Friday, October 17, 2008

The privilege of time

It must be around 11 am. I am sitting by the window of the BEST bus. The bus, bursting with people is waiting at a crossroad for the signal to turn green. The man sitting right ahead of me is chewing away at his paan. Let’s call him the paan man.

Finally, the green light comes on and the bus begins to turn at the junction. At the same time, the paan man decides to spit. He slightly raises himself from his seat and shoots a jet of crimson red semi fluid onto an unassuming suitably well dressed man.

Now, imagine you are that man. You are probably heading somewhere important - a meeting or office. You are livid. You are annoyed. You are fucking pissed off.

You look around you to assess the situation. You shirt looks like shit now. The vehicles are edgy and moving quick to make the most of the green signal. The bus is filled to its brim. The paan man is confused and apologetic. The only thing you can think of is to call him names but the bus moves on steadily and the paan man is gone.

This happened yesterday. It got me wondering – What does it take to pick a fight with someone? Grit? Gumption? Opportunity? Stupidity? Or the privilege of time?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Working Hard

I work hard. I hear lot of people saying that. This is followed by a list of complaints about how they are not paid well enough or how tired they are or just stronger reiterations like – I work really, really hard.

Hearing that makes me uneasy. It makes me want to say – “I empathize with your problems and I respect your hardworkingness. But it seems like in your situation, your working hard is not serving anyone well. Why do you work hard? What makes you believe you work hard? Do you want to work hard?”

I throw this volley of questions because I understand that people’s motivations are different and often justifiable.

To me, ‘working hard’ just sounds like a huge effort and if you enjoy what you do, you wouldn’t need all that effort at all. The things one enjoys hardly require any effort.

In that sense, working hard and having fun are the same things, aren’t they?