Tuesday, April 17, 2007

India poised story contest

Yeahh, so there was a story contest by the Times of India through their India Poised movement (much admired by me) and it tempted me to write a bit. The thing was that an opening paragraph was given by them and we had to continue our story forward. The original idea was to win the contest and let you guys read it through the paper itself but like many well laid plans this didnt work either. So, neways go on invest some 10 mins of ur precious time and read it.

The Great Indian Dream

The alarm crowed. A lusty king of the farmyard cock-a-doodle-do. He shut the mobile up. One hour and five minutes was all he had before his day began. He would steal five minutes from that. Look the other way, he told that frowning creature in his soul. I do it all the time. A little corruption. A little bribery. I negotiate with the world 24 /7. So why not an extra 5 minutes of sleep? he told himself and buried his head under the pillow. And so began another day in the life of an Indian. (this was the paragraph given by them)

“kitne aadmi the” Gabbar had shouted that memorable line ten times on a W810i by 9.30 that morning and Amit had managed to faintly hear just the last two of them, thanks to three consecutive night outs. Then rang the unmistakable “jiya dhadak dhadak” and up he sprang, saying “hi baby, mownin”. Already late for the third lecture of his final year in engineering College he smiled as soon as he reached the class: MASS BUNK, leading to a quick reschedule leading to a matinee show at the mall with his pals. But alas the “hanging out” that was supposed to follow the movie was spoiled by a potential outbreak of a rumor of surprise test in 15 mins. Unlike most rumors this was true. So there he sat writing a test about a topic he just had a faint idea, while his mind was still boggled by the special effects of the Hollywood movie he had just watched. He scored 7/10. The guy was one of the million guys in India who studied like hell till high school and studied by the fundamentals, to the core. Also one of the lucky ones who had bagged a campus placement in IBM already. Rest of the day went in pursuing his next dream - IIMA whilst enjoying songs downloaded from the internet, love bites from his girlfriend, laughter shared with roommates calling his mom and finally a small prayer before sleeping with a smile on his face ready for the next day and his much dreamed about bright future.

Sunita , a middle aged mom of two and a teacher, had just used the snooze facility in her alarm the second time when it struck her that Kiran, her 12 year old maid, was sick and her jam packed Monday just got busier. It was just six in the morning though, sweet three hours before she left for her 9 to 5 teacher job, but her two kids, her two parents-in-law and her love for all four of them made her day start at around six everyday. After healthy breakfast for her family, a delicious lunch , typical household chores and a quick word with her- just returned from work husband, she just needed to solve one more problem before she set of for work and solved many more. As usual the gas cylinder she ordered wasn’t home yet leaving her only one option – call another dealer , pay a 100 bucks more and hope next time she gets what she deserves from the original agency. At work that day as usual she taught students, drafted strategy for the coaching centre’s new advertisement policy and most importantly kept making students like Amit motivated to work towards their dreams. As she died down for the night ALONE, she dreamt of all the hard work, she is doing for her children, getting paid through a better future for her family.

Like a lot of Indians nowadays Vilas, manager at a Call centre and Sunita’s husband, was woken up at lunch time by his kids. And like each other day he woke up determined that he is going to leave this monstrous job which pays him well but allows him to be with his wife only on Sundays. Sadly at the moment all his country could provide him was a job which is against him seeing his kids grow. He is angry but he gulps it down. Though the attitude of “I don’t care” is seen in his everyday life. He leisurely breaks traffic rules, doesn’t mind paying bribe if he gets caught, lies when he pays his taxes, does all those small unnoticeable crimes that are holding India back. There is nothing less productive than a person who hates his job. Still the minimum efficiency of highly competent Indians like Vilas made the company happy. As he slept after a 12 hour rough day trying to sell more insurance to Americans all he hoped he didn’t have to “Compromise”.

“A man’s karma is to drive the wheel of life towards better future for all” and this what most of India, if not all, is doing, though with an evolved selfish tinge. Millions of Indians today are having great dreams in their eyes and when they wake up each day they strive for them. Yes it includes phases of not taking the totally righteous path for it but most of it is just a mortgage to keep the wheel moving.

For all such striving and fighting Indians five minutes of stolen sleep just means five more minutes of their favorite dream. And as these small dreams of each person come true we can expect a bigger dream, The Great Indian Dream, coming true.

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