Friday, October 31, 2008

Lives lived

Old narrow lanes
small houses
content souls
ruffling yet hugging breeze
specie, no bills

Carpeted wide alleys
tall buildings, shadows to darkness
searching humans, lost souls
riding, whipping
nobody to embrace, dry gust
fortunes bought, sold

Times in contrast
the mind wonders
already seem lived

-G Singh, New Delhi

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

An Encounter

Roaming around in Delhi alone is so much fun. There is so much noise and chaos around you that you never feel alone. Politely, its so happening. Returning from one such expedition, a traffic policeman knocks on the window of my car. I look at the light. Its red. Knock again, light still red. I realize that a policeman's knock may not necessarily mean one's caught for a fault. I roll down the window -

P: Where are you going?
Me - towards X Nagar.
P: Ok, can you drop me at point Y?
Me - Well, thats in the other direction?
P: Thats okay, you can then drop me at point Z before X Nagar.
Me: Ok.

The policeman helped himself into the car and my bollywood eyes brought to me the scene of this policeman being a conman in a policeman's dress who will soon hijack my car. And the black bag clinging to him has a pistol. Vrrrrrrrrr. Although he had this imaginary pistol, I fired the first round.

Me: So where do you work?
P: At the Chanakya Puri station.
Me: And where do you live.
P: XYZ in Haryana.
Me: Whoa, thats 40 kms from here???
P: Yes. But I am learning to drive and I will soon get a motorcycle, on a promotion.
Me: You would reach at 11 PM in the night.
P: Hmmm. May be not. 10.30. Lets see.
Me: What time do you leave for work in morning?
P: 5. To reach the "chowki" by 7.30. VIPs are on a move starting early morning, so we have to be there before them.
Me: Who VIPs?
P: There are only 2 VIPs in Delhi. Dr. Singh and Pratibha Patil.
Me: Sonia?
P: Oh yes, she too.

My bollywood senses depart here.

P: Hey, can you take a slight right from here and drop me at point C?
Me: I will drop you right at some metro station. Dont worry.

He acks with a Thanks.

Time for my favorite question - Dhadwal vs Bedi.

Me: What do you think about Ms. Bedi.
P: Dont ask, if she were the Chief today, things would have been a lot easier.
Me: Are things hard today? Whats hard. What part in the whole scheme?
P: We have no schedule. Dhadwal wants us to be honest. We are honest. But there is no time schedule.
Me: Ok, so is Dhadwal not a great manager?
P: Hes only an administrator, a tough task master.
Me: Is it true that since Bedi's track record is better than him, hence she would have been a better manager?
P: Everybody has a good record. Ms. X of the Punjab cadre is also good. But she is not the Chief.
Me: Ok. So what do you think Bedi should do?
P: See, she has some more work to do. She has NGOs to run. She took VRS and is happily doing it.
Me: She has 35 years of service. Commendable record. Why cant she do service as a Chief for 5 more years, and then retire to play NGO-NGO?
P: These decisions are well done. They cant be changed. Lets face it. Ok, here is my stop. Thanks a lot. I appreciate your help.
Me: Sure. (Murmuring "Delhi Citizens, with you, for you, always" in heart).

I am wondering that this guy is spending only 6 hours at home, including his sleep hours, eating time, and any time he might want to spend with his kids. This brave fellow gets up at 4.30 in the morning, to leave home early for the VIPs. And then, he is expected to be honest and not crib. How is this possible? These guys have no say on who will be their boss. They have no schedule at work. With the measly salary for this much hard work, no transport arrangement in odd hours, what reasons does he have to stay honest?

-G Singh, 29th Oct 2008, 9.30 PM, New Delhi

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just for the day

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