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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

the show offs

They all need an occasion to show off. It is true for any person – from whichever strata of Society he or she may have come.

Remember the story of the woman who purchased a pair of gold bangles from her savings. But, no one even queried her on her new acquisition. All her neighbors and relatives pretended not to have seen them! Finally, in desperation, she set fire to her shanty and with arms raised started shouting for help – on the off chance that, at least now, people would see the flashing bangles and talk about them!!

Showing off is second nature to not only Man but any living being. The peacock is one of the best examples. The NATGEO showcases many many more.

Whenever any disaster or calamity strikes, this attitude surfaces in humans.

We are used to seeing leading personalities of every hue walking the roads to collect charities for distribution to the sufferers. Crowds would line the roads just to catch a glimpse of their favorite hero or heroine minus make-up! Charities in the form of cash and clothes, utensils and other necessities would follow. But, it would be wrong to infer that these are a result of sympathy for the sufferers. That is something which only the sufferer feels and a feeling that cannot be shared or conveyed through words or expressed through gestures.

The latest Tsunami disaster is an example still fresh in our minds.

We are accustomed to disasters – they come and go in our lives. Earthquakes followed by floods and draughts are common events in our lives. Those employed are accustomed to donating a day’s salary for one calamity or the other practically every alternate month. Those ensconced in air conditioned rooms in the various Bhabans in New Delhi debate over five star lunches and dinners on how best to monitor such disasters, how to create a cell to help out the needy when they need help most etc. These are discussed and debated live on TV channels amidst jingles of washing powder, body lotions, biscuits, diamond jewellery and two wheelers and four wheelers – all the while, the sufferers cringe in make shift shelters surviving on tiny morsels of food waiting for the day to break. The females cringe and try to melt into the darkness whenever they hear footfalls – who knows who will vanish next! Yes – that is the fallout of such happenings. These are reported in the press but in very small letters, tucked away in an insignificant corner.
What gets prominence are the shows organized by groups whose heart bleeds for their less fortunate brethrens – jazzy shows and charity matches are the most popular. The show starts solemnly paying tribute to the victims who are immediately forgotten when the first item descends on the stage or the first run is scored or the first ball bowled.

We are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites.

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