Friday, March 10, 2006

On a Rat Race

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............!!


pushkala said...

nice post..

We badly need a Nation Wide Time Management awareness! lolz!

As far as the Sooper Civilized Behaviour of Our Folks in Buses and Traffic signal s is concerned .........we need standing epitomes of the reminances of Stone Age Cult!
dont we ?

pushkala said...

sory as usual .. the comment is also replete with grammatical and typo flaws!!
sorry again !
another example of Soooper Civilized Culture- littering the blog comments with silly engleees!!

The Soul Doctor said...

@ pushkala

Welcome. Its been a long time.

we do have statues of our great leaders in every possible "porampoku land" ......they have after all guided us to this level!! what says you?

anand said...

An interesting point! With a billion individuals, I think some people believe that this frantic pace is necessary to just survive. For example, the prevalent thought probably is you will never make your meeting unless you break the railway queue! This may not be true but it is probably the most common perception/justification.

Add to this the largest working adult population in the world, who after all these years actually believe in their unlimited potential for growth. Are we seeing the creation of a “nation of go-getters”, determined to run the rat-race and prevail at any and all costs?

Finally, I am compelled to ask, if every individual runs really fast towards his or her goal (usually financial), not hesitating to mow down a few others in the process, will this actually result in a forward movement for society as a whole a few decades down the line? Economically…maybe. But what about in other respects?

Slice Of Life said...

or do we have a choice than running to our jobs..meeting deadlines etc?
sounds like dil se 's herione manisha saying "samay nahin hain"to SRK(she was a suicide bomber-terrorist in the story)
so when u relax ...just enjoy breaking the time deadline barrriers

The Soul Doctor said...

@ Anand

Well said. THere is a great level of misturst between people to people and people to system.

Alternatively, like Uma said, we dont really have a choice of getting out of this rat race. We dont think twice spending 16hrs a day with our boss, but 1/2 hr with our child demands much planning and coordination. And we call that "spending QUALITY time with our family" !!! What an irony??

With the present state of indian private sector, i dont think this rat race is anywhere near stopping. Alternatively, more people are joining it and socially we ARE paying the price. Broken families, broken relationships, children growing up on their own and stuff like that.

The cost of trying to become a rich nation. Everything has a cost!!! Paid, it shall be.

The Soul Doctor said...

@ Uma

I think You are absolutely right. We dont have a choice from this rat race. So, sometimes when we finish early, we must relax before we start again.

soumya said...

at times time nahin hain keeps troubles away... haivng ppl busy with themselves reduces inter person friction, and violence also... at last we r busy becoz of our own choices...

The Soul Doctor said...

@ Soumya

Welcome back after a long break. I wouldnt agree with you comletely that keeping people busy is a way to reduce interpersonal friction.

But I agree with you when you said, we are busy because of our own choice, even if it is a hobsons choice!!

Anonymous said...

Good one!

Shashank said...

ya know its funny u should say that. cause evryday morning i get up early sometimes even 1 hr earlier than usual to get ready and catch my bus at 8:15. i take a rick to reach near the stop. and no matter what time i get up i always evryday tell the rickshaw wala "jaldi chalna bhaiyya".
other than that good post.
its been many days since i read any blog. too busy with work. i still gotta update my own.