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Integrity December 11, 2005

Posted by Nilesh in Uncategorized.
2 comments

Integrity. Honesty. Ideals.

Are these only words or are there people who actually believe in them?

I saw two movies over the weekend. Apaharan and Dombivli Fast(Marathi). Both have moved me profoundly.

Apaharan, as the name suggests, deals with the kidnapping industry that is not only prevelant but thriving in the states of Bihar, UP and MP,to name a few. The protagonist(Ajay Devgan), whose father is a sworn idealist and an extremely honest person, faces frustration and failure due to the corrupt-to-the-core system and the lofty and,in today's times, sadly impractical, ideals of his father. He decides to chart his own future and ironically joins the system,becoming one of the front-runners in the rot. However, at the end, he again turns honest and does his penance(though the change of hearts is not very convincing). I was astonished by how professional and a source of livelihood the kidnapping industry has become. (They refer to the person kidnapped as the 'maal'(consignement) and they take its 'delivery'). Also, the industry is depicted to be run by the top people in the government, dashing any hope of its decline.

Dombivli Fast, amazed and shook me. It is an extremely well-made movie, where again it is shown how futile it is, in today's world, to be honest, possess integrity and live one's life according to one's ideals. Madhav Apte, the protagonist, is a typical middle class citizen living in Dombivli(one of the suburbs of Mumbai). He leads a routine life, gets up at 5:30 in the morning, gets ready, travels to CST(Mumbai) for work, comes back late, and sleeps off,only to get up again the next morning. However, he is a very honest person, opposing all kinds of corruption, right from the water tanker person who refuses to release water till his palms are greased to an old customer of the bank he works for, who attempts, and succeeds, to obtain a loan with incomplete and false documentation. His frustration at the widespread corruption around him builds up to a tempo till, one day, he erupts. He goes on a rampage striking at those people who blatantly disregard the rules. However, without revealing further, will say that the movie ends on a sad note reiterating that inspite of the so-called society and democracy we have in place, it still is a jungle out there, where everyone cares only for oneself,society,country,laws,integrity,honesty,right or wrong-everything be damned. The film evokes many emotions. Despair, when Madhav, in a soliloquy, asks the questions faced by him and requests god to take him away from this planet, because he,with his ideals and affinity towards righteousness, is not fit to live on it. Anger, when he faces corruption in every walk of life, even encountering policemen who let a egg stall operate bang on the road, near a hospital, all for a 10-rupee plate of 'Bhurji'(Smashed eggs). Sadness, when in the end, sitting on the fourth seat(the seat is only for 3 persons) in a suburban train, he says to the police officer "Officer, akkha ayushya gela chouthya seat var basoon, jara khidkit basto"("My entire life has gone sitting on the fourth seat, let me sit near the window once").

Inspite of all these emotions I felt, sadly and ironically, I was drawing solace during the movies, telling myself that its only a movie. Though what its showing is true and shocking, I will never have to face that. I've a good job in the IT industry and I might go abroad to settle down there. So, thankfully, THAT is not MY problem. Somebody else will take care of it. Doesnt the problem lie in this thinking? Though I agree its very difficult and next to impossible, requiring entire dedicated lives, with a good probability of failure, to go reform people, I still believe the least one can do is be honest himself. But, as the movie shows, even that is very difficult.

I know I may sound naive(that is what it has come to) by lamenting the absence of integrity in the world, but cannot avoid it.

Hmm, time to ponder some more!!

SavePuneTraffic.com December 1, 2005

Posted by Nilesh in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

I've just come across this very relevant and essential effort on to improve the traffic conditions in Pune at http://www.savepunetraffic.com.

As I've already appealed in this post of mine, it's necessary that each and every user of the traffic system does his/her part by following the rules.

Let us put in our contribution to help build a sound traffic system where we will not have to see 'PMT bus overruns a scooter, 2 dead' or 'Truck and Tempo collision. 3 dead, 7 injured' everyday in the newspapers. Let us shed the that-doesnt-happen-to-me mentality before its too late. Let us save some innocent lives!!

This is a poetic appeal by Rajendra Sidhaye, the initiator of this campaign.

"Enough of this messy-traffic, let's all cleanse it!
Come on Puneites, Let's all do it!!

Look at our beloved city, where is it going!
Go on any road and see frustration is flowing.
Enough is really enough, let's all stop it!
Come on Puneites, Let's all do it!!

Ask "Who is responsible" and hear else's name
But breaking rules on road, is everybody's game!
Is this city or a zoo, let's first decide it.
Come on Puneites, Let's all do it!!

May be you are a cyclist, or drive a four wheeler
May you be any citizen, or the Pune Mayor
Come on join hands, let's all achieve it!
Come on Puneites, Let's all do it!!

Do not give up folks, It's not yet too late,
else "dying on the road", will be the only fate!
Answer is within us, let's all find it!
Come on Puneites, Let's all do it!!"

I,for one, am pledging my complete support to the cause!