From demonetisation to demobilisation…
Love it or hate it – Demonetisation in all its glory has spoken . Along with this masterstroke, I wish though, that Mr Modi had created another one. The one of demobilisation. Now what on earth is meant by that big term… de..mobi.. lisation.
Putting it in very simple terms- all it means, dear reader- is that- the way Mr Modi, the Indian PM, has stopped people from using cash and pushed them online- I wish, somehow, that he would stop people from using mobiles too, and cajole them towards the written word. In a very non- destructive way that is. No need to burn piles of mobiles here, just ask people to send messages or mails explaining what they want, instead of calling up at all odd times, especially targeting the times that you are brushing your teeth, or having a bath, or having stuffed your mouth with a particularly crunchy piece of food …
And what are you supposed to do when that happens?
a. Pick it up and mumble your way through the conversation with lots of embarassing background noise…
b. Return the call immediately after, by which time the other fellow might have gone for a bath,or be brushing his teeth, or have his mouth full of a pizza slice.. I mean, how, are you supposed to know , apart from telepathy?
c. Send an sms stating- busy, please message me. To which there will invariably be no reply. Anyway, wasn’t that obvious- the fact that the phone didn’t get picked up meant that the person was busy , right ? But that wouldn’t deter the persistent soul at the other end of the line from trying again..Not send the sms, but keep calling… and then, three days later, come back and tell you—you didn’t get this piece of really important information such as ‘your neighbour veronica aunty passed away and yesterday was the funeral‘ simply bcoz you didn’t pick the call. What the….? What were sms and watsapp and good ol’ email made for ?
If it weren’t for the absolute disdain of the written word that the mobiles have brought in, perhaps I might have had a softer corner for them. Certainly, they deserve a lot of credit- for having made people mobile. The fact that you just have to stand in one place and catch the signal notwithstanding. Even though it requires you to assume a certain statuelike position to hear anything, and that turning your body means the call is dropped. It certainly defies the meaning of mobile, but anyway, one shall grant it the glory it deserves.
May the mobiles thrive, and be used for what they were meant to be used for – to have a good conversation when you feel like it- when lazing in the park, on a nice cool evening, chatting to a good ol’ friend and such .. Not for boring stuff like
a. the courier has arrived , or b. the gas bill is due, or c. would you like to take another personal loan/credit card/ debit card/ car loan/life insurance plan/ etc.. etc ..?( the list is rather long you see).
Well, if you see what I mean- lets at least now, demobilise as much as can be and get back to the written word… let’s give it up for demobilisation.
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The season of change –
Bangalore : July 31,2016
The seasons change. Overnight, the mercury plummets. The rajais , comforters and woollies come out. Seems so typical of nature-to be taking one by complete surprise each time- just two months ago: a hot, arid and unbearable summer, suddenly overtaken by welcome but incessant rain, and then the cold winter months.
If the vagaries of nature weren’t enough , the vagaries of human behaviour also envelop me with complete surprise. A season of bandhs descends on Bangalore – almost a dark, cloudy, menace like season – starting with the BMTC bandh ( a complete stoppage of Bangalore municipal transport buses) , and then moving on to Karnataka Bandh ( a protest against the water tribunal award of river water). And so a whole week goes by, nothing gained, nothing achieved , but much lost. Kids languishing at home, for all schools have stopped. Commuters held to ransom for going to work. Daily wage workers tightening their belts for losing their livelihood . And it doesn’t stop there. So much more lost, by way of morale, productivity, and common sense.
What sense does it make though- to stop work completely because someone is not happy with
- What they get paid
- How much water they get from the river water sharing agreement
What stops them from walking out of the situation a? Walk out of the job if unhappy- isn’t that ideal? The Bangalore transport staff are not bonded or wedded to their jobs. Why hold a city to ransom? Cushy government jobs are a privilege for some, not a right. Certainly, me thinks, no one has the right to use that as a lever for making the life of public citizens miserable, do they?
All this raving and ranting will still get us nowhere. Perhaps, a Maggie Thatcher approach, if not Maggie Thatcher herself, would do the trick. Privatise completely. The buses, the roads, the water, the electricity. Privatise and regulate. So that things actually work , albeit within boundaries. The telecoms being the best example. If we hadn’t privatised them years ago, we would still have been at the mercy of the monopolistic BSNLs and MTNLs, waiting years together for a telephone connection at home, and having to pay an underhand amount for the technician to actually come and fix the last mile, when ones turn finally came.
Perhaps that is what is needed . The iron lady approach. Or an iron man one. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Things need to work- that’s all, for India to continue working. Or the seasons may completely take over life and push us back to the dark ages- stuck for want of basic stuff like water, electricity and buses. Fellow citizens and BMTC staff- Isn’t it time for the seasons to change now, change towards progress- for India to move on?