Saturday, April 17, 2010

Humanity Check

Instead of continuing with the lessons learnt, I am writing this article as it affected me as a person.

I travelled in three tier AC in Podhigai Express (from Chenai to Tenaksi). I was allocated a lower berth. There were four men in the bay, all below 35 years old.  They had the other two lower berths and middle berths. Three elderly people also boarded the train; they must be above 80 for sure. They - all three of them- were allocated upper berths. It was so obvious that they can not climb up to the upper berths. I gave my lower berth to them without hesitating. After all I am healthy enough to climb up!!! But I was shocked when these well dressed, well read young men refused to give their middle berths to the elderly leave alone the lower berths. I was wondering if all of them had back pain or any such ailments that would stop them from climing up. No, that was not the case; they were all fit, they were discussing about their gym work outs and the treking experience in the train and were carrying pretty heavy luggages without the help of porters!!!

TTE also could not hlep. One old man climbed up the side upper (that is slightly lower than the other two - thank god) with great difficulty. I am sure he did not use restrooms neither did he drink water as he found it difficult to climb up and down. One of the old ladies slept in my lower berth (fortunately the side lower) , the other lady was sitting next to her the whole night. These men without shame or humanity slept peacefully.

I could not stomach what just happened. How can somebody do this? We live in a country that provided free food, water and shelter to travellers. What happened to that culture? Why don't we teach our children about helping others? Looks like 'Dove and ant' kind of stories learnt in LKG and UKG are for the exams only. All the experts say that children learn from the actions of their parents, teachers and friends more. Does this mean that there were so many bad parents and teachers after Indian independence?

Why is Railways not bothered about senior citizens? Especially when they ask for age and gender of a person while booking the tickets and provide senior citizen concession in the train ticket fare. Can we not change the seat allocation algorithms to reserve the lower berths only to the elderly people and women with infants (information on infants can be collected though they are not charged)? I'm sure it will not take a lot of effort to do this change in the code. I am ready to change the code, test the application free of cost for railways. I have written to them. I am not sure if any one will look in to the mail or not.

Will we ever learn to respect people?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lessons learn 2 - Be open and always speak the truth of your heart

This is easier said than done. Many times I feel / felt like telling a pleasant lie rather than telling the bitter truth. But whenever I broke this rule and told a lie or tried hiding my feelings / believes it came back haunting me. The effort and time I wasted to cover up was much larger than what I would have spent telling the truth. I also see other people who suffer a lot in an effort to cover up their lies

Here is a good example: I am a Hindu married to a christian. There was a lot of pressure from so many people that I get converted to Christianity. I knew at my heart that it would be the biggest lie if I get converted for the wedding's sake. I decided not to get married at all, after the six long beautiful years of courtship. It was a very hard decision. It hurt me, my parents, my boy friend (my husband now). But I told everybody that I can not tell a lie in the church that I am a christian when I am a Hindu by heart and believes. Finally, my in laws accepted for a 'non-religious' wedding. There were no rituals at all in the wedding. Today, I am free to go to a temple or a church without hesitating and without looking for permission from people. I celebrate Diwali and Christmas with the same enthusiasm.

But one of my friends (who is also a Hindu got married to a christian) is facing a lot of problems. She got converted as a christian for the wedding. She was not able to change mentally and wants to go to temples and celebrate Diwali. She can not do this with others' knowledge. She is either upset that she could not celebrate or she is guilty that she celebrated. Either way, she is unhappy. So strongly feel it is better to speak out your mind than hiding it.

There were times when I made excuses (of course they are NOT true - no excuse in this world is true as you know) and spent my time worried in getting caught. Another big problem with these excuses is, you have to remember the story for rest of your life    :-) and you have to be very careful about not telling any story (be it real or fake) that would contradict with the earlier story.

I can give lots and lots of example where I told a lie and then dropped / missed opportunities, lost trustworthiness. All of us know this truth. A lie may seem to have solved a problem but it actually would have added fuel to the problem; it is just that you do not know that you have added fuel. I bombs at a time you expect the least.

So how-much ever hard it may seem, speak the truth and face the consequence rather than telling a lie and living in fear & despair
Meet you with the next lesson shortly.