There is a Shashi Throor hidden in all of us. I did not mean the English one – “…farrago…” whose English is such that even native speakers (Brits) need to sit with dictionary. I meant Throor who feels besides him all others are “cattle class”. We all have that Shashi Throor hidden in us; if not all, many of us.
Well, this feeling of “I am special” is too ingrained in the politicians and bureaucrats that many feel they are the god’s gift to the mankind – more precisely to India. If you have heard the statement – “You don’t know who my father is (you don’t know who am I)” in all likelihood you have confronted son or small time sidekick of some politician. Or “this will go upto the PMs office” you have lived in Delhi. The swagger is higher in politicians of higher level – like Shashi Throor. Also, this bullying happens by many other son’s of neta / small time netas to commoners like you and me.
Throor’s cattle class comment is special. When he made this comment I believe he was to board a flight. A country where at least half of the population never traveled by a flight, calling the rest of 50% – who are rich enough to fly – a cattle class either makes one feel India has not progressed or there is some disorientation in the minds of few.
At the same time, other mortals like you and me too have the feeling of being unique (watch a 1 minute video of Madagascar which will let you know – we are all unique – but still the same). We – most of us – have a feeling that I am one up over others and a (smaller than like of Throor) gift of god to the mankind. How it occurred to me that we all have a Shashi Throor in us (like Marty of Madagascar) was a brief chat with my sister.
Once, my sister and her daughter was flying from Delhi by Indigo. They were in queue for check-in, a lady just cut through the line and went for check-in. Others in queue said – “we are all here in queue for check-in, Please get in the queue?” The lady said – “there is so much crowd.” My sister was second for check-in at that time, she told her – “Madam, everyone has a flight and is a passenger like you“. Some people when they realized the sarcasm, of crowd and passengers, told her – if you feel so special why dont you take Jet or Air India Business class why are you traveling Indigo? Isn’t it below your dignity to fly an economy flight if you are so special and not like others?
The lady got the message – she is a part of crowd too, she is no different. But she didnt budge. After narrating this story to me my sister said you know we feel special for ourselves but feel other’s as “crowd”. We forget we are part of the same (in general and spiritual context too). The reason she told me this was – I was driving, picked her up from airport and was cribbing about traffic stating “driving is no fun here, it is a ordeal”. She told me we are all equal why are you cribbing?
This cribbing was specially for those who drive Innova or other very long car – monster actually – alone to office or for those who cut lanes just to save their two-three minutes – end up messing whole road. She told me – accept this mess, you will be peaceful. Also, if you think the person cutting lane is crowd, you too are the same for him/her. Accept that traffic is going to be here – you are no special – in fact at times you are the traffic! We laughed, I learnt my lesson, though I still crib about traffic – bit less though. Knowledge will sink slowly.
I wish Shashi Throor (and many others) too had a sister like my sister who can teach him/her – we are unique, yet same. We all are Marty of Madagascar – we need to identify that others are equally unique and like us. At times we’re the traffic. We’re the cattle / sheep – pun intended – following the one ahead of us – by wheedling someone (praising an incompetent).
PS – The blog is to make a point – we are unique yet similar and are equal humans. There should not be any ego. “Cattle class” of Shashi Throor happened to be a pertinent example. The author does not intend to malign political personality or defame/demean anyone (including Shashi Throor).