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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Head & Mind

Where the head is held high and the mind is without fear - sounds like utopia.

Utopia it is, for all of us who tread on sarkari territory, the reality is starkingly different for the head is held low and the mind is full of fear almost all of the time.

Yes India is a nation of fear and heads lurking low. Heads are low because of absence of pride and the fear is the fear of the unknown. High on ego, but low on pride is what I discover when I interact with the railway bureaucracy. An ego that erupts over minor indiscretions by the subordinate but hibernates over even major insults inflicted by the powers that be. How I love the adjustable ego's of the railway bureaucracy, the higher the bloke in the feudal hierarchy, the more supple the ego he has.

And the fear of the unknown that kills initiative of any kind and makes one abhor risk taking even of a minor nature. Fear of transfers and fear of a less than outstanding CR, being the worst fears of a bureaucrat, especially of those confined to 5'6".

The head stoops low because of the lack of pride in anything we do as generally the mundane and wasteful acts keep us fully occupied. The inability to differentiate between remaining busy and deliverance is the culprit. And so the talks of achievement and importance are generally based on the days and time the bloke remains occupied in what he regards as official responsibilities. The head stoops low because of our sheer inability to make a diffference whatsoever, consequential or inconsequential.

Life is all about making a mark, a mark that is a reflection of the contribution that one makes to the society, a positive contribution, the negative ones being closer to a blot. A life spent without making a positive difference to the society is not a life worth living regardless of the altitude of the seat occupied or the wealth one has accumulated.

A deep thought before I retire for the day.



  1. The world is like this only, full of hypocrats. Somebody has said- "There are so many things in this world that i shall be as happy as a king". One should cherish small joys and do his/her best and forget the rest. There is a beautiful poem of Rudyard Kipling, which i would like to reproduce here for you:


    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream - and not make dreams your master,
    If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

  2. There is one more, which you would like more:


    People are often unreasonable,
    illogical and self-centered;
    Forgive them anyway.

    If you are kind,
    people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives;
    Be kind anyway.

    If you are successful,
    you will win some false friends and true enemies;
    Succeed anyway.

    If you are honest and frank,
    people may cheat you;
    Be honest anyway.

    What you spend years building,
    someone could destroy overnight;
    Build anyway.

    If you find serenity and happiness,
    they may be jealous;
    Be happy anyway.

    The good you do today,
    people will often forget tomorrow;
    Do good anyway.

    Give the world the best you have,
    and it may never be enough;
    Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

    You see, in the final analysis,
    it is between you and God;
    It was never between you and them anyway.

  3. sir
    All railway bureaucrats are busy in satisfying their selfish needs and desires. As u said, the higher they go, more egoists they become. It is a fact that new entrants to railways, join, in the only hope of making money. There are very few who actually want to serve the country. I feel this is not restricted to railways alone. Its all pervasive in all services. People toil hard to clear prestigious civil services or engineering services and after entering into the system, forget their values of being honest. There has to be a systematic cleansing of the services. How it is to be done, God only knows.