July 17, 2010

The Human Condition

So this is probably the crux of the constant invocation of the Third World in contemporary politics. A long and narrow neck of a highway penetrates peri-urban Howrah to provide transit for buses, trucks, cargo, bicycles,schoolchildren, rickshaws. An endless jostling for space. Revealing a tiredness at a constant reminder that this was not what it was supposed to be like to be human. Complete humanity is elsewhere. It requires less human beings, and more material - air, water, less quick muscular movement, comfort, a direct conversation with a mythical universe. To be human there must be toil and rest in perfect balance. And few or no monstrous vehicles coming at you. To be human, one must get to feel slightly divine. Even for thirty seconds in a day.

This noisy juggernaut is suffocating. Its strong-arm patronage offers little respite from making one feel like an insect caught in between a casual thumb and forefinger. It feeds a raw animal power, and a raw animal helplessness. It fails the driving license for humanity. It fails to neatly speed up, slow down, reverse, park, display a smart bunch of reflexes fitting into a logical apparatus of movement - those of judgment and power.

Here, they laugh out loud, cry out in agony, curse, shove, die, rot, and make sense of the next possible slot of space in which they could locate. While they are at it, they pump up the horn relentlessly. And retire, I suspect, with a tired curse on those that call themselves human.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Trucks = Awesome :)