When I ask a young woman staying down the road a simple question like “how are you my dear” I invariably get an answer “I’m good”
I cannot understand how a simple question that we have been in the habit of asking all these years with complete politeness enquiring about another person’s health could be converted to a question of morality.
What does she mean when she says I’m good.? In fact she is lying through her teeth.
The reason I say this is because several people in the neighbourhood would be ready to confirm that she is far from good. ”Wicked” in fact, would describe her best
Why this confusion? Has the English language changed so considerably that people cannot differentiate between “I am well” and “I am good”?
And God forbid a situation in which I am asked how I am doing and I say I’m good.
Which, of course, would again be is a blatant lie any time of the day or night, because I’m not good.
I am bad, very bad. Biblically of course. Because I’m told that even if I look upon a woman with lust, I have committed adultery.
Simply explained, I spend the better part of two hours every evening brisk- walking at the Joggers Park with ample opportunities to look with lust on a whole battleground of liberated women in various stages of undress, running around breathing heavily enough to wilt the beautiful flowering bushes all along the track.
I’m confused at what I should do. I can use earplugs to eliminate the heavy breathing but surely I’m not expected to do my brisk walking with a blindfold around my eyes?
There are other confusions. A friend of mine and I watch two guys on a motorbike groping and molesting a young woman on Carter Road going home from work.
What should we do? Report to the police station with the number of the motorbike or should we report to the police station that a young woman is walking alone at 9 pm, going home from work, and obviously asking for trouble from young men on motorbikes returning from the gym after pumping iron.
After all one of the requirements of their workouts is to strengthen their fingers by groping posteriors of women that pass down the road.
In any case I am like many others confused about the Police Force .Are they a department of the government or some Banana Republic whose writ runs large.
Can they pick up a starving beggar from the road .and beat him to pulp just to clear the road for a visiting VIP? Can they gang rape a female colleague or a neighbour’s wife, with no questions asked, because it has become as routine as encounter killings and the transportation of jeeps loaded with huge quantities of alcohol from Goa to Maharashtra?
Everyday the confusion increases and spreads to a variety of areas in my life..
This morning I was writing a letter thanking the government for exempting me from paying advance tax. This is good news for senior citizens. A brilliant idea. Because by the time the official date of payment of the tax arrives I will be looking for much more serious exemptions talking to St Matthew the ultimate tax collector, at the pearly gates.
I’ve also finished writing a letter thanking the government for the proposed cleansing of toilets and railway stations.
The letter is ready but whom should I address it to? The outgoing Railway Minister Trivedi or the incoming guy called Mukul Roy or something?
There is a story told of vagrant. farm-hand who was looking for a job.. He finally met a farmer who was willing to try him out.
The farmer gave him a whole lot of logs of wood and asked him to cut them to pieces by the time he returned in the evening
By the time the farmer had returned the farm hand had cut all the logs into pieces. The farmer was so pleased that he gave him a sumptuous dinner, a generous payment for the day and asked him to come the next morning
The next morning the farmer pointed out a huge pile of potatoes that had been picked up from his farm.
“All you have to do my good man”, he said “is to sort them out. and put them into three piles. Large, medium and small. This is light work” he said “but I will pay you the same amount all the same. You seem to be hard-working and if you finish the work by this evening I will hire you again tomorrow”
When the farmer returned he saw to his amazement that no work had been done and that the farm hand was very agitated and on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
“What is the matter?” he asked. And the farm hand replied “I have no problem doing manual work but sorting out the potatoes into three sizes. requires decision-making and I have never learned to do this in my life. After all it is a Managerial task.”
Fortunately for me Joggers Park is frequented by a host of Managers, retired politicians, and bureaucrats with whom I have a long chat after my not so strenuous workout.
I told them my predicament about not being able to know whom to address my letters in the Government.
“George”, they said to me” it is all very simple. None of us know who is running the country these days
Some people felt that the correct thing would be to write to the Prime Minister himself, others felt very strongly that Sonia Gandhi called the shots. “Don’t be stupid” said a third person, “you know very well that Rahul Gandhi is making all the decisions”.”Certainly not” said the young thing who had just quit the Indian Administrative Service to look after stray dogs “I would suggest Priyanka Gandhi Women after all are now running the world.” “If that is the case” said Amitabh Mukhopaday “the whole world knows the no decision can be taken except with the permission of Mamta Banerjee.”
The sun was already setting at the Joggers Park and we were ready to go home via our favourite pubs. “If I were you” volunteered a member of the Otters Club “I would write only to the Prime Minister. The only man of high integrity in this country. And what is more the PMO’s office replies to everybody who writes to the Prime Minister.
I thought that would be a good idea so I wrote to the Prime Minister.
“Dear Mr. Prime Minister” I said “I’ve a couple of very serious issues that bother me in the winter years of my life and I’m totally confused about them. But my major problem is that I am confused about whom in the Government to address issues of national interest. Awaiting an early reply.”
The reply was prompt and brief.
It said “I am equally confused. Try Robert Vadra”