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May 24, 2013

The Indian Bureaucracy almost made me leave my country!

     Today was a hard day for me. Hard as an average common-man Indian! It led me to the extreme of asking my best friend as to how I could acquire a citizenship to Australia(No favouritism here! But any developed nation would do). I am no drama queen, but sometimes an insignificant incident(insignificant to others eyes) can trigger the deepest emotions in me.
     I needed a simple study certificate from my college just to state that I am a student of the college, so that I can use it to apply for a passport. Having spent three precious years of my youth studying in that college, I reckoned this would be no hard task, but boy was I wrong!
    First of all there is no specific person who really handles issues of students, because students are expected not to have issues. You see we are "educated" to become sheeple( Sheep + people), so doing anything other than what is strictly instructed to us in the name of disciple, is not an option. Regardless, I managed to find the office staff that would know something about the certificate, literally doing nothing at his desk. Nothing!
     When he realised I approached him with a potentially hazardous errand, requiring him to get up from his chair(oh how on earth could I ask him to do his job? How wrong of me!) he had a couple of excuses that was evidently pre-rehearsed. So now I know I am not the only one having to climb mountains to get a simple certificate.
    In spite of the fact that all my proof of address, date of birth and even proof of my existence had already been submitted to them, when I was admitted as a student to the very same college, he asked me to submit a whole bunch of other proofs! That too in a tone that was meant to remind me that I was subservient to his bureaucratic position. The tone mattes a lot, it is a window to the attitude that they carry towards us students.
     No matter what he asked of me, at that moment when I was filled with utter frustration at his incompetence and his evident bullying attitude, I realised how helpless I was. With no insane amounts of money in my pocket or an influential politician in my family tree, I could not get anything done in this system if I were to follow the correct norms and procedures. I either had to bribe him, bully him or end up getting bullied and waste days of my precious youth running around him to get things done!
     The bureaucracy of India works as if it does a favour to those who approach their desks for things to get done. Some of us maybe at such positions too, some of us might get into those positions some day soon, but when we get to that position, why do we all forget our duty? Why do we forget to do the job that is asked of us? Why do we forget that no matter how small the work that is asked of us might be, it is still a part of the system that we are a part of? No matter how insignificant it may seem, the longer we take to get it done, the more clogs and obstacles you add to the system. At the end of the day, making us responsible for the slow, irresponsible and frustrating system that manages to hold this country back from becoming great!
     Do not underestimate yourself to the extent that you begin to think nothing that you do has an impact in the world. Everything we do has an impact somewhere, somehow and on someone. Every action of yours or even every inaction will have ramifications that you are responsible for. Begin to think of yourself as a part of a system that is working to a better tomorrow. Then maybe our bureaucracy, our governmet, our education and finally our country might move forward towards a better India. Or else, a citizenship to Australia is always an option!

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May 12, 2013

He Said He Has Three Girlfriends!

     It was just another day at my friend's place, the usual jibber-jabber, the annoyingly loud television and the random college friends walking in conveniently adding in their confusion into the jibber-jabber, that made no sense in the first place. Amidst this chaos, that one can surprisingly get used to, my friend introduced me to a new member, who I hadn't had the opportunity to meet before(I say opportunity since he is the protagonist of this blog post)
    "He is most famous guy in college and he has three girlfriends, all crazy about him." This was the first statement that heralded his initiation into the group. He blushed and his pride in this "achievement" of his was evident.
     To my surprise my friend looked at me with a glance that hinted that I remark on the new member's ability to collect women as one would collect candies or toy cars! All that came out my mouth was a "Sorry!"
     As expected, looks of confusion were directed at me. I realised I was supposed to be impressed somehow and probably should have offered to be the fourth girlfriend. I had to cover up and say "I'm sorry for you! It's a struggle to even survive one relationship, and you manage three", when I originally wanted to say "I'm sorry for you! Your lack of a decent education and mental maturity is so evident." But then again it was our first rendez-vous, and I didn't want to scare the guy away with my strong opinions and principles(Call me crazy!)
    I should have been more offended at the fact that such a young and a potential future advocate of this nation(this jibber-jabbering lot were all students of Law) , didn't comprehend how preposterous his "achievement" of not only deceiving three women was, but also how badly it reflected on his ability to treat women as an equal gender that deserved respect and courtesy. But then again who am I to say anything!
    I was more disappointed with my friend who welcomed in this member to whom women were just collectible items, with open arms (literally!). The day continued on as if nothing was wrong and nothing needed any attention.
    As a society and as citizens we have the right to draw a line as to what is acceptable and what is not. We hold loud discussions in cafeterias about the condition of women in this nation, we throw mud on the government for not protecting women enough and eventually we point fingers at the women itself for provoking the crime done against them, but none of us ever stand up in our everyday lives against people like him.
   His choice of treatment of women and his wrongly-placed pride in it should have found a stop amongst his peers, who have the ability to realise how damaging an attitude such as that can be not only to the three women, but the society at large. Yet we fear and we hesitate to say NO! STOP! Women are equal! Women deserve better!
     *Everyone has the equal right to be with the partner they choose and exercise their sexual freedom, but only as long as the rights of the other people involved are also being respected!

    Things do not change; we change