How often and easily we use the word “hate” in our daily lives – we say we “hate” math, bittergourd, dogs, Bangalore traffic or the next door neighbour. We just use it as a substitute for “extreme dislike” which is the impotent version of “hate”. Hate is as intense as “EVIL” or the DEVIL himself. It is an emotion that most of us are not even capable of imagining to understand. Hatred is more difficult to sustain than love, or at least needs very strong motivation to sustain. Hatred goes with an unceasing desire to seek revenge and requires focused energy and sustained anger. It does not let you rest until you have seen the offender suffer as much. More often than not, it requires a lot of time too. The retribution is not instant – it comes too late to be meaningful. So you seethe with anger, spend sleepless nights, and move on with that sole motive to the exclusion of everything else.This pain of keeping the anger alive in the quest for revenge makes the avenger unhappy and bitter and in the end you are still not happy because by inflicting the worst punishment on the offender you still cannot make it all ok. You are just participating in a cycle of anger, hatred and revenge. That is the futility of hatred and revenge. The success of organisations in the business of hatred stems from their ability to elevate personal grievances of individuals to the level of a grander "cause" - religion,race, nationality, caste, class to provide a "motivation"for sustaining the anger and hatred. Then the futility of revenge at personal level seems to get compensated by the delusion of being soldiers for a greater cause.
I set out to complete one simple task this morning - surrender the telephone instrument for the connection which I had already surrendered 2 days ago. Yeah, you have to give it back to them when you give up your connection, so dont trash it even if it is broken or doesnt work - of course it doesn't work, the telephone company gave it to you remember?
Well, the instrument is to be returned at a different office and not at the office that accepts the request for the termination of service. The job assigned to me was to take the instrument to the telephone office on 15th cross . Sounded easy as I had passed this office on my way to the bank ever so often. It had a board which said BESCOM which had a vague ring of telecom and I was pretty sure that it was the telephone office - it smelt of a government office, dirty and ancient and a lot of workers dressed in Khaki were seen around the place - this must be it! But when I queued at the information counter, i was slightly uncomfortable to notice electricity bills in the hands of those before me. Now are they not supposed to go to the K.E.B. office.?Why are they in the telephones office? Something was surely wrong, unless they paid electricity bills in the telephones office these days? In any case i decided to confirm and asked the person next to me whether it was the telephones office. He gave me a long hard look to check if I was blind, or if I was someone from "Candid Camera" or Mad TV . When he had confirmed that I was just a batty middle aged woman, he said" electricity office - Bangalore Electricity supply company!" So Bescom had nothing to do with telecom! Now that BESCOM was NOT the telephones office I wondered what Bangalore telphone company might be called - Batcom, Btel- I had no idea!! It used to be called BT just like the electricity office used to be called K.E.B. - and then one day when I wasn't paying attention they changed the names!! So i asked my neighbour in the queue where the telephone office was and he told me it was down the same road and helpfully added that it was called BSNL! That was when I looked at the telephone bill in my hand and saw of course it was called B.S.N.L!
And so I went to the office and was asked where the directories were - I said I was only asked to surrender the equipment and the lady told me "Equipment means telephone equipment and the directories". Very useful information but given a little too late.
I asked them when I could return and the girl said" oh, you come.we will be here." When I went back with the directories at 1:55, I was told it was lunch time between 2 and 3 and I had come at the wrong time. (Yet another lesson . Telephones offices have lunch between 2 and 3 and it starts by 1:50)
Anyway finally i was given a recepit for the "equipment" received and told to go to yet another office for the account settlement.
After so much of learning, I need some rest and so this will have to wait till Monday. I am sure it will be as exciting!
7:30 a.m everyday:They are outside my gate - a young mother with a beautiful kid in her arms and another slightly older, sleepy boy attending kindergarten. They wait there for the school bus that stops outside my house. Over the past week, a secret rapport has developed between me and the kid unnoticed by others - I wave to him and he smiles shyly. Earlier he would bury his face in his mother's shoulders and then slowly look up to see if I am gone. Now he knows I am a friend. There is trust and speechless bonding - as he stretches a tiny finger and points out things to me that I would not have observed myself - a blackbird on the electric wire, a squirrel running on the wall, rain water dripping from the palm fronds or a huge milliped slowly crossing the space between two trees. Following his little fingers, I see some miracle everyday. And another wonderful thing I see is how the child is totally in the moment - he smiles at these and you can see that he is one with what he observes and his whole being is happy. He looks at the bird as if it is the only black bird in the world and the only one he will ever see. His face lights up and the day feels brighter for me.