On our way to his favorite stationery shop on Sunday, Vyas caught me muttering under my breath on seeing someone spit on the road. Vyas agreed that some people lack ‘civic’ sense and then a little brooding on how such things spread infections et al… I told him how I once escaped a spray fountain when waiting for a bus at the terminus; A ‘kindly lady’ decided to empty her ballooned mouth just then and thought that the window seat in a stationed bus was the best place to do it! The biggest ‘civic’ joke of the decade however was she considered me rude for pointing it out in ‘public’!!
My son gave the story a serious thought:
Vyas: “Amma, this government is very bad”, he said.
Me: “Government is bad? Why do you think so?”.
Vyas: They don’t care about us anymore these days..
Me: Really? Was it any better before?
Vyas: Yes, it used to be nice when Gandhiji was around (saying it with an air of a person born in the 1930s!).
Me: Oh! But wasn’t there a struggle that time? People did not have freedom.
Vyas: Yes, but they were doing useful work. No?
Me: (I liked the Gandhiji tangent and so..)Did he do anything special? How do you think he was different from ‘this’ government?
Vyas: He was good. So the people who worked for him were good too..
There were different branches to the conversation by the time we reached the shop. But one good old message stayed with me: ‘Yatha rajah, thathah prajah’!