May 4, 2012

Namma tappu alla [124/365]

source: sodahead
Yes, I'm finally learning Kannada.
15 years after I got off the boat, I finally decided it's time to polish my Kannada language skills in the land of endless traffic, insensitive autorikshaw drivers, by 2 coffees and bisi belle baath.


The title of today's post translates into 'Not my fault'. Something you'd hear very often here in Bangalore.
One of the most common headlines that you'd read in a tabloid and evening newspapers are how civic and law enforcement authorities spring into action when amenities/infrastructure is disabled or disrupted in localities where there are VIPs staying. (Read one such here)

We complain if civic amenities are not fixed and we complain when they are fixed.
We like to say how VIPs exert influence upon authorities to fix things in their localities, yet we will want to stay in those very same localities.
We love to say how the VIPs use a lot of resources, yet when we find a house in such a locality we will pay anything the landlord/broker demands just because we have influential neighbors.
We are a tough lot to please.

I've stayed in a locality that was once the home of a former PM.
The locality had everything a town would need - Four schools, two hospitals, two colleges, two theaters, two fuel stations, good roads, fire stations, police stations, bus stations and every possible amenity that you'd want in a good town. Of course, the family had every business in that locality either named after them or for them. Over the years people noticed how having a famous son of the soil in your neighborhood was a great thing. Dozens of apartment complexes, supermarkets, companies and world class highways  sprung up. The locality and his glory expanded to cover the growing population. While it's residents basked under the shadow of the heavyweight political family, they would always want to complain if they didn't like something.
So as you can see, we are a tough lot of hypocrites to satisfy.

Predictably I haven't stayed in Delhi. Yet.
I've heard wonderful stories of how it would be common to rub shoulders with the rich, powerful and khadi over lunch, dinner and chai.

Over the years, I've had to confront authorities to fix leaking taps, broken streetlights, and stray dogs. They have complied and I think it was just the way I approached them that made the difference. And no, I've never paid a bribe to get these done. Blaming the rich and powerful every time a water pipe springs a leak, a pothole gets covered, a telecom cable gets laid, and streetlights fixed on time is unfair to the upper echelons of society.

Not their fault. 
Especially if you are basking under their reflected glory.
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