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Friday, December 25, 2009

Reaching Delhi

My earlier post was on leaving Bhopal, and the very next post, this post had to be on reaching Delhi. And so here it is.
Having lived for over 11 years in Delhi, I am definitely not an alien here. But Bhopal still feels more like home. Is it because of the artificiality of Delhi, or the crowds, or the dirt and dust, I cant' say? But definitely it has something to do with the genuineness of the people of Bhopal. Delhi is more commercial, even in matters relating to personal relations. Here one is assessed and treated more on the basis of how powerful or wealthy one is. Human values count much less here.
Yet here I am to do a job, a specific job assigned to me. It is no doubt more difficult than the job at Bhopal, yet the same shall be done. After all, sheer will power is still a much more potent force than many other powers.
Delhi is preparing for the ensuing commonwealth games, at a speed that reminds me of a poor man preparing his house for a brief visit of a wealthy man. All areas that the foreigners may visit or see are either being spruced up or being hidden. Why do we have to put up an artificial facade that will soon revert to normal is something that I cannot comprehend? Perhaps it is in tune with the artificiality of the city, where even a smile is not without a specific purpose.
I also have to get on with the job of improving the three major stations of the city in right earnest. A monumental job no doubt, but possible. After all it was in Delhi only where I got mine and also the railways its first guinness by running the fairy queen and also where I almost achieved the biggest turnaround of the country at the (in) famous ITDC.
As always, I am excited and waiting for the non stop excitement to begin.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Leaving Bhopal

I have never felt so sad in my life as I have been feeling these days. The mere thought that I shall be leaving Bhopal on the 22nd of December is enough to make me feel a deep sense of sadness. But there is also a sense of satisfaction. Satisfaction that one gets when the work has been well done. Yes the stint in MPSTDC has been the most satisfying period of my life. I do not think that I could have done better.
Almost all my farewells have been heavily emotional affairs. Both me and my staff cry, togethor. I doubt if this is going to be any different.
Madhya Pradesh is a great state. Beautifully lansdscaped, innumerable tourist destinations, excellent climate, good crime and law and order situation and above all, simple people. Even the politicians are simple, no comparison at all to their brethren in other states. A starking example is the Chief Minister of the state. A simple and honest man, deeply committed to the development of the state. I am going to miss him too.
I always believed that in any organization, the disease or the cure, is vested in the top management, to be exact, in the top man. He can either take the organization forward or sink it. And this stint further reinforced this belief. The same set of staff and officers, who were earlier held accountable for all the wrongs, rose to propel the organization to the forefront of the nation, and that too in a remarkably short time frame.
Once during my first stint in Bhopal, an autorickshaw driver refused to charge me once he knew that I am a stranger to the city. That is the spirit of Bhopal.
I shall forever remember my days in Bhopal and shall relive them after retirement. Well that is the plan at present.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The predicament of the common man

I often wonder at the predicament of the common man in this nation of over a billion people. This is because I now stand fully conviced that our great nation has with passage of time emerged as a haven for only three categories of people. First is the politician, who with his single minded focus on loot for self and his cronies, friends and relatives has firmly enconsed himself in this country. The second category is that of people like me, the bureaucrats and also the lowly government servant. Being part of the power circle, this category has sufficient avenues to amply look after and take care of its breed, a job that is being carried out to the utmost satisfaction of this tribe. And the third category is that of the rich class, people who have an stupendous excess of income over expenditure. This class is able to purchase whatever it desires, especially from the government sector, where everything, repeat everything is on sale, provided ofcourse the price is right and the service provider, by a quirk of fate is not one of those rare honest government servants.
Then what does the common man do. The common man of this country, from whom almost all of us from the three categories expect sensitivity on all issues including preserving our heritage and dealing with others, is totally powerless and clueless. he is able to barely meet his basic necessities of life. His life is definitely not an envy of others. His major drawback is that he cannot, repeat cannot get anything done from the sarkari system without the conventional greasing of palms. And he accepts this situation without even once crying out loud for his legitimate rights. And he also regards those from the sarkari tribe as honest who do the work after taking a bribe. Dishonest for him is the one who takes a bribe and yet fails to deliver.
And that is where the difference lies between India and the other countries. Here the survival of the common man is at stake, there even the commonest of the common man can easily survive.
How much I would hate to be reborn as a common man in my own country!