Random Thoughts


Sanskrit, the first language with a claim to have had a generative grammar and the etymolgical basis of being finely crafted was considered the language of the civilized. A type of a compound word or "samaas" in which the middle word is omitted is called madhyampadlopi. The word describes the status of India which has passed from nearly 1000 years of slavery into anarchy while missing the middle transition through civilization and has done it in the short spell of 55 years.

There is a conspicuous absence of civic sense and lack of consideration of the point of view of others. Two and three wheelers travel on the wrong side of a divided highway so as to avoid the extra distance of a U-turn. At a closed railway crossing on an undivided road, vehicles cross the median and line up on both sides of the road on both sides of the closed gates, so that when the gate is opened there is total gridlock and bedlam. Traffic police and all positions of authority are a license to steal and take bribes. Lack of water and adequate clean toilet facilities leaves public toilets unusable and the whole country smelling like a filthy toilet.

The land of Dharma and Karma is glaringly devoid of ethics and morality. So called educated middle class residents of pricey bungalows and flats dump their trash and garbage on the walls of their neighbors and stray cattle, goats and dogs roam the housing society roads feeding on the garbage. Pest control and public health are never practiced and mosquitoes and roaches are ubiquitous and elicit no embarrassment or concern.

Telephone operators are rude, unable to understand any language and purposely disconnect you by hanging up on the customer. Postal and bank clerks take frequent authorized and unauthorized breaks during working hours and are often less than helpful. One has to go to two or three windows, each with its own disorderly lines to book a plane or railway ticket. Bribes have to be paid to government servants to obtain legally granted pay increases. Bills cannot be paid by mail and one needs to stand in line for hours to pay telephone or electricity bills.

There is no control on the use of loudspeakers and horns. Mosques blare loud calls for prayer at unearthly hours to non-believers by using high decibel loudspeakers and milk or bread vendors wake up whole neighborhoods with their horns and shouts. Taxis and rickshaws are un-metered in many cities and gouge the tourist or traveler mercilessly.

Criminals and politicians are hand in glove and often elected officials have a criminal background. Mafia dons finance political campaigns and movies. A small rich minority is into conspicuous consumption, while a sizable middle class is climbing rungs of the material ladder, having discarded the unnecessary baggage of culture and character to facilitate quick ascent to new monetary heights. The large majority of have-nots is denied meals or minimum standard of living.

Religion is everywhere and morality nowhere. The rich build fine temples at enormous expense to assuage their consciences and bribe their sundry gods, while large segments of the population have only a polluted sky as a roof. Adulteration of foodstuff and drinks is the routine and people get sick or even die because of it. And thus life goes on until death and as Santayana said those who do not profit by experience are condemned to repeat their mistakes, only in India it is called rebirth.


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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