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Tuesday, February 08, 2005


papers says that accidents on our roads can be attributed to mismatches – (i) mismatch of road to car (prehistoric roads with Sci-Fi type cars) or (ii) mismatch of actuals against plans (density of traffic goes beyond expectations –result of poor planning since plannings are done by those who have little or no knowledge of ground realities and how much safety factor or buffer need to be inbuilt into the system to take care of eventualities), or (iii) mismatch of the ability of the driver to understand the workings of the gadgets that control the hi-fi car or (iv) mismatch of fines imposed by the authorities on the negligence of the drivers (few hundred rupees in-lieu of lives, if one can prove that the driver did not have any intention of committing the accident – sometimes the perpetrators of such heinous crime get away scot-free due to the clout of the personalities involved).

Unfortunately, mismatches do not stop at roads safety.

We face mismatches at every step – in the family, there is the perennial mismatch between saas and bahu – this single factor has spawned a whole range of soaps on the tiny screen. While each of these serials attempts to discover an antidote for this age-old malady and nearly succeeds, by the time the slot ends, we are back to square one: leaving options to start all over again the next time we meet. Every episode calls for a new beginning with an end that is a foregone conclusion.

Then there are the mismatches between husband and wife – ads present a picture that is not always true: each of them wants to lead individual lives – none is in favor of surrendering. They land up resorting to compromises at every step – until, one day, the thread snaps. Proof – increase in the number of lawyers who have switched over to handling divorce cases, increase in the number of divorcees seeking fresh matrimonial alliances and increase in the number of detective agencies that have opened up promising to hand over a complete dossier with photographs taken through hidden cameras and identified as exhibit number so-and-so to exhibit number so-and-so.

Examples of mismatches in our day-to-day lives can go on and on. Mismatch between the teachers and the taught, mismatch between the parents and the children, mismatch between expectations and achievements. These should make us think whether compromise is the only solution.


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