know where. But moving fast. An impatient India. There can be no better example than a scene in a traffic signal, to understand the level of this impatience. If you make the mistake of leaving a gap of more than one foot between the neighbouring car while waiting in the signal, you will have a motor cyclist trying to make his way through ahead, between the two of you. If you park your car, right before line marking the zebra crossing so that the pedestrians can cross, you would have only allowed that same impatient motorcyclist to crawl through the gaps between the cars to get ahead and park right in front of you, on top of the zebra. When the red light turns amber, the horns start blowing for you to move. And everyone blows the horn!!
Its a great sight to watch ourselves waiting in a queue in a public telephone booth (now the mobile phones have spared us this agony) or railway ticket counter for example. Many among us would be squirming with impatience. Some would change queues only to find their original ones are moving faster. And then some would come, stand right next to you, would try to look the other way around and get inside the line sheepishly, only to be pushed back one by one till the last! And there would be some who would ask you with all decency if they could stand in front you because they have to go for an important meeting!! As if everyone else has nothing better to do other than standing in the queue.
If you want to get inside the train or the city bus during office hours, all one has to do is stand in the right place before the door. Rest is done by the crowd. You will be pushed in with clinical precision.
India is running at a hectic pace. Especially the last decade of sustained 8% growth has fuelled this mad race and this mad race in turn fuels the growth. But it very admirable to see how people are coping up with new pressures of developing economy. But are We running to catch up with life ? Or a mirage called life?
Oh my god, it is already 5pm. I have to go for an important meeting with friends. Time Nahin Hai............!!