“Hey, Why are you breaking the dividers? These people have not learnt anything in last several decades. They construct the road then dig it or break it. They do these to make more money. Contractor, Engineer and these politicians make our life hell. I am an old man, can’t see clearly, these obstructions on road will be the cause for my death. I guaranty!!!”, After speaking all these when I observed the worker, he looked confused. He was well dressed, A helmet which has some cotton padding inside, gloves which looked soft, goggles which looked costly, apron that has city municipal corporations logo, safety shoes, walky-talky and a handheld drilling machine. He said , “Uncle, any problem? You may contact the public relation officer to raise your concern. I am sure they will be able to help you”. “Don’t you see young man, I am 60+ and I can not go to your office to talk to a public relation officer to tell my problem, which I am sure will go in deaf ears.”, I said.
“No need to go anywhere uncle, we have one public relation officer in every site to observe, listen and act on the problems right away.” he explained. I walked to the person whom this young man showed. To best of my surprise, he was Dibakar, I know him very well. He is the son of one of my colleague.But, he was studying to achieve ‘Rishi’ title in university, how come he joined municipal corporation? All these questions and the old age made me utterly confused.
“Come uncle, he opened one folding chair made up of cane and requested me to take a sit.”. I asked, “Dibakar, you joined municipal corporation? Is it a full-time job? What about your and your father’s dream to see ‘Doctor’ in front of your name? oh sorry, you people call it as ‘Rishi’. Old fashioned but anyway. Is that the financial situation made you do this? I told your father several times, join some project development company so that he will get many onsite opportunities. But he never agreed. Stuck to the same company. Now you see, you have to suffer for him in this scorching heat. If he would have agreed with me, you would have enjoyed seating in one Air conditioned room.”. Dibakar offered me aam panna sarbat from the stall which is there for all workers. “Relax uncle, calm down. you can always go home and fight with my father as much as possible. After all he is your friend.
I am not working!!! I am here for my research work. I am doing a project for city municipal corporation. The person whom you talked to is also a student.”
“I must say, this generation is crazy. Why you are doing project here? Who will give you job based on your this R.C.Dutt road project. Go out, do somewhere abroad. in no time you will have jobs.” I adviced.
“Uncle, then who will do the inventions for Bharat!. Fortunately, this is now a government policy. Every university has adopted a district. The purpose is to research the district, history of that district, psychology of people of that district, ideal future of the district and then once all these done, develop the district.
Industry, University and Government are working together. University is coming up with the vision and plan, Industry is funding portion of it and absorbing best talents based on their performance on these projects, government is funding rest and overseeing the entire effort. If you notice the uniform of the person whom you yelled at. This uniform was designed by our university based on local weather. As you know it is very hot here. So, with various departments help, my friend has designed this uniform and Sayaji Textiles has taken him as Guru textile engineer. He is earning handsome salary and ready for his next research. These uniforms are now used in various parts of the world.” he explained.
“Hmmm. Then why are you not doing something good like that? Why are you breaking the dividers on this road?” I said.
He laughed and said, “Uncle, have you ever observed this road? People always struggle to jump the barricade on this divider including elderly women.” “Yes, No respect for the rule.” I responded immediately.
“Here the problem is not about respect for rule. The problem is rule itself is wrong. What is the use of the rule which nobody is willing to follow? Rules or procedures should be to streamline the natural behavior. You can not implement rule of one country in another. People are different and their psychology is different. I am researching on city roads for Vadodara city. Every city has a distinct psychology and we have to understand that. Make rules which are convenient for people and trust me people are not bad, they will follow religiously. Also, every city, district, state, country must have it’s own distinct signature style. Why should foreigners will come to Bharat if there is nothing unique to see? If all look the same, then why go there. How many years they will come to see those old monuments?” Dibakar said. “Moreover, signature style is not just a style statement. It is based on local need, belief and weather”
“I agree with you. In my early thirties I had been to Singapore. It is and was a beautiful city no doubt but I was disappointed to see the roads there. If you see any road there in Singapore, or in United Stated or developed roads of that time in India, You will not find any difference. That time the malls in vadodara city were very similar in their look and nothing of India in those. But now I see Indian architecture in the buildings. Good!” I said.
Dibakar offered me another glass of aam panna sarbat. I could not deny, as it was very tasty. I offered to pay money for the second glass. He showed his disappointment and asked me if I would have offered money to Navneel for the second glass. He also mentioned that it is free of cost. Municipal corporation has chosen some farmers based on certain criteria. They will provide free sarbat based on the season and municipal corporation will pay them money. I was glad to hear that.
It was time for my medicine so I invited Dibakar to come home for dinner and started walking towards home.
I repented thinking, if our generation would not have built wrong then this generation could have saved money and we would have achieved it must faster. Anyway, but I would have loved to die for Dr. Bagchi title than Rishi Bagchi. So old-fashioned!!
– Stray Dog