When spirit overcame the boundaries of physical limitations..

“People from IT profession are normally busy and get up late on Saturdays, weren’t you surprised to see 400 people turn up for the Dandi March 2?”, a journalist asked me yesterday. My reply was “Considering the kind of response we got leading upto the event, I was surprised to see ‘only‘ 400 people turn up”. But there was one thing which surprised me, around 200-250 people walked the full distance of 11 km which took around 4 hours. Considering the weather which was quite hot (despite a light drizzle the previous evening), I watched as many people kept on walking despite having pain and discomfort in their legs. I think the joy and excitement of being a part of something good diminished the physical.

So how did I get these IT professionals to ‘pick their lazy asses’ (as another friend put it) and walk for the country. Frankly speaking, I did nothing but spread the word about what we are doing and why? I think we all feel for the rampant corruption in India today and are frustrated because of it. We (IT professionals) don’t always seem to care because it doesn’t really pinch us directly, and we see no hope from the prevalent situation. That builds on the resignation and cynicism about the current situation in India. Also we don’t see any options to show our frustration and anger in a collective way. So I think this walk against corruption caught the fancy of people and they were motivated enough to get up at 6 and reach the venue at 8 in the morning. After all, people are not lazy, it is the situations which call people into action, and Dandi March 2 was one such opportunity to show they care for their country.

The queue of people walking stretched to around 1 km at its longest

The queue of people walking stretched to around 1 km at its longest

But what surprised me more than the 400 people turning up was the number of people who walked the full distance. I walk a lot, so I know it is not easy to walk more than 5-6 kms in one stretch if one is not exercising regularly. That too under the hot blazing sun in temperatures around 35 degree celcius. I had many of my friends and colleagues walk during the march, and I was totally surprised with almost all of them walking the full distance. What’s ironical is they disregarded my advice of leaving after a few kms and continued to march despite many of them having pain, cramps and discomfort in their legs. After all, it is the spirit which matters. And like my friend Tripti, who was on painkillers for the last two days put it, “I will not regret it at all, if something fruitful comes out of this”. It is about hope, hope for change, for a better tomorrow which propelled people to walk together to show they care.

This is what Kishan, a fellow Yahoo has to say
“I decided to act and became the part of the Dandi March II held on 26 March 2011. I reached the staring point at 08:00 AM and realized the enthusiasm of each and every person there. The feeling was very special and i was remembering each and every freedom fighter of India. I was realizing how it actually feels when you decide to lead from front or be the part of it. We started the march and we finished it without having any sort of pain. It was all enthusiasm which was driving us to make it happen successfully. That was the time when I realized one fact that ‘Don’t wait for the change, instead be the change'”.

The future is bright without doubt

The future is bright without doubt

Seeing such participation and commitment from people towards the cause of a corruption free India, I have no doubt we have a great future ahead of us. We might be plagued by many problems right now, and there might seem to be no end to the tunnel, but this Saturday we saw and witnessed the light at the end of it. It might take some time getting to the end of the tunnel, but considering the enthusiasm in the youth of today, I am sure it will turn into a collective movement with people from all walks of life joining.

My take on Bangalore

The Ulsoor Lake - One of the Numerous lakes in Bangalore

The Ulsoor Lake - One of the Numerous lakes in Bangalore

Eighteen months after moving here,
I feel much better off than before!
Looking in hindsight I feel,
I am glad I came to Bangalore!!

It is a brand the world has noticed,
And come to recognize India for!
The whole software / investment boom started here,
And I am glad I live in Bangalore!!

With our cheap manpower and outsourcing,
The city is not only a noun anymore!
Bangalored is now a verb used to indicate a layoff,
When jobs are moved offshore!!

Me having come from Delhi,
I can say one thing for sure!
When it comes to how to treat women and elders,
Those from up north can learn a lot from locals in Bangalore!!

Some people stretch it too far,
And call it India’s Singapore!
But let us not forget the mess,
With traffic, pollution, and garbage galore!!

Infrastructure, or lack of it, is a big problem,
Which you will realize as soon as you step outdoor!
With the speed of urbanization in the last two decades,
A lot of catching up needs to be done, wake up Govt of Bangalore!!

Bad Traffic is one of the issues,
Which critics of B’lore point out to level score!
But then it is a common problem in all Indian cities,
And it is unfair to single out just Bangalore!!

But the weather here is like a silver lining,
When wind blows and the clouds roar!
You should forget everything,
And just be glad you are in Bangalore!!

I do miss the winters of Delhi,
And the various hangout options are difficult to ignore!
But for me, given my state of affairs,
I will anyday choose Bangalore!!

P.S. – This poem reflects my personal opinion about Bangalore and hence no offenses to other cities and people living there.  I have just tried to put into words my current take on Bangalore 😉