Monday, December 24, 2012


Honestly, I did not know that… this English phrase – ‘Zero Tolerance’ - ever existed!

Thanks to the current Delhi protests against gang-rape, the phrase has become a viral… and, suddenly, I find myself infected by it!

But, frankly, I am not able to understand what it means!

Last night, my wife and I were travelling by our BEST A.C. bus. There was a crazy traffic. At one spot, the bus couldn't move an inch for nearly twenty minutes! There were hundreds of vehicles… including so many luxury cars… and, everyone seemed to have lost his patience… Even though they knew it did not help, they were honking, shouting, abusing… and blaming all and sundry. Yes, notably, the Government and the Police!

But, inside our Mumbai A.C. buses – if you are not in a hurry – it is sheer bliss! Both, my wife and I… we were just chilled!

I was watching from the window a very interesting sight… just outside, at one corner… Believe me, it was all in the open!

About seven to ten men – might be in the age-group of 20 to 40 – clearly from the extreme low-income strata… were doing drugs… It appeared to be some cheap stuff… they passing on to each other, all lost… their heads down, covered and depressed… all oblivious of the crazy traffic around… not at all afraid of the Police… Yes, these men – poor, depressed and goal-less – were lost in their own world…

I was curiously watching the faces of our co-passengers… and those inside the fine cars…And, believe me: nobody cared a damn about it!

After some twenty minutes, our bus moved… and, we could not see the sight any more…

With that, the ‘sad chapter’ was over… !

When we were home, at almost 12 at night, I wanted to know what was the latest up-date on Delhi protests… My young son, who is home on a Christmas vacation, instantly shouted, “Please dad, do not watch… it is depressing, particularly, when we go to sleep!”

“Just for a minute, my son,” I pleaded and watched the drama: I really regretted not heeding to my son’s advice!”

I thought of the roadside junkies. The addiction had gone so deep into their blood, that it made no difference to them even if the Police hanged them or the public lynched them…

And, hanging or lynching wouldn't solve the menace…

How could one help them come out of addiction…? Is the problem linked to their poverty and desperation?

No, all poor do not become dope-edicts!

Even the super-rich do drugs… What is their problem?

The way we react to crimes, rapes and corruption… leaves me worried!

If you give Police the weapon called – 

‘Zero Tolerance’ – 

take it from me, we will end up creating 

our own Frankenstein’s Monster!

Sorry my friends, Tolerance is the weapon of the brave…

Mark this: the enemy that challenges you from inside the well, is your own shadow!


Pic.: Abhishek Iyer


Deena Manuja said...

I liked the phrase - "The enemy that challenges you... is your own shadow!"

How true!!!!


Anonymous said...

It is thought-provoking!.. Nishta

Poonam Jain said...

We need to be less reactive. The roo cause of our problems run deep within. Hard-hitting post.
- Poonam

Girija Pal said...

Mind-blowing, sir... Keep writing!!!!! Girija

Veena D'Costa said...

Different perspective; needed really. Veena