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lies

What is it with some professions and being a crook.
Today again, an autowallah fleeced me. after a point, u don't want to waste time arguing and you just end paying up. I had the time and inclination to take this bugger to the Police station. I was about to take his auto's key from him and do the needful to walk towards the police station. But, then something happened, something that always happens at times like these. You suddenly feel a bit of pity+fear and a sense of resignation. Pity cause you are somewhere higher in the scheme of things and hence a bit of fear cuz he has comparatively little to lose and time on street makes him ready to put up an aggressive posture. Sometimes I put on that posture myself and do not let myself get fleeced. Resignation owing to the sheer wastage of your precious time and mood behind this and knowing that most probably nothing will happen of it even if you take them to the police.
They know the equation perfectly well too. So they hold their ground.
In Hyderabad they consider it their right to charge 'IT people' more cause obviously 'itna kamaate ho tum, saab, kya magajmaari kar re'. ('you earn so much, what's ur problem?')
or, like it happened in Ahmedabad on my first day there. I traveled some 1 - 1.5 KM and the autowallah stopped and started asking for Rs. 450. I ended up giving him only 50 and that too cuz i didnt have anything of smaller denomination, but it drained me of a lot of time and energy dealing with him at 7 in the morning in an alien city with big baggage.
or in any city, may it be marine drive in mumbai or hussainsagar in Hyderabad, if there's a woman with you, the autowallah is bound to ask you for more money than decided and will start arguing knowing that you would much rather not get into an argument while with a woman. 
Has it got something to do with the street profession? or is it something very intrinsic about the whole 'making a living' thing. well, us white collar people have it easy in a certain way, so we tend to be righteous. The white collar work can let you earn without having to show any physical aggression, but is it any different with the structural violence that it creates too? the competition, the othering, the politics, the lies.. oh so many lies. If there were a lie-o-meter to check the amount of lie for different professions, wouldn't any white collar profession rank much higher than an autowallah's opportunism?
Atleast the autowallah's lies didn't put the world's economy to jeopardy. atleast their deceit doesn't keep on creating wars to secure oil and shape imperialistic aspirations.At least it doesn't fill people with consumerist anxiety or as with the 21st century journalism, fill a people's thoughts with paranoia and delirium for things fitting corporate strategies.
tell me a profession and I will tell you how it is propped up on lies. this economy of ours, even after the burst of two bubbles is largely beset with lies.
Is it a function of scale? the scale allows anonymity. the scale creates freedom. The scale creates rules. and rules by nature are straight, and human relations/emotions/actions by nature are anything but. If your autowalla is your neighbour, so is your banker or your taxman, would they rather save their face or make a quick buck?
'Quick buck'. That's the philosophy of current worldwide economy. Nothing worthwhile in life is ever quick, so all that gets sold quick is lies,  shallow promises, half truths. what would sensex be if it wasn't quick. what would any 9 to 9 job in any metro be, if it wasnt for the quick.
So when i earn my lakhs and know that an editor in manipur perhaps is earning 10K a month, or that a teacher in a town school is earning some 4K per month, or that the roads and the stadium and the gargantuan palace builders don't even earn the minimum the govt guarantees, I feel guilty. I don't even see any value in what I am doing to earn this much. It helps me pay off my education loan and that's wonderful, but I am not doing anything worthwhile. While, the people who are doing wonderful things are not even managing to survive. Its the world we live in. worthless lies are worth much more than worthwhile things of life. the brand coke is bigger than incomes of a whole people of a few nations.
Is their the slightest possibility of a life in a smaller setting, with smaller economy and only honest labor for a life without remorse? 

Comments

sonaljhuj said…
what you say about us making a fancy living off lies and honest ppl struggling, so very true.
there simply are such few professions that are honest. physical labour was considered one, but then they must lie too to make ends meet. the auto guy lies because his honest earnings arent enough to fill the gaping hole that anxiety for consumerism creates in his and his family's life.
'Greed is good' is how we justify our world. But sometimes we're on the wrong end of the table and the extra 50 bucks of the auto guy's greed doesn't seem good any more.
Strider said…
"a life in a smaller setting, with smaller economy and only honest labor for a life without remorse"
a thing of past isn't it?
I think sometime back that is how life was. no big industries (or any!), no cut throat competition on the corporate ladders, no influence of oil production on what food a family could afford to buy.
but then again they didn't have this standard of living we can see either. admittedly, in our country only a few are enjoying this up-liftment and in doing so they inadvertently(?) tend to step on some poor buggers and push them down to rise higher. but on big picture scale prospects of an individual surviving and living (even just) a life and enjoying it to any extent are much higher. you can perhaps infer this from the increased average life expectancy and increasing population.
on a philosophical and slightly romantic level the scenario can be interpreted to be exactly opposite of improved. given all the destruction of natural resources, deteriorating mental health, social and economical cannibalism, infection of "lies" if you will.
but life and the force driving a life form to evolve is not philosophical at all. its as primal as the fall of an apple. the situation we are in is more or less inevitable. its a chain reaction started from the first attempt to make the slightest improvement in the state of our being. again only as natural as the falling apple. but building on to those attempts (and their success), just being the primal being who wants to be better off, well fed and reproduce more, we fell like dominoes.
true, we made some wrong turns, true we fell lower than we ought to at times and still do. but the overall choice of going in this direction, as a whole humanity, is hardly conscious. most of the lies that are being spoken now are because the sheep factor. sheeps go to heaven after all!
coming back to the question "Is their the slightest possibility of a life in a smaller setting, with smaller economy and only honest labor for a life without remorse?"
who knows such a thing man! :P
if one wants to see this system replaced with, said romantic, healthy, truthful and right now fictional system, that one will have to ---- 1)conceive such a scheme of things 2)understand that it would take years to bring such a change 3)know the path on which the current system should be directed to reach the final destination in many steps, without letting the new idea die, just having a great model society is not enough 4)and most importantly, that one will have to give a valid and real reason for the scheme of things to change. no romanticism there! the apple will never fall up!!
Ajinkya said…
Well, this post was not about the system and the need to overhaul it. its personal. its a quest to perhaps be able to step out of this system and live a life that is not linked to it, dependent on it.
Think for a sec.. what could a usual reply be to my post? first reply would be 'why don't u go to villages and stay there urself?'
I would love to really, but is the current system giving me an incentive to go anywhere but a few top metros? why is that? because those small villages are linked to the larger systems, and in it the people are quite inconsequential. what if i start a farm in tryambak and govt comes and wants to take it away for dam or industry?
how do i protect myself when i willfully take up a weaker position?
i would much rather be totally removed from this system and hold my little system away from it.. flying under the radar, if u will.
well, this concept is not new. many attempt at it.the question is how do I do it successfully too?
Strider said…
find/ found a new world!! I dont really know the answer actually. but you see, the question is really not personal. may be it is, but the answer isnt. unless there is another continent to be found, colonized and the natives destroyed, this system is where you got to live. now the change that you want to bring on the personal level wont come unless there are changes on system level. somebody ought to take the high road and set things right on the larger scale. this little rock is all we have. Where you gonna go, where you gonna run, where you gonna hide? Nowhere... 'cause there's no one like you left.
Neha said…
Jinxie, you have to amend this post!
Ajinkya said…
Well, this post was not about the system and the need to overhaul it. its personal. its a quest to perhaps be able to step out of this system and live a life that is not linked to it, dependent on it.
Think for a sec.. what could a usual reply be to my post? first reply would be 'why don't u go to villages and stay there urself?'
I would love to really, but is the current system giving me an incentive to go anywhere but a few top metros? why is that? because those small villages are linked to the larger systems, and in it the people are quite inconsequential. what if i start a farm in tryambak and govt comes and wants to take it away for dam or industry?
how do i protect myself when i willfully take up a weaker position?
i would much rather be totally removed from this system and hold my little system away from it.. flying under the radar, if u will.
well, this concept is not new. many attempt at it.the question is how do I do it successfully too?
Strider said…
"a life in a smaller setting, with smaller economy and only honest labor for a life without remorse"
a thing of past isn't it?
I think sometime back that is how life was. no big industries (or any!), no cut throat competition on the corporate ladders, no influence of oil production on what food a family could afford to buy.
but then again they didn't have this standard of living we can see either. admittedly, in our country only a few are enjoying this up-liftment and in doing so they inadvertently(?) tend to step on some poor buggers and push them down to rise higher. but on big picture scale prospects of an individual surviving and living (even just) a life and enjoying it to any extent are much higher. you can perhaps infer this from the increased average life expectancy and increasing population.
on a philosophical and slightly romantic level the scenario can be interpreted to be exactly opposite of improved. given all the destruction of natural resources, deteriorating mental health, social and economical cannibalism, infection of "lies" if you will.
but life and the force driving a life form to evolve is not philosophical at all. its as primal as the fall of an apple. the situation we are in is more or less inevitable. its a chain reaction started from the first attempt to make the slightest improvement in the state of our being. again only as natural as the falling apple. but building on to those attempts (and their success), just being the primal being who wants to be better off, well fed and reproduce more, we fell like dominoes.
true, we made some wrong turns, true we fell lower than we ought to at times and still do. but the overall choice of going in this direction, as a whole humanity, is hardly conscious. most of the lies that are being spoken now are because the sheep factor. sheeps go to heaven after all!
coming back to the question "Is their the slightest possibility of a life in a smaller setting, with smaller economy and only honest labor for a life without remorse?"
who knows such a thing man! :P
if one wants to see this system replaced with, said romantic, healthy, truthful and right now fictional system, that one will have to ---- 1)conceive such a scheme of things 2)understand that it would take years to bring such a change 3)know the path on which the current system should be directed to reach the final destination in many steps, without letting the new idea die, just having a great model society is not enough 4)and most importantly, that one will have to give a valid and real reason for the scheme of things to change. no romanticism there! the apple will never fall up!!

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