Monday, September 10, 2012

Do We Really Care?

N.B. – The write-up may seem to be a bit dis-organized. Please bear with it, since I was going through a series of emotions while writing.

Last Sunday I had gone to Nandankanan Zoo. It always feels good to be in the midst of nature(really with animals in the cage???). However, I never thought that I would be in for a surprise and a realisation. I had just made the entry and there was a bear (one species of the bear actually, I don’t remember which) roaming in the limited space that it was offered by the authorities at the zoo. As always there were hordes of people (as you would expect on a Sunday) clicking away photos and making animated gestures; little kids with glittering surprise in their eyes.

And then I spotted the villain of the day. There were two guys, one with the camera in his hand and the other with a stone. Yeah, you read it correct, a stone in his hand. He threw it at the bear. It missed. I was damn angry! I kept quite as I felt that it would do no good to get into an altercation since the stone was already thrown. But, then he picked up another stone and was aiming it when my voice called out – “Kya bhaiya, patthar kynu phenk rahe ho?” [Bro, why are you throwing stones (at the bear)].

But I was late. The stone was out of his hand. It missed the bear again since he was startled with what his ears heard. The other guy with the camera lost his focus and it was win win situation for me (their evil motives just failed).

I patted my back for a short while when the villain’s voice rose – “Aap ko kya taklif ho raha hai?”[So what’s your problem]. He spoke with a Punjabi accent.

I had female friends with me and one of them called out to me, “Chharo na, cholo” [Leave them, let’s go].

The guy then called out – “Kya bhai, koi jaani dushmani nikal rahe ho kya?” [Are you trying to take revenge for any past enmity].

I reiterated saying, “Aap patthar knyu phenk rahe ho, aisa nahi karna chahiye”. [Why are throwing stones, you shouldn’t do it]

He replied back, “Aap malik ho k

ya yahan ka, jo itna bol rahe ho?” [Are you the owner of the zoo; that you are speaking so much.

By this time all the visitors (to the zoo) was looking at the two warring individuals. None of them spoke. They were more interested in the conversation and though each of them knew that I was protesting against something unfair, no body took my side. Sorry, I am not asking for them to take my side, but to make that stupid guy understand that he was at fault. Do we really care? Or are we a race afraid to protest against some wrong-doing? Or are we a race slow to react to situations?

I didn’t know what to say, I just told them – “Yahan pe ruko, main malik ko bula deta hoon, phir phenkna unke samne patthar”.[Wait here, I am calling the ‘owner’, you can then throw any number of stones]

I looked back at my friends. They seemed worried. Their faces were already pale after witnessing what just happened! I signalled them to come away.

Five minutes after that incident, I came face to face with them again and one of the guys warned me, “Chalo, baad mein tumko dekhta hoon.” [I will see you later]

Beleive me, the whole three hours or so that I was there, I was worried. About myself, about the safety of the three friends. I would not have been afraid if I would have the support of the people who witnessed the whole incident. But, my mind, my heart knew that even if they did something to me (I was pretty sure that they would not be able to do anything, since during my secondary schooling I had heard of a saying – “Empty vessels sound much”), there would not be anyone to stand by me and fight back.

And behind not coming forward to help me, there’s a stronger reason perhaps like – “We don’t know him, so why the hell get involved in all these”!

Rabindranath Tagore very aptly wrote in ‘Post Master’ – “Who belongs to whom in this world... No one belongs to anyone”.

Such is state of the citizens of India. We don’t care if it does not concern us...

Disclaimer : The incident narrated above is true. However, the write-up does not intend to malign any race.

No comments:

Post a Comment