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Old 25th September 2013, 12:04   #16
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Default Re: Why should I be the sucker?

Well articulated frustrations and rants and raves Hellmet!

I do not know what works for everyone but I figured out standing your ground most of the time is what I do.

I do call 108 and complain, it works some times, some times the cops are bought over by your rich neighbor!

I do stop my car in jams, and try to clear it. Once when I was directing the traffic to clear a jam, I was almost run over by an angry old man in Secunderabad because he wanted to go, even if it meant inconvenience and a longer jam for others. He seemed educated, a grant parent perhaps I do not know what values he would impart to his grand-children!

But I also get some silent 'thank you's', a few thumbs up and a few angry glares too!

I also do not take things lying down with the cops as well. The other day I had an argument with a cop who stopped my for having a 98% transparent film to cut radiation with no tint at all. I stood my ground and asked him to figure out the transparency with a meter to deny my claim! I was willing to pay a fine if it was necessary. Finally he relented after talking to his superior in the control room and also after making me talk to his boss!

But then, a few good men as they say may make a difference. At least my drivers and my son (who started driving recently) are trained to be patient and live by the rules.

I never understood the 'hurry' that every one seems to be under in a country where everything moves so slow! But like someone said, 'we are like this wonly', the issue is whether we accept the status quo or engage with it. I might sound like a hopeless romantic and over-optimistic about change. But I chose rather to be a foolish romantic than a pessimistic person!

I liked your 'working for the bank', I realized that as middle-class we are all working for some bank or the other almost a significant part of our lives!

I do look at the comic side of 'automobile' ownership and try to understand the human frailties and do write once in a while - that's a safety valve to vent my 'frustration'!
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Old 25th September 2013, 12:17   #17
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Default Re: Why should I be the sucker?

So well put hellmet. In our country the middle class is the donkey who works and works and works so that the upper and lower class have a field day.

And why should you need to emigrate, you should stay here and fight man. I think the best way to show up these fools running the country is a blanket ban on taxes. Imagine if all the middle class stop paying taxes, Our importance in the eyes of the uppers and lowers will increase manifold.

Just one month, no taxes and watch the fun begin.
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Old 25th September 2013, 13:04   #18
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Default Re: Why should I be the sucker?

This is what Sir Winston Churchill said about us,

"Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues and freebooters. All Indian leaders will be of low calibre and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles. A day would come when even air and water would be taxed.”

“India is merely a geographical expression. It is no more a single country than the equator."
Like obedient servants of the British Raj, we have made him a true prophet.
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Old 25th September 2013, 16:58   #19
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Default Re: Why should I be the sucker?

I will try and sum this up very quickly. Yes all those are problems and either we can work a solution internally within us or get frustrated as phamilyman said. If you make peace and let it not bother you beyond 5 seconds, you'd be more at peace. You make peace with something you can't change. Your correctional measures would work for individuals but you encounter someone new every day on the road. See, ignore, move on. Life goes on and it's too short to be upset with how the world works. Next time before you start driving tell yourself you're not going to let them get to you. This is no gotham, so noone's saving us
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Old 25th September 2013, 19:34   #20
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Default Re: Why should I be the sucker?

1. Get a battered jeep.
2. Get a lawyer, or even better, a degree and a licence to practice and internalise the MV Act.
3. Get a dash cam.

And the next time you see the bike/small car in the wrong side, despatch the driver to to the nearest hospital. Just make sure of your legal defence.

Best of luck.

Mod Note: Please quote ONLY the relevant bits of a post. Quoting a full, long post inconveniences our mobile readers.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 25th September 2013 at 20:49.
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Old 25th September 2013, 19:57   #21
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Default Re: Why should I be the sucker?

I have been that sucker for a while now.

"This is who we are, this is how we roll".

- I see a lot of people with complete disregard for any one using the roads. The other day I was telling my colleague that many of the drivers actually do not know what should one do when a pedestrian is standing by the zebra crossing. Once my car nearly got mowed down by a BMTC when I slowed down for pedestrians to cross near a zebra crossing. The BMTC driver even shouted at me for slowing down and letting the pedestrians cross.

- We had a thread about cheating at petrol bunks, how the attendants are siphoning off fuel on the behest of some small talk or similar.

- I don't even want to get to the tax paying factor, it drives me crazy as I really feel like a total "sucker" then. You pay taxes when you get paid, you pay taxes when you pay, you pay taxes if you don't pay too. I don't think we are complaining for being taxed, it is required to run the country but the fact that our hard earned money is not utilized for our well being in any way.

- I guess it is safe to say it is better if we went abroad. However, I don't think the middle class is spared there too. There are working class who pay taxes and there are people who live off benefits. The tax payers crib about this even there too.

Brighter ones like; I was in a taxi from Heathrow sometime back, and I happened to listen to a talk show on the radio. The conversation was about how a certain department heads had bought BMWs or something for themselves as their official cars with tax payers money. They also talked about the need to publish the expenditure of the tax money very specifically. Like how much percentage of the tax payer money is being spent on Military and defense and so on. While I am not sure if that got implemented, I wish our governments actually gave us this kind of information. At least we would know where it is being spent.
On the contrary; I guess we don't need any official statements I guess, most of us know where the money ends up.

God bless middle class and God bless India.
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Old 25th September 2013, 20:41   #22
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Default Re: Why should I be the sucker?

Originally Posted by soonya View Post
I never understood the 'hurry' that every one seems to be under in a country where everything moves so slow!
Well said sir!
I can never understand this phenomina too! I think part of the problem is us , the middle class. Mostly we refuse to involve ourselves in politics as we think that it is a field which is meant only for thugs and goons . We leave it to the lower classes to elect our leaders, we pay our taxes and allow our politicians to loot us blind, we cower when the thugs and goons threaten us. We the middle class need to grow a backbone! Thank God we have a few people like you Soonya! May your tribe increase!
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Old 25th September 2013, 21:03   #23
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Default Re: Why should I be the sucker?

I have this very learned philanthropist and historian relative of mine, [had served IMF and WB]: he (and me, too) was optimistic that India is not too far away from actually becoming civilized. He said that his studies revealed most civilized nations had actually gone through a phase of extreme corruption, debauchery, rape of the system, sometimes a perceptible civil war and ultimately the intellectual uprising: which led to better senses prevailing, and well, that country getting developed. These are not popular folklore or anecdotes that the common man can read on "sunday brunch" papers, but are actually documented in "serious" books with some serious statistical data. India is definitely going through one such phase, the peak of "lowlife"ness . I am not saying the day is near, but I am optimistic nonetheless: makes me feel good even as I "suck".

Caveat: None of the other countries had such variety in culture, social norms, population or even weather, for that matter!


-Another sucker with a (fairly considerate ) wife, (cartooned) kid and totally non-existent "social security" !
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Old 25th September 2013, 21:27   #24
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Default Re: Why should I be the sucker?

Well, corruption and wasting of Tax payers money is everywhere and in every country in some form or another but If you go to see this in countries like USA, the level of corruption has an equal level of better infrastructure,better roads,better facilities for people,proper justice to the common man and so on, whereas here in India, the infrastructure, roads, public utilities are still underdeveloped but corruption has crossed more than developed nations. "In India money flows like water but the taps run dry"

Secondly here's an example of how our total lack of discipline while following rules is contagious:
A couple of months back I was travelling towards the main market here in the city of Margao,Goa and there's a certain place where U-Turns are prohibited and you have to take a u turn at the round-about a few meters ahead. As usually the bikers care peanuts about this rule and take this U turn anyways. While I was about to cross this part a foreigner (I guess a British guy) cuts me off from the left side,comes in front of me and makes the U turn,he was just inches away from being run-over,thank God for ABS. After I go in front and take the U turn back at the circle I catch up with this guy and as he was waiting for the traffic cop to let the traffic move on, I asked the Guy that he just cut me off and didn't he know that that U-turn he made was illegal?, he says so what everybody else is dong it and then with a sheepish smile zooms off.

Last edited by richie4u : 25th September 2013 at 21:29.
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Old 25th September 2013, 21:48   #25
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Default Re: Why should I be the sucker?


First of all, you have very beautifully narrated what we go through each day in some way or the other. There are so many instances that you feel so dumb for following traffic rules, being the only one stopping at signals, walking those 10-15 steps to find a garbage bin, keeping all the documents intact and still being fined for something very random which the havaldar come up at the last moment.

Being naturally hot headed, I used to shout at times at bikers who would cut across, people who would break signals and come right in front of you when you were legally crossing the signal. People who would be talking their way to glory while driving and slowing the entire traffic cause of their behavior. However I realized that this was not making any difference to any one. And I was the one reaching office with a very bad mood. In some ways I realized that me yelling was making no difference to the way people behaved. If there is a problem with upbringing and they are not taught basic civic sense, there is no point arguing. People tend to fall back to their own instincts.

That's when you decide that you have had enough, You ignore till the point things do not affect you, however you do not stop doing the things that you feel are correct. Most important is the fact that we do not go ahead and become one of them.
Go vote, maybe one day a lot of people who would be reading this might do the same and bring about an educated candidate in power. But it will take time.
Set an example for people around you, I remember a senior during college days, if we littered around, he would be the first one to pick up and throw it in the dustbin. We improved because of him.
My boss would never throw things on the street, no matter how small. I know 3 people who changed looking at him. Similarly if each of us can influence even 1 person, thats quite an achievement.....

Regarding Taxes ! As much as I hate them, I pay them. Every single penny possible. My father once told me, that the taxes that you pay will help the next generation of our country be better, that's the belief with which he paid his taxes and I feel the same too

Too much of Gandhian Thoughts ! Sorry if it was to boring !

Last edited by NMS : 25th September 2013 at 21:50.
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Old 25th September 2013, 21:53   #26
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Default Re: Why should I be the sucker?

The problem is lack of respect for each other.

And if you will notice its prevalent right across everywhere in this country now, from your work area to everywhere you look across.

If you will think about this, how many times in a day you will feel good about meeting someone who made your day, well for me its none as I dribble across the traffic to reach my office everyday dealing with the new found cash inflow rich guys who have suddendly got rich with raising real estate prices. I guess its the same for most of the guys here.

I feel bad that our children down the road will be growing up in such environment and even though we may want to imbibe the best of ethics in them, they will still live and work in such corrupt environment that getting influenced by them is much easier in today's time.

Corruption was always there in this country but still we had a degree of respect for people around us, today its completely gone. Everyone feels he is the most important person walking on the road and he has the best possible chance to prove he is superior than the other.

Not sure whats the solution here is, but what I try to do is remain calm most of the times and believe such individuals will also have their learnings in life sooner or later.
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Old 25th September 2013, 22:21   #27
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First of all i must thank you for putting up such a valuable post. Infact what you have discussed is what i usually go through & discuss with my friends on daily basis. The country has become a nightmare to live on. We dwell on Hypocrisy & corruption to the highest of levels. When i see old hollywood flicks i am amazed to see there well planned architecture & butter smooth roads way back in 1970-80's & to see my country in 2013 deteriorating each day hurts to the core.

Sad part is we the ones who know how bad things really are can only discuss & vent out on a common platform which i am sure our ancestors have been doing since times immemorial, only the medium & intensity has changed (read increased negatively). Food , electricity, basic amenities, everything has become super expensive, the only thing that has become cheaper is the value of a human life. I still kick myself for not sticking with the plan of going abroad after my 12th examination & those of my friends who are abroad live a glorious, secure life. The Govt. is aptly targeting the middle class making things dearer each day, perhaps sometimes i wish we were still under britishers rule, could have been much better.

There are so many things to say & right now while am typing this i am feeling sorry, angry & frustrated at the same time to be a part of this system which is a living hell.
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Old 25th September 2013, 22:28   #28
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The opening post is straight out of everyone's mouth; or rather straight out of what everyone feels like in the inner heart and mind. The very same thoughts cross your mind upteen times, the moment you step out of your house. Thanks for putting it print here. Unfortunately most of us who are reading this thread and writing here are more or less powerless to stop what is going on around here.
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Old 25th September 2013, 22:46   #29
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We have a saying in Kannada that goes 'The King is as good as his people'

All of us on this forum are not 100% clean i am sure that we have broken some law at sometime during our lives (my apologies to anyone who is otherwise) so why should our Law makers or should i say law breakers think twice before putting himself before the country.
I too am like everyone on this forum who keeps cursing the system, the driver who almost ran you over e.t.c. but later when you start thinking in a logical manner have we done our part?

Just today i read in the paper that a young girl fell off a two wheeler trying to avoid a pothole and was hit by a bike causing her multiple fractures, at first i cursed and blamed BBMP for not taking action on time then when you think about it, when was the last time anyone visited the BBMP office to complain about the Pothole, several probably ranted over it on Facebook but does that really help?

RTI is an exceptional tool, you can get any information you want from the PIO office all that you need to do is spend about Rs10 i think to get a form and submit it, they are bound to give you information, but when was the last time any of our middle class utilize this to find out if the road in their locality was constructed as prescribed was it supposed to be tarred or did someone eat away the money?

Talking about speakers and other rant, How many of us know their neighbors? when was the last time you met at least 10 of your neighbors to discuss the problems and try to find a solution? Not that Welfare associations don't work but what i have seen is everyone wants to complain but no wants to action. And Why? its because we are busy going to work so we can earn a decent livelihood and of course pay taxes.

All problems don't go away by throwing money at them, yes we will need to do our part. I know i am talking big words but instead of satisfying ourselves of doing a good deed by donating something to the orphanage lets spend some time say about 4 to 5 hours a week taking care of our Locality.

Leaving the country and going away..? i would never think of it! We cannot run from our problems we should always face it.

On another note good news for Bangloreans-Bangalore Police have also made things easy for us, all we have to do is take a photo of the traffic offender you noticed from your cell phone and upload it on their website under Public eye and they will do the rest. Of late i have really come to appreciate the good work done by them may it be a lone constable clearing traffic in the rain or help a stranded person push his vehicle on to the side of the road, yes bribery still does exist to a great extent but if they can be this good they cannot be all bad all we need to bring is the change in how we think.
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Old 25th September 2013, 23:11   #30
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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Or you can live each moment, embrace life as it comes and move on.

Its a half empty glass (actually somewhere between 10% and a quarter actually) - but theek hai, tedha hai par mera hai. This is India - this is home!
Touch kar gaye phamilyman aapne tho.
As said by self drive, reform starts at home in terms of upbringing. India is transitioning and we may or may not see improvement in the near future. But we have to hope for the best.
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