On Tuesday, a few of us went to the MMRDA ground in Bandra to “lend support to the anti-corruption campaign by Team Anna” or as Mumbaiites call it, “winter vacation”.
There were a whole bunch of kids tagging along with their parents, making it quite apparent that this was more about a free outing for them (school is closed for a week, and they have already been to the Borivali National Park, Hanging Gardens and Gateway of India) than about a serious agitation against corruption. Otherwise, the turnout was quite disappointing which made Annaji call off the fast. Let’s face it, this is not Delhi; the common man here is indifferent to politics and for most people out here, life revolves around the 5:14 local from C’gate to Mira Road: the other passengers WON'T let us get off at Bandra to listen to the rants of an old inflexible man.
So why was I there? I would like to blame my “keen interest in democracy and heartfelt support to the cause of a clean India”, but the truth is unfortunately not so noble. See, irrespective of my cosmopolitan upbringing, I am essentially a Bong, and at times the temptation to shirk work on the pretext of ‘doing something for the country’ which doesn’t really require any ACTION on my behalf, except echoing some inane platitudes, gets the better off me. So those three hours made us feel extremely proud of ourselves, as we sat through the speeches, participated in patriotic slogans and flag-waving, interspersed with singing along to popular nationalistic songs. At the end of it, it was more like watching a sequel to Border/Lagaan/Roja or a combination of all three.
We came back purified and less guilty about working for a Swiss Bank.
Apart from that, there was a small matter of my birthday, but now that I am officially OLD, I would not like to dwell on the event too much. While my plan was to sit at home, watch India crush Australia and romp to a convincing victory and sulk about growing old, there are some people who hated me a lot in college and therefore they just can’t let go of the opportunity to make a big deal about me growing old AND make me pay for the alcohol. To make things worse, they gifted me something which can only be described as a bumper sticker to someone who has no car.
But the ghosts from the past still refused to let go for good…they are still lurking around in the dark corners of dimly lit roads at midnight…