Thursday, 12 May 2011
I frequently wonder why people choose to go corrupt. Practicing corruption is something like compromising with one’s dignity, like begging with hands and legs in place. It is actually the worst kind of begging. Every penny that is dropped as bribe is actually like a sweet poison. With a million curses coated with that meekest of smiles be held by the victim. Only the hands giving the bribe actually know what the heart would be yelling when saying “Sir ye le lijiye kharcha-pani”. Moreover it’s ultimately of no use. The biggest corrupts are the victims of corruption themselves. Corruption actually doesn’t differentiate between the commoner and the babu. Is affects all of them the same way. It all ends up in same place. Exactly like in this short story.
…He was a prematurely retired office clerk, in his early forties, with grey-black hair and a dense moustache; Bent a little forward, and thin. He had bifocal glasses on, with black square frame and thick lenses. His hands were dry and wrinkled, and the nail of right thumb broken. He was dressed in khaki jacket and dhoti and wore torn black shoes. He was a prematurely retired office clerk called Sharmaji waiting outside the city police station. His forehead displayed lines of anxiety and discomfort. He was shaking his left foot in impatience and repeatedly looking at his mobile phone, going through his phonebook and recent calls list in nervousness. He was waiting for the constable to “introduce” him to the Station Inspector.
Suddenly the wooden doors flung open and the short, round and dark constable took a step out. He bent towards the wall corner and spat the beetle he chewed, while signaled to Sharmaji that he could come in. Sharmaji rose from his seat quickly which was instantly grabbed by one of the three other men who were waiting for Sahrmaji to vacate. As they both entered the room, the SI sitting right in front of them smiled to welcome them. He had his legs on a chair beside the one he was sitting on and two buttons of his shirt undone. “Bahaut garmi hai sharmaji yaha pe”, the SI exclaimed. Sharmaji dint reply to him and stood there nervously. There was silence for a few seconds. “Accha haan apka kaam yaad hai mujhe. Maine ladkon se baat kit hai. Apka kam ho jayega”, said the SI in a consoling tone.
Sharmaji had been robbed nearly a month ago. He was carrying his wife’s jewelry in a khaki bag when two men on a bike snatched it away. Sharmaji wanted to sell it off at the local jewelry shop. His son wished to do an MBA and Sharmaji wanted him to do that as well. But since the jewelry was stolen now, the fate of the Sharma family hung loose.