Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Visit to Delhi

19th April- 24th April

I have been visiting Delhi for quite sometime now. Known to many people as the center of power I have never been able to feel at home here. During my working days in Hindustan Petroleum I used to commute from Noida to South Delhi and the problem of traffic jam was horrible. At few instances I had seen people in cars chasing each other due to not letting one go ahead in the traffic jam. Last night (21st April) itself, while returning from Janakpuri to Bahadurgarh, I saw two maruti car owners fighting side by side in the middle of the road. It was quite funny to see them holding each others hand and pulling towards each other from the window of the car even without opening it! How intolerant people are becoming in big cities!! Is this the development we are looking forward to? Development of facilities than that of our minds? Small cities are still beautiful. People are nice & believe in living in communities rather than self proclaimed isolation. Some of my friends, from IIMs & IITs, miss their journeys abroad & wish to get settled in Europe or US where things are quite efficient and environment is beautiful. It surprises me sometimes yet I can understand their views. Though in my view there are lots of things which can be done in India itself. We need to take initiative. India is a country with color, beauty & culture which can’t be comprehended even in many life times. At this instant I remember my conversation with a French faculty/ official at ESSEC who was asking what all places I have seen in France and when I responded that many of the places and now I should move to nearby countries she responded that France has so much cultural heritage & things to see that it will take a life time. France is home to around 60 million people and India is to more than 1 billion. One can imagine the situation. We seem to be a society increasingly becoming critical & as Shiv Khera would have said ‘part of the problem rather than part of the solution’. We need eyes to see how money can be made, if that is the motivator for many people, and there is huge opportunity to make money. But we will have to take initiative. That is why l like the quote by M K Gandhi aka Bapu “Be the change you want to see in this world”. Hopefully I may be able to bring small changes around me.

Now I can feel why some of my foreign friends feel intimated by this city. They get hassled by the auto rickshaws, shop owners etc. only because they are foreigners and must be having good amount of money. I remember my visit to Agra & Mathura, in Feb 2005, with Prof. Bronsfort from The Netherlands. While visiting Mathura he was repeatedly approached by locals for money & some tip. Even one of the locals who acted as a guide, at Mathura, of the travel operator who had arranged our trip approached me and asked me to get some dollars from the Professor. The professor had commented that religion has been commercialized at many places. I had seen it at many places earlier but became conscious after that.

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