Before started writing, I had this thought over and over, to write or not write, but somewhere back in my mind I was very sure that this story will be untold if it was not the medium of writing. We people can see the surroundings get attracted to it and disgusted too at one moment of time. If someone spit on the wall, generally clenching the teeth is the only thing we tend to do. But have you ever thought that this society doesn’t need a reaction or some opinion to change itself. It certainly needs an action. Sitting in the drawing room and talking about feminism, corruption is easy. But how many of us have really acted on it, jumped into that surrounding before getting any judgemental. When someone says ‘Prostitute’ or ‘Prostitution’ there is a smirk on people’s face, I have never understood that grin. But may be the thought never occurred to go to a brothel or some slum, to visit the people who live there and talk about the pain, share the pain and tell them everything will be fine if not soon then one day at least. That is the stereotypical society we are actually living in. So engrossed and so busy in our own lives that now at this moment we don’t have that courage to remove the curtain we drew long time back, to see what is going on around us, to fight back if something is inappropriate.
This is not something which I have not been wondering since few years back, the thought captured my mind when recently on a Sunday evening I took an auto from Old Delhi Railway station to my place. On that winter evening, I knew that journey will take an hour or so to reach. While setting my playlist, I heard this Voice, Madam ji and within few minutes I started this conversation with a man I barely knew, but more of a sudden in that journey of one hour he taught me and made me realise my own surroundings. A middle aged man must be in his mid-fifty’s, white beard, less teeth but indeed an intellectual man. He told me I was his second customer that day. Initially he started with his own experiences of that day’s night shift and how he was coming all the way from Greater Kailash without any customer. He started with the corruption part which is taking hype these days. And suddenly while he was giving me some examples I realised corruption start on the lower level. Giving a 100rs. to the policeman while crossing the red light is corruption that is the point from where corruption starts. Everything is monetary these days, and when it comes to money, there is greediness which is hidden or perhaps not. The second thing he told me about the pollution, and I told him whenever it rains in Delhi it seems the capricious city has bathed today. You can actually breathe. As I was heading to South Delhi, he in a way pointed me and commented about the wealthy people out there and told me an interesting fact: If it’s a family of four, You will find at least five cars, Madam ji, you know why one extra? Because if one gets blocked in a mid- way to keep an option of having another one. I was kind of glad that he knew so much or may be just guessing around but the next moment gave me few examples again. Later he asked what do I do here? And there was a smile on my face when I said I am a student of Delhi University. And there was a question within myself of what am I doing here? Delhi is a party hub everyone knows that, but the man made me want to see the real ‘Delhi’. As believing me a student of Delhi University, he said Madam Ji, I have read the newspaper. He was still agitated on the corruption point and in a flip of second pointed me out that too. He said that a poor class child cannot study there, I told him about few scholarship programmes and he laughed at me. Telling me ‘Shayad se aap kuch nahn jaanti’, Nayin aayin hain kya?
The torrent of his words made me silent for a while and the next moment I realised I was home. I gave him some extra money and asked his name. His name is Anwar and he is an intellectual man, not because he knows his surrounding just because he taught me so many things in that journey which I believe are impenetrable.