Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Bribe.

The Bribe.
He was still in his Mother's womb.A foetus all excited to be a part of this wonderful world.He pressed his ears against her stomach often to learn all he could about the world before he was due outside.
"Doctor,we are keen on knowing the gender of our child...."his Mother was saying.
"Yes ofcourse....its just that we want to be mentally prepared to raise a boy or a is a responsibility"the Father added.
"Hmm....I mean you should know that this is illegal...."This voice had to be the doctor's.
There was silence.Some sound of crispy paper.And silence again......
He had paid his first bribe even before entering the world........

The novelty of this world had made him forget the incident.He enjoyed his chidhood like any other lucky kid with a rich parentage.He was their only concern and rightly so.
Three years later his parents were trying to get him admitted to the most aristocratic school in town.They could afford it ofcourse.But the problem was that he was underage to join the school.They had to wait for an other year to get him admitted.The Father was adamant.
"An year makes a lot of difference...financially we are twice better now than we were last year..wish my father had admitted me to school a year earlier...."
His birthday got advanced by half a year.The clerk received his booty ofcourse...
The irony was that his school was the reason for the second bribe he was a part of.

Needless to say he got used to it.It was bribes....left,right and centre.While the democracy called it black money,the bureaucracy called it speed money."Goodwill money" some called it-to get your work done quickly.
The police called it "hafta".Somewhere things did not fall in place.His teacher was very vehement when he said that to give or take bribes was a sin.Weeks later news was that the teacher was having trouble in getting some paperwork about his house done.All the trouble because he had put his principles into practice!

Our hero tried raising a voice.But his was the only one.The others were too scared or did not want to take a chance.To get the work done was the most important thing.Values were for idealistic fools.One had to be pratical in life-to the point of even selling his identity,if not himself.The better(or worse) part was the fact that millions had compromised with the system.They had got used to it!"Bloody hell!"our hero thought.Bribes did not even exist for these people.
They even sympathised with the people who extracted bribes saying even those people had a life to lead-an ailing mother,a couple of sisters and a greedy wife.
The best(worst) part was the attitude of a few people like him.They wanted that the system should change.....but they felt they could not change it.It was because they had this queer notion that their's was the only voice.They felt incapable of being the part of a change,let alone leading one.
The icing was the many who went abroad,came back and criticised this system,fully knowing that they had more than a small role in shaping the system to what it had become.His blood boiled.

And a few years later,it cooled down by itself.Our hero had tried his best initially.He had fought with boyish hope,youthful vigour.But ultimately,good old "wisdom" dawned on him.There was not much-infact nothing-he could do.
The world around had not even cared to notice his efforts.

He died.His kith and kin were "practical" to say the least.He had died in the evening and none of them were patient enough to wait with the body till the morning.They bribed the men at the crematorium and finished the last rites at midnight;got back to their lives next morning.

Little did they know that his life had begun and had ended with a -BRIBE!!!!