PLM… and PLT…

Friday, July 08, 2016

Earlier this week, I searched for Facebook filters of the Bangladeshi and Turkish flags… and later in the week, the Taiwanese flags… but apparently, the ‘colour of death’ in the Orient doesn’t seem to fascinate the faithful fascists…

The Business of Terrorism is unfortunately… and pragmatically ‘pregnant with the contrary’…

A few months ago I had a good set of my friends in the virtual space donning the French flag filtered on their Profile Pictures on Facebook… some of them sombre – to go with the mood of the occasion… suitably robed in what would befit a funeral perhaps… but many with smiling faces and in their regular flashy surroundings and happy clothes… don’t really know what they were mourning… or supporting…

Because Terrorism is a naked reality… I am not saying, for once, you should not be robed on your Facebook pictures when you have flag filters on… 

And since forgiving and ‘letting go’ is the new Mantra I am trying hard to embrace… I had let that pass… despite the small little grudge that I continue to hold about the continuing French flag filters… that keeps reminding me of an increasingly niche community of bloggers, writers, speakers, tweeters and a creed of socio-culturists… who have taken to their chosen channels of expressionism and gloss their guns on the not so glossy lives of people in the larger society that they come in contact with…

For example… when I travel in the umpteen cabs around the countryside and occasionally in hinterlands around the world… I am conscious of how lonely my life is… I mean – I am the only guy sitting on the backseat of the car… alone…

So, what do I do…?

I start a conversation… with the only other lonely guy in the cab… sitting at the wheel… alone… driving me through the twists and curls on the left of the road… or these days… whatever is left of the roads owing to the big, grand festival called the Monsoons…

And after a few early exchanges around the place where I am coming from, i.e. the origin of this trip of mine… and if that is my place of domicile and where I hoard my material wealth… and whether I foresee dying at the very place… and what brings me to this place where I am currently being driven… and the exchange around the boon of the weather and the curse of the traffic in Namma Bengaluru… the Beer and Biryani in Mana Hyderabadu… and Shivaji and Pao Bhaji in Aamchi Mumbai…

The conversation turns to – you guessed it – how the cabbie happened to become… a cabbie… a hugely glorifying feat of humble beginnings and the subsequent trials and turbulations of life… that finally brought the cabbie to the doorstep of this conversation with me…

The so, socio-culturally evolved me… who has had similar humble beginnings… and in that instance of sparked recognition of my own state of existence not so long ago… when I was in a very similar job… and how I can understandably share that empathetic glance or demonstrate a visible gesture of relatedness – say through a hug… that people like me (PLM) can have for the people like them (PLT)…

And then there is this unique thing that I discover about cabbies around the country (and New York City, of course)… most cabbies are either first generation immigrants to the cities where they have taken to this profession of driving people around… or the Next Gen citizens of the cities where they live… many speak the language of the land (except in New York City, of course)… and have a fair bit of a grasp of the roads and the by-lanes and your destination – (again, except in New York City)…

Most aspire for their next generation to be better than them… they work hard to ensure their children go to school – English Medium schools as my recent Bengaluru cabbie Pronob proclaimed proudly that his children go to… Pronob is originally from Midnapore in West Bengal and has been in Bengaluru for the last 20 years… and most are becoming aware of the various avenues of borrowing money for the higher education of their children… and how they would not hesitate to borrow…

What does this tell me about how some of the ‘city societies’ evolve… the immigrants come in… have to work harder than the local communities who normally may have either taken things for granted, or may look down upon certain jobs and professions as either burdensome or lower in value chain…

And lo and behold… within a few years, the immigrants make more money and are financially more sound… And the next generation of citizens with all the borrowed moneyed education… have… Been There, Seen It, Done That… and become bloggers, writers, speakers and tweeters…

Since my musings have no malice towards none at all… I am hoping I get away with blogging about my neo-culturist friends (PLM)…

Of importance, I discover, of late, and with my receding white hairline… is how then, that this next ‘having arrived in life’ generation (PLM), has a world view through such conversations with the (PLT)… with cabbies while driving around… with waiters and serving staff in hotels and restaurants… with sales folks that dot the retail stores around the country…

… and, with people affected by brutal Terrorism and other harsh-doings…

With each passing week… sitting here by the grey morning window… I think of PLM and the PLT conversations… and what they bring in for me… a strange feeling of connectedness, relatedness… and empathy…

Will the next generation of PLT be able to sip coffee by a grey morning window and blog about PLM… With No Malice…?

Hmmm…

Happy Weekend…

Ravi Kodukula

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