Let’s start this one with a game…Spot the difference between the two scenarios…
Location: Khichan, a mere speck on the map of India - somewhere in Rajasthan (This place, on the atlas of birdwatchers, always assumes great significance come winter as it acts as a host to the migrating Demoiselle Cranes)
A flock of Kurja (local name for these migrating birds) were hovering above the ‘pakshi chugga ghar’ (birds feeding home) filled with grains…but no one seems to be landing. Then suddenly a one-legged crane musters courage, flights down and starts hogging on to the grains spread. None of the other birds seem interested to join him. In between a few birds try landing but the sight of the one–legged crane hogging below would be enough for them to hover back to the blue sky above. Once the ‘Langda Tyagi’ has gobbled much more than he can digest he looks up to the flock (as if giving a signal to come down for supper) and dashes off. Seeing this entire flock start to descend one-by-one on the ‘pakshi chugga’ and relish the delicacies laid for them. Soon more and more Kurja’s started landing until there was hardly any place for any more birds on the ground.
Location: Any Suburban Railway Station, Mumbai
A crowd of middle class people were (I resist calling them gentlemen…read on, you’ll understand why) waiting eagerly for a train to come. Somewhere in the crowd there stands a Three legged (out of which two belonged to his crutches) short guy hoping to catch the same train that our not-so called gentlemen are preying upon. As the train makes its way you realize that even before it halts at least 5 have got on to the train. By the time it stops completely the door is chocker blocked with people and each trying hard to knock out each other to get one leg into the train. As the train starts at least 3 give up hope on getting into it and the others those managed to get one leg inside are either struggling to find space for the other leg or to find breathing space. Amidst all this chaos our 3 legged protagonist finds himself helplessly ogling all this in bewilderment as the coach (in which he tries to get in) zooms past him. All he can see is the signboard “For Handicapped Only” and people spilling out of that coach.
Now for the answer: The cranes are more considerate and understanding than us and mind you they are not even supposed to be that…it is we who are born with the farce of emotions and a well developed brain. The cranes waited till the physically challenged crane had his food because they knew that there would be such a rush and scramble that if they had all come together, the one-legged crane would have had no chance to keep his balance and feed itself. Duh, so much so for humanness!
We always seem to be in a state of perennial rush. We are constantly optimizing our day-to-day activities and striving to wrap our work in the minimum possible time. We seem live in the “2 minute” time zone. We satisfy our appetite with instant noodles and popcorns. When held guilty for delaying a job…the first sentence we utter is “Yaar do min de…abhi karke deta hu” (Give me 2 mins and the job’s done)…doesn’t matter even if we haven’t started the chore. We are not called the ‘Maggi Generation’ for fun ;) Internet, Credit Cards & Cell phones have become our basic necessities (two hoots to the archaic ‘Roti Kapda aur Makaan’) and if you haven’t already noticed… all three are means of high speed transactions/communications.
Nothing wrong in this….but the irony of the fact when it comes to more important things in life we don’t seem to have even those 2 minutes to spare. We can’t even wait for a minute while crossing railway tracks in spite of observing speeding train just feet’s away from us. I would say 40-50% of the traffic jams that we experience would cease to exist if we wait for 2 minutes and let others pass through instead of trying to squeeze our way out and come out as a winner. We are too pre-occupied with the thought of ‘missing the incoming train’ that we tend to ignore a blind man’s plea to help him cross the road. Even the cranes have the sense to wait and let our ‘Langda Tyagi’ finish his meal first. So why can’t we?
Pause, Breathe and Think!
Our ‘Maggi generation’ (and I have to admit even I am a part of this) needs to understand that two minute pauses wont dampen our pace!