The Mask

I’m that face of the most intellect and skillful society, who is not recognized yet. Though, on the other hand, I’m praised worldwide for my intellect and the skills – be it in field of science, medicine, engineering, finance, or any thing else you would want to name.

I love, admire and I’m obsessed with western culture – be it good or bad. Since, I come from the third world under-developed nation, I love the western independent way of living, I love their nuclear family setups, their language, their spotless clean, sparkling cities & their beautifully maintained countrysides, I love their attires, their media, anything and everything the Westerners do or say has to be the way to go.

I’m the same face who loves the “International” tag when it comes to admitting my child in a school. Afterall this “International” tag carries a huge weightage, you see. But school asked me to pay a huge non-refundable deposit in cash, getting admission in this school is so difficult, so without a second thought, I agreed and paid it.

Nowadays, celebrating birthdays at home is outdated. I celebrated my kiddo’s birthday in a big bash restaurant, but you know what, it’s so expensive affair to celebrate birthdays in restaurants, it pinches, but we must maintain the status & follow the ongoing trend…. ssssshhhhh…. but here’s a secret I want to share- the restaurant manager was very kind, he gave me an option to save some money, he said you have 100 guest at party, I’ll make an official bill only for 25 pax and a kaccha bill for 75 pax, for those 75 pax you pay me in cash, so that there is no GST payable, we both will save some tax . What a wonderful idea, I thought and immediately went for it.

Yesterday, while I was driving back home, I stopped to pick up some veggies but I was not getting the parking space. I parked my car in a no parking zone. The stupid towing van had to pickup my car as the first car, when I was away only for 10mins. Fortunately, I met the tow van fellow timely across the street, I requested him to release my car but he asked for Rs.600/- to release my car without receipt, I am also very smart, I also bargained and closed for Rs. 400/- only. Thank God the problem was sorted then and there.

I’m extremely smart when it comes to saving my hard earned money. I can share few more secrets of saving money with you – I usually take a second class railway pass, afterall first class pass is atleast four times more expensive, that too without any additional facilities, but many a times I travel in first class, given the heavy crowd during the peak hours, no Ticket Checker (TC) dares to enter any compartment to check tickets. I enjoy commuting in first class at the cost of second class.

Recently, with all such hard earned and saved money, we went on a Europe tour. Believe me, the riches reflects everywhere. On one of our train journey between two cities in Europe, I saw some dry fruits kept on the table in front of my seat. Initially, I thought they would charge for those dry fruits but later I learnt they were complimentary.. I was amazed, who gives dry fruits complimentary? I efficiently emptied the entire bowl in the bag I was carrying before anyone around could notice. After all the cost of dry fruits must be covered in the expensive train tickets that we had bought.

In entire Europe, the public washrooms were spotless clean with ample tissue papers and hand towels provided for use. I grabbed a few paper towels (free of cost) for my traveling time. I must tell you entire Europe is so clean and neat, very nicely maintained. The government there cares for it’s citizens, provide them with best possible facilities.

On the other hand, when I returned back home, I realized what does our government do for us? Nothing. They have failed in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Demonetisation, etc.

Today morning, one of my neighbours, happily throwed some eggshells, onion skin and some garbage wrapped in a newspaper from her kitchen window of our high rise building. I often find cigarette buds lying in my flower bed area. Over the last weekend, I apparently saw some kids happily throwing chocolate wrappers in play area, I tried to stop them, but they said it is house keeping staff’s job to clean the play area, our parents pay them. I was awfully shocked to listen this from a 7 year old. I started thinking am I really residing in a educated & civilized society? Is this what any set of parents would want their children to learn or say?

But, whatever, coming back to the point, I was making, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has failed, so has Demonetisation. In fact, the government has failed to stop us from throwing garbage from bus window, train window, kitchen window. Afterall, what difference would it make, even if I stop throwing garbage, everyone else does, we treat the streets, railway tracks and area around our houses like trash boxes.

I love shortcuts, I am used to breaking traffic rules, rules are meant to be broken.. isn’t it? Though, I wear helmet at times, if I see a cop from some distance, that’s again to save money. I can manage the traffic police by giving him chai-pani. 🙂

I love to use each and everything that comes free, our Government doesn’t do anything for us, we have to take our own care – be it medical care or retirement. These kinda of shortcuts only help us to manage our Ghar-Grihasti economically when everything around is so expensive.

I invest my money in PPFs to save tax. I had piles of hard cash before Demonetisation, I smartly managed converting my black money into white, by distributing it amongst my acquaintances and later took it back in White with some commission as well. Government must have thought, they played well, but I am more smarter when it comes to saving my hard earned money.

I am that highly civilized face, who loves throwing garbage from Windows rather than using trash-boxes. I’m that face who wears helmet not for safety but to save money. I’m that face who invests in PPF not for retirement but to save tax. I’m that face who believes in ‘Tum bhi Khao, muzhe bhi khane doh’. I’m that face who loves to bargain for Rs.5/- or Rs. 10/- with roadside vegetable or fruit vendor, but I don’t mind paying high tips at restaurants or paying non-refundable deposits in cash.

I love the Westerners lifestyle but I turn a blind eye when it comes to following the discipline they follow, the way they contribute to keep everything around clean, being punctual, I am that face who has not recognised my trueself. I walk with a pride, wearing a Mask, fooling my ownself and blaming the government for it’s failure of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Demonetisation.

I often forget that I’m the smallest unit of the same Government, whom I’m blaming for not supporting me. The change has to begin at home first, which will gradually reflect radiantly on the larger platforms, at Government levels only if we work on it today.

Similar to charity, ‘The Change’ begins at Home.

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