by Sameer Majli
I am Belagavi aka Belgaum, erstwhile Venugram and they say tolerance is in my blood. I am not very different from other parts of this wonderful country where the said virtue/vice takes shape in many shades. We have always been a very tolerant nation; to the extent that it is assumed that its part of our culture. Be it the excesses of the invaders or those of my own who have been dishing out generous doses of the same since independence, we and I have borne it all.
They say it stems from the water, the food, even the air they breathe but good or not, my folk are very tolerant folk. And it is not as if this tolerance is even relative, its absolute. They show it when it happens to others and even when it happens to themselves. We, as they say, take it in our stride and alter our lives around the irregularities till we perceive anomalies as anomalies no more.
Be it the indulgence of a marriage party that break the calm of the night with their cacophony, the mischief of the neighbor who conveniently dumps his trash in from of any place that’s not his residence, the traffic cop that makes his tip on account of a persons ignorance of the law, the politician or office babu who conveniently makes his/her bribe offering a convenience in return, an unwanted presence of an article in the food served at a restaurant, the steep price rise, the discriminatory and almost inhuman treatment of women, the traffic woes, the political indecision, the administrative indifference and the innumerable issues that affect my folk, they bear it all and accommodate it as the way of life.
I wonder sometimes whether its virtue or vice. After all, it does add more than inconvenience to life; then why do they patiently bear the brunt rather than protest or do something about it. They continue to cast favourable votes for those that take them for a ride with a hope that history will not repeat, but then it almost always does. The evil get away with their deeds while the good and the wise discuss it over hot cups of tea but the same old story goes on and on.
We are a nation of the teeming millions and the population can be both strength an weakness. I guess the core issue lies in the fact that society is severely fragmented and too used to routine to act otherwise. They say discontent is simmering and will take to the surface at any moment but ages seem to pass and nothing happens.
While I join my residents in complaints regarding their woes, I guess that it is the only thing I can do. Tolerance is a relative virtue, it is issue based and almost a vice when the greater good is ignored. Until they make better sense of their deed and rise above religion, caste and creed, I continue to be silent witness to both the obvious and the unobvious. What happens now or now on, only time will tell.
As I waiting patiently for the passing clouds to quench my thirst, I wish that you find enough fluid and fluidity to quench the thirst that you have borne patiently for generations, for what seems like ages…
About the Author: Sameer Majli is Chief Mentor at Stratmen -Strategic Mentoring Solutions, an initiative engaged in facilitating near perfect education and learning.