And it’s also a Winner of WOW
Year 2050, On a bright Sunday Morning:
“Mamma, why are you smiling”, asked Nitu. Having purchased the weekly grocery, we were heading back home from the local market on a city bus.
“I was thinking about my childhood, dear. I can’t help but notice, things are so different these days!”, I exclaimed.
“Why, Mamma? Why do you say so?”, Nitu wondered.
“You know, when I was a kid, your Grandpa used to say that he used to walk miles to go to school. There were no proper roads or means of transportation. Things were better after a couple of decades, but there was a huge scope for advancement. And look at how things are now! Smooth roads without potholes, streamlined traffic with proper markings on road, adequate warning signs and signals and ..and it’s just clean! And I’m sure, if it was then, I’d have felt as though I was in some foreign country.”, I couldn’t contain my excitement.
“You are exaggerating, Mamma”.
“No, Nitu. Things were awful then. There were many highway deaths, especially because of the potholes. I remember, your Dad and I fell on one of those. Once the monsoon come in full force, the roads get littered with them.”
“Yes. it is. I can’t even spot a beggar on road these days. Can you imagine a day when there were people sitting on every nook and corner of the country, begging? Especially child beggars? It felt as though reaching a status of poverty eliminated country was a far cry. Come, let’s get down. We’ll get a cup of coffee.”
While Nitu was placing the order, my mind drifted to those days. How difficult was it then! Whether it was at the crack of down, a sunny afternoon or at night, as a girl, as a woman, one couldn’t walk or travel alone. The violence, especially against women was so common that every day there used to be at least one news being reported on physical, sexual or mental violence. And rape against minors? How can I tell my daughter how scary it was. The routes to the school were always dark, with no street lights and stationed with men who are overwhelmingly the perpetrators of street harassment. Nirbhayas were found on every nook and corner of the country.
Bridges collapsed, so did buildings. Corruption prevailed in the entire system- the politicians, administration, bureaucrats, — et all. And out of the blue, on one fine day some fanatic targets this weakness to bring terror into the society in the form of a Cow Brigade or Honor Killing. Superstar camouflage in “Being Human” and gets away with murder, “King of Good Times” flies out of the country after money laundering, there were bans after bans- be it watching a documentary on the Delhi rape case or eating beef in Maharashtra, kissing in public or for what you watch in the confines of your home- Stupidity however wasn’t banned!
Youngsters were easily targeted due to unemployment, political exploitation and discrimination in terms of religion, caste, colour or creed. How dreadful were those nights when you couldn’t catch some z’s because you never know what would happen to your family due to communal riots. Prestitutes breathing down your neck when your house is burning down was the icing on the cake.
As Nitu sits beside me sipping her favorite Irish coffee, I smile. She can breathe fresh air or walk along the beach-side without thinking for a moment about the garbage piled up next to her. There is happiness everywhere, be it a farmer, a shopkeeper or a businessman. Next week, when she leaves to re-join her duties on the borders, she will work without anyone meddling in her affairs. She would hold her head high and gain respect from her countrymen, just like her Dad and also her husband. Her son will advance to the next grade in a school with proper infrastructure and facilities.
“Oh. My. God! Mamma… Oh. My. God!”, her squeals interrupted my reverie. “”India has won the Football World Cup! I can’t wait for the Olympics in two years. We would definitely up the medal tally by 25! Woohoo!”
Yes. Our country is now definitely a better place to live in.
Also Linking to Monday Musings at Write Tribe.