Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Fight !!

Shalini was pissed. Very pissed and angry and mad... Add all the words from thesaurus that could convey the depth of the anger. She was glued to the TV all morning, even bunking the the special 2hr economic lecture today. (The fact that she abhorred the economics, in her very first year of her BA class was orthogonal to this story - her hatred for economics stemming from the fact that she didn't get the complexity of it). But today her hatred for economics was only replaced by her hatred with what is going on - in her mind this was simple to hate. She and her friends talked about it last evening after college at Coffee-day, and sat there for hours debating the pros and cons of it. After coming home, she went to her room, turned on the TV and watched the Arnab talk in his typical aggressive style questioning the Government's decision. At the same time, she tweeted effusively and facebooked prolifically - and retweeted multiple messages and shared multiple facebook messages from her friends. As she had gone to bed, she felt her angst still simmering.

It is now - This morning; she was at the junction of the Victoria statue, near the entrance of Cubbon Park. She and her friends had arrived there on a call by some "Brashtachaar Andolan, the Bangalore Chapter". The call was all the like-minded people to gather at the site to protest the arrest of Anna Hazare and subsequent non-grant of permission by the Delhi Police for Anna to fast in his place of choice. There was this bald-man, who was egging on, saying something in Kannada into the megaphone ! She and her friends held placard and shouted slogans at the government... She was glad, that she along with majority of friends (and her parents) had not voted in the last election and felt a lot less complicit with this Government's decision. The fact that she and her family had some other pressing engagement that day and did not fancy standing in a queue for election. Her dad had joked, if only there was a Tatkal option for voting; and she had promptly facebooked it as her own and got huge amounts of likes.

Coming back to the present, the crowd was getting vocal; Shalini found several friends from her past and there were several youngsters, along with some serious-types (as she thought). The bald man, who was holding forth why Lokpal bill made a lot of sense and why the politicians, including the PM need to be policed. A lady, who seemed to be passer-by, asked the question if we are asking extra-constitutional authority for non-elected representative - the bald man, hemmed and hawed a bit, but at the same time, Shalini and friends boo'ed the lady and started questioning if she was a true Indian!! The lady beat a hasty retreat...

After being around for about 3 hours, it was getting to be evening and Shalini and friends started feeling a bit of ennui... They expected this to be fun, but weren't able to envision an end-game to the evening. Fortunately for them, good news arrived. There was suddenly a commotion. The bald man was conferring with a couple of other people. He, feeling important as the eyes were on him, picked up his cell and called someone ! He was flush with excitement as he animatedly talked alternately in broken Hindi and English... As he was talking he raised his fist up and a cheer went through the crowd, without knowing what really has transpired. The bald-man pocketed his cell, in a very self-important gesture, stood up on a soap-box and announced grandly - "We've won !! The Delhi Police have caved in - Anna will be fasting now !!!! We will get our Jan Lok Pal Bill passed !!!!!"... Immediately, a big cheer went through the crowd. People hugged each other and Shalini and co were ecstatic - they've won. All the tweets, facebook and bunked classes is going to change the world. They decided that they need to go out and celebrate the victory - where else at Coffee day !

She kicked her scooty back to life; and Avi, her class-mate got behind her. He was one of those boys who were extremely talkative and she was glad that he was in the pillion as they talked, feeling an enveloping aura of victory as she drove... Then, shit happened... She suddenly saw a policeman in front of her, flagging her down ! In her discussion, she had erroneously turned into an one-way street !! She slowed down and parked the the scooty, a bit ahead of the policemen. Avi, took her papers and license and took it to the policeman. In her rear-view mirror, Shalini saw Avi talking to the policeman...

In about 5min or so, Avi was back; as she stuffed the papers and started her scooty, she asked, "What happened ?". Avi responded, "I just gave him a twenty; saved a 100 bucks fine; lets go !!"