Thursday 19 September 2013

So easy, right?

Perhaps it's just me or maybe things aren't as easy as they seem. I can talk of Indian scenario as a context as I don't know whether other countries too are this difficult to live.

Often I ask myself why don't I vote? Being 25 years of age and a socially aware citizen of my country, there is no reason I shouldn't be voting in all elections local or national, voicing my opinion and being a part of the change. Well, the answer is- I am yet to settle down. The conditions that allow an individual to vote in a particular constituency require a minimum amount of domicile period. Also, I was in Karnataka during most of my growing years and I don't think I'd have succeeded in getting a voter ID issued there, being a non-native. Also, I am a student and somehow was restricted from the political scenario as these were supposed to be my formative years. Now, BAM! I am 25 and voter-ID-less. Voting? Not so easy.

Being a regular commuter in Delhi these days, I wished I has a bus pass so that I could navigate my way across the city without any hassles. Turns out, the pass would cost me more than what I'd pay for if I bought ticket daily. I don't think that is how it is supposed to work. A pass is govt's way of showing thankfulness to the commuter's loyalty, not looting him! Also, even if I wanted a pass, it's not available at the nearby bus stops. Any of the metro stations can have a small window near the gate that can issue passes with photo IDs. Strangely, no one has thought of this, and I'd have to specially go to the bus depots which lie at the end of the routes to get my pass. Not so easy.

Being a cartoonist, people often ask me- why didn't you go for cartooning as a career? Why don't you send your cartoons to newspapers? How am I to explain to them that I have been sending all my cartoons, even my resume to all the newspapers in every corner of India. There have been only two type of responses- either no reply or Mail Delivery Failed as we were unable to reach the server. Yes, once, I got the response from Deccan Chronicle where they invited me to draw for them. But, with a few changes- instead of commenting of social issues, I should draw popular jokes, also- I should dumb down my humour as they were unable to get it. A dozen tries and a "mere three cartoons going to print" later, I had to quit. And now I see others draw cartoons in newspapers with jokes that those Deccan people would outrightly scoff on, and helplessly stare in the zeroness. Being a professional cartoonist? Not so easy.

Every estimation regarding the time to be taken to reach a particular destination in India has to be multiplied by two. If you make such an estimate beforehand and start out early, you'll reach too early. Being somewhere in time? Not so easy.

I see beggars on the streets and asking for some money. I feel like helping them, not because I pity them but because I can. I put my hand in my pocket and suddenly realize that I am still living off my Dad's earnings. Same happens when I feel like gifting something momentous to someone special or having a pompous meal. I settle with dal-roti and let the beggar children cry with hunger. Being kind, even to yourself? Not so easy.

And lastly, during my BDS, I was told that dentists earn big money. I completed my degree, looked around and there were vacant seats in govt hospitals yet no openings. The private practioners offer Rs 5000 to freshers and sometimes nothing. It is a shameless lie that the education system plays on millions of gullible life sciences students. Changing the system? Not so easy.

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