I am SO tired, it’s not funny. I could have avoided writing anything at all today, but I can assure you if that happened, the blog’s existence would be a serious concern, considering I haven’t written in SO long. So, despite being tired enough to happily sleep with those dogs on the beds at the CWG Village, I am going to attempt to write! Cheers to that!
Before I go any further, please do a Chandler Bing style “Param Pam Bishh” for the dear blog! We just turned 50 posts old. The baby’s growing up. Sniff. This is the worst possible way to usher in a moment like that, but this Blogger’s block I tell you, is a desperate witch.
Anyhoo. This is the point where I actually start the post. But considering I don’t have much to say, imagine an awkward silence here.
There is a lot of discussion on the CWG. I could add on to that hullabaloo, considering I am bang in the midst of all that, but I won’t. Because there are other things that caught my attention this week, other things that this city needs to think about. Because I am reallllllly tired and I don’t want to apply my mind to the CWG mess.
I should probably tell you why I am tired. That’s because over the past few weeks, I have been traveling. A Lot. Within Delhi, of course. And through the course of this, I went to some alarmingly dirty places, met some shockingly good people and learnt more than I could ever imagine! You know how companies rave about products for rural India and the bottom of pyramid? Yeah? Well, we are one of them and we made a little insignificant something for them and as a part of this team, I was required to tie-up with NGO’s working with the lower sections of the society. And boy, oh boy. What an experience!
I HAVE to describe the place first. I never knew such areas existed in Delhi. Imagine the dirtiest possible place you have ever seen. Add rains to that, knee deep water and industries spewing sewage water in to the same water. Then, put in a couple of dozen pigs playing happily there, with some truck loads of garbage as their cushion. Now, imagine a chaotic situation, with a Ganpati Visarjan procession, people dancing right in between all that mess, and also a fish market on the sidelines of this. (Fish market sounds like an addition from my end, it’s not. Believe me.) For a cherry on the cake, carefully place a Baraat procession bang in the middle of this. With Ghoda and dance and band and all the appurtenances. And the best part, the people were enjoying themselves to the hilt, irrespective of the rains, the mess or the mosquitoes. There. That’s the best I can do to describe the place!
And where were we? In a cycle rickshaw, driven by an extremely enthusiastic Superman driver, who refused to accept that the road had potholes. To his credit though, the road did not have potholes, the potholes had a little bit of road. One look at this place, and if you don’t drown in oodles of misery, I assure you, you are not human.
Right there, when you are hanging on to dear life, when someone calls you to tell you that the bridge at a CWG stadium collapsed, you feel like sitting down in the middle of all that crap and quite literally, laughing your ass off. Because you suddenly realize what a naked sham the CWG is. Because you suddenly realize how there is a large section of the Delhi where mention of the word CWG results in stares of absolute ignorance. Because suddenly, you realize that there are people in Delhi who do not have living conditions good enough for even pigs.Because suddenly, nothing else matters.
Don’t worry. If the story didn’t have a positive spin to it, I wouldn’t have posted it today. In the middle of that mess, where people are trying desperately to just live life, are some angels – the NGOs. I cannot even begin to imagine the AMOUNT of motivation one needs to be able to go to these places every single day, to work. That there are not one or two, but many people who are doing that, is in itself a shocker. These NGO’s train people living here, impart vocational training for free, teach them, empower them, enable them to earn a living and help young people to dream. They go deep into these villages, encourage people to come out and learn, assure them of their good intentions and then spend time and effort, just to make these people capable of living a decent life. In the worst of conditions, they reach out to people living in these areas and force them to get out of their dirge. I have to say I was deeply embarrassed when people at these NGO’s said we are doing a great job by making this technology for the lower section of the society. Because, we are not doing a great job, we are just doing our job. We are just doing what should have been done ages ago. We are only doing a very minute bit to help the NGOs do more. The actual great work is being done by them!
So there, that’s what I learnt over the past few days. How not to get mislead by the wrong kind of problems. How not to close my eyes towards the real problems. How not to crib about my job. How not to worry about little things that have no real significance. Incidentally, on my return journey, the song playing on the iPod was:
“If everyone cared and nobody cried
If everyone loved and nobody lied
If everyone shared and swallowed their pride”
Sigh. For someone who had nothing to say, I wrote a humongous lot! And now that I have started writing, I realize there’s a lot more I can say! But that’s in a different post, because I really am tired today. I could fall asleep on the keyboa zzzzzzzzzzzz.
Edited to add: It’s not fair if I don’t mention the names of some of these NGOs. So, that would be Prayas, Aradhya, Rasta, Navjyoti to mention a few!