Temple Of Equality

All men are not created equal. To call this world unfair would be a gross understatement. Why am I privileged enough to have an opportunity to write a blog post, while somebody else is struggling to make ends meet? A person who never exercises might enjoy long lasting good health, while a young person might fall prey to a deadly disease?

Well, we don't have answers to all these and these things  are not in our control either. But what about the things in our control? We discriminate against each other on every imaginable aspect.
"Oh you belong to this caste?"
"Come on, you have not visited Europe? Not even once? Seriously?"
"You like Justin Bieber?" (trying to keep a straight face)
"Most of the #### language people are generally ####"

We judge. We discriminate. Its inherent to us, ingrained in us. The thing we should aspire for,  is to consciously make an effort to think otherwise.

There is a pani puri shop in the road corner. Suresha is a legend for making the best pani puris in the locality. Ravish, who stays in the same neighborhood , is now a managing director in a big company. He remembers visiting this chaat center regularly with friends during his college days. His work life is so hectic nowadays, he does not remember the last time he ate here. In an impulsive decision which is so unlike him, he parks his brand new SUV, goes over to Suresha and orders for one pani puri, khaara medium. A swanky coffee shop's loss today is Suresha's gain.

At the same time, Nanjappa stops his old auto next to Ravish's SUV. He decides to eat something before going for his night drive. He orders one pani puri, khaara jaasti. Two strangers, who would never meet again in their life, share some silence and pani puri. As they finish their pani puris, they bend slightly and stretch their arms at Suresha with empty plates in hand and ask for some pani.

At that very instant, in some strange way, the world seems a much fairer place!

To Bangalore...

On the way from office to home...

A young Muslim woman wearing red stilettos beneath black burqa, crosses path with a middle aged uncle wearing formal pants and sports shoes.

A political party hoarding (with the mandatory faces of 50 supporters) wishing the citizens of a happy St.Mary's Feast and Ganesha Festival.

The trees decorated with cheap pamphlets that read "Web site and software development". The same trees that accommodated "Work Part Time/Full Time - SSLC/PUC/Degree - Pass/Fail" and "Lose Weight, Gain Weight in 30 days" not so long ago.

Three cobblers working tirelessly, right next to one of the biggest malls in India.

A brand new SUV and a rusty "No Parking" sign sharing a quiet moment, escaping the watchful eyes of "Police Maama".

Street dogs having a peaceful nap, blissfully oblivious of the chilly weather and the noisy vehicles.

A "40 p / 60 p" Xerox shop, sandwiched between an "A/C Multi-cuisine restaurant" and an amusingly named tea shop called "Cutting Chai +"

The delightful aroma of "dhoopa" from a temple nearby, effortlessly beaten by the delicacies of an Iyengar Bakery.

Me listening to Nitin Sawhney's "Moonrise" on my antique iPod, and my cab driver enjoying "Ammaate Ammaate" on FM Radio - both sharing silence and the same dusty ring road air.

Color. Life. Chaos. Madness. Variety. Contradictions. A thousand worlds co-existing.

Dear Bangalore - you amaze me, you frustrate me, you mesmerize me, you annoy me, you shock me, you seduce me.
But you will never ever bore me!

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