When innovations work in a developing country like India, it feels like a great miracle indeed!
A few days ago, I read in the newspaper that the Delhi metro card can now be used to pay DTC bus fares too.
So, last week, with much trepidation, I gave my Metro card to the conductor for a Rs.5 ticket to go to Janakpuri West, which was just one stop away.
He said, “Let me try.”
As I had expected, his ticket vending didn’t work. He didn’t have any change either and I was just about to reach my stand. A frantic search in my purse, however, yielded a Rs.5 coin and I managed to drop off with a ticket in my hand.
A few days later, on 21 November 2018, however, I was luckier. Though the machine took some extra time and I had a Rs.5 coin ready, the bus conductor asked me to wait. He was determined to make the machine work. I was absolutely delighted when a ticket came out of it just in time. See the pic on top.
When I said, “Thank you, Bhaiya,” he responded with a triumphant smile and a thumbs up gesture!
The following day, however, I was in a different DTC bus on my way to the same stop. This time, the conductor said, “The machine is not updated yet for metro cards.”
Well, each day is different, isn’t it? Everything can’t be perfect.
This patch of land in Sector 63, Noida, Delhi NCR, is a constantly changing panaroma. Development activities go on here throughout the year. A Delhi Metro station is also coming up nearby in sector 62.
The big, round wheel in this pic is that symbol of constant change.
I have never been a BJP supporter and my chances of becoming one in the near future are very remote. Like every other political party, BJP also has its share of extremely aggressive fundamentalists and their tendency to saffronize every burning issue fills me with insecurity as a writer and a citizen of a secular, freethinking country.
But UP’s current Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, to my pleasant surprise, has turned out to be a big exception. A lot of positive changes are already quite visible if you go by the qualitative difference these days in a patch of land near my office. Garbage is being removed very fast, public spaces illegally encroached upon are being freed, and so many developmental projects, both big and small, that were stagnant earlier are being revived and pushed to completion; and all this is happening very efficiently, quietly, silently, peacefully, without any clashes, loss of lives or property.
This is what India needs at this time. Sabka sath, sabka vikas (Hindi phrase meaning “Everyone’s support, everyone’s progress”) seems to be turning into a reality…We need many, many more dedicated politicians like Yogiji in future. If development goes on at this pace for next 5 years at least, UP will probably become India’s best state…
Just take a look at these pics of the area I am talking about, clicked both before and after the elections about 2 months ago. It will help you understand what I mean.
Before elections…Till around Jan.16…
After elections…Can you see the huge difference? This pic was clicked in Apr.17.
Some more construction pics post elections…
Can you spot 2 tiny men working inside this huge framework?
While travelling in the ladies compartment of the Delhi Metro on 12 September 2015, I came across 2 women. They sat opposite to each other and had a clinging toddler in their laps with constantly changing moods. When I observed them individually, they did not look very extraordinary. But when I compared them in my mind, the differences between them seemed to be so striking that I just couldn’t resist taking their pictures on the sly. The 2 women seemed to have originated from 2 different planets. I am sharing these pics with you here.
While one woman had only one child to worry about, the other woman had two more little, naughty children sitting beside her, constantly fidgeting, trying to grab her attention. The 3 kids were most probably born in quick succession, one after the other. No sooner was one baby out, another one must have taken its place! Did she get any time to recover from the previous pregnancy? I doubt it and I guess the 4th one was already growing inside her. It was obvious that she was from a world where they thought the best way to keep a woman is bare-footed in winter and pregnant in summer! The middle child’s nose was running, but she took no notice of it. The youngest one kept her preoccupied. Somewhere during the journey, she had to breastfeed the youngest one. Phew! What an epitome of patience!
As the metro glided on the rails, I tried to imagine the kind of lives these women must be leading. The first woman and her child were obviously leading better lives. They were loved and respected as human beings and their lives had value to their loved ones. The other woman, the less fortunate one, was obviously leading a very tough life; her family was probably very poor; but worse than poverty, their lives did not have much value and she had no say in matters concerning her body; her husband perhaps looked at her as just another pot to plant his seeds in; there was also no awareness about hygiene and family planning.
When I looked around, I found that there were several other families in a similar state. I guess they were all part of a big group heading to some congregation at some place. One can well imagine what kind of people these unfortunate children would turn into; they will be uneducated and uncouth and will not be of any value for this huge nation of ours.
When we look at the bigger picture, I think population explosion is the mother of all of our problems. Our politicians must put into place a system of incentives and disincentives for controlling population. This is more important than all the ‘yojnas’ put together till date. Once this is done, there would be no need for reservations. When people are fewer, each person gets a bigger share of the benefits of the progress made by a country, as you can see from this example. Most important of all, men who have no respect for women and treat their bodies like door mats must be dealt with harshly.
In a country like India, which is already so heavily populated, no family ought to have more than one kid; if they need more, they should adopt.