“You should have watched it man. How barbaric????” I remember talking about it when I was in Chennai. The ‘IT’ was a documentary about medi care and one of the blokes interviewed in that documentary was a carpenter. He had had an accident at work and had severed his palm. The doctors in the USA had given him a choice. He could choose which finger that he wanted to be surgically reattached. He couldn’t save his entire palm. Why?
He couldn’t afford it and his insurance didn’t cover it.
Ah, it’s all coming back to me now. I reckon it was a documentary by Michael Moore. Sicko, Yup, that was the name of the chilling documentary.
Back then, all of it was information to me. It was shocking the way the world was. Money was the master and if you had it, you probably could enjoy a better life. The world was not poised to be a fair one offering equal and habitable chances to everyone. Inequality meant the difference between life and death.
Information, data, news and life. They all intersect and converge everyday. When it happens to someone whom you’ve not met, don’t know, possibly couldn’t care less, it’s information. When things happen when you know something about the person, place or the event, it becomes data and news. When it happens to you, it goes to be a changer. It alters your perception of what is right, what is wrong, what is acceptable and what is not.
I’m no nationalist and that doesn’t qualify me to be an anti-nationalist either. I don’t beat around the bush and hide behind identities to call out what could be fixed in my house, my land, my country. That puts me in a comfortable seat of sarcasm where I feel free to express unbiased condescending judgement of the world that I see. It does annoy me to find feeds in the social stream about ‘Why Indians don’t deserve better quality products’ and ‘This is xxx, they’ve done yyyy, be proud of em’. I couldn’t care less.
The point is , my pride for my nation is none of anyone’s business and I don’t feel that burning need to express my loyalties that run deep red in my blood. That did sound super dramatic!!!
Anyways, there is this friend of mine here in London. Super passionate bloke when it comes to India. He does love his motherland. What irks him the most is that blokes who’d have probably never stepped outside India’s soil, would talk wonders about the western world and rubbish the home turf. There were times when my friend felt compelled to shoot pictures of stagnant water here and send it back to the hate spewers to enlighten everyone about a simple fact that no land is perfect, unless it’s own citizen work hard towards keeping it clean and nice.
A few weeks ago, I did manage to crack my tooth. A rift, straight down the middle. I’d have been much happier if the bloody thing fell apart, dislodged from the root and gum. Unfortunately, like baggage we carry in life, that tooth chose to linger on. I’m stuck with a partially broken tooth, and it hurts crazy when I try to bite into something using that tooth. I guess I’ve managed to live with it now.
One evening , yesterday to be exact, I decided that I had had enough of living with nagging pain. I decided to check out the dental options to get the damn thing extracted and exiled. A quick google later, the average quoted estimates for the procedure left me in a state of disbelief. I can buy a second hand car instead of yanking out a tooth.
Inflation and cost of living aside, it did make me wonder about the larger things that are worth fighting for. Right to life, right to lead a life with dignity, right to health, they all enrich a life of a given citizen. We fight over right for an identity, right to express opinion and the underlying life , without with neither expression nor freedom matter, usually goes unnoticed and unappreciated. I don’t blame London for what it is. It would be naïve of me to ignore the millions back at home who do not have access to health and health care. It seems to be a problem that plagues the world alike. It’s not contained to the first world or the third worlds. It’s a common malice of our one single world.
All is not grim either. There are soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo many angels who walk among us. They are the techies, managers, students, vendors, average blokes who take time from their life and invest a little into helping others who are in need. Such kindness exists today. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that kind of care and kindness was a priority and part of an agenda and political manifesto? I know I sound like I woke up in wonderland to dancing unicorns, but everything is possible provided we believe in it, we are ready to sweat over it, we do something towards it rather than restrict ourselves to just thoughts .
For what it’s worth, I’ve made a choice to lookout to help folks who are in need. I did feel a little ashamed that while I could pocket the enormous bill, I still didn’t feel it was a worthy spend. That shame pushed me to wonder about the a lot of us who don’t have that luxury to make choices over where one gets to spend. It’s a start. I hope that’s what it is.
I don’t think we need all the information, all the data, all the news in the world to be a human. Guess all it takes is a little heart.