Change… really?

Every time I see an Indian security guard, I get this unfortunately vivid recollection of a memory.. one of those I’d rather not remember. And it happens unfailingly every time a movie comes on or I walk past a corporate office.

It happened about 9 years ago. There was a new guard hired in mom’s school.  He seemed to be the quiet and understated types, the ones who worked silently. And as usual, all the kids (read us) were creating a racket on the basketball court this particular evening, bickering over a foul and penalty.

Enter a small something. A ball of scraggly white with ears too big for his age. He was screaming at the top of his lungs, apparently having been scared away by a band of others in the neighbourhood. If he were clean and brown, I’d have mistaken him for a puppy version of my labrador.

Now as far as I can remember, everyone wanted the pup to shut up and asked this shy guard to do something about it. And guess what, mounted by all that pressure, he picked up a rock twice the size of that creature, walked towards it and from 6 feet away, hurled it with all his strength.

The howling stopped instantly.

We were all there, dumbstruck. We hadn’t done a thing to stop him as we watched him find the stone and throw it like a pitcher. I vaguely remember a friend lifting that dog and putting him near the trees.

No, I’m not recalling this memory to gain sympathy for that poor creature. Yes, I am scarred. No, I’m not looking for empathy either. Yes, I’m trying to ask why we keep shut when something matters to us.

Have we, as an Indian society,  really changed? How can an entire country be held ransom by some men who follow utterly untrue aspects of a religion and beat up women? How is it that when some ‘juvenile’ rears up his head post 26/11 and asks certain artists to get out of our country, nobody (not even the police) stops him? How can others stand it?

Have we truly become civilized?

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