Sunday morning is indulgence time. I normally go to the local parlour to get a pedicure and manicure. The hour or so spent there is the one luxury I allow myself. But unlike other women who spend their time chatting on their cell phones or reading magazines totally ignoring the staff working on their hands or feet, I like engaging in conversation with the staff. It gives me an insight into yet another world. I always let the others lead the conversation.
It always begins with a chat on the weather: the incredible heat, the delayed rains, the clogged streets post a deluge and so on. This week it was the eluding rain! Then after a short while he asked me whether I was planning to go to Jantar Mantar for the Ana Hazare protest. I guess he remembered that I had gone last summer. I told him I was not. After a few more moments he brought up the topic again and said that he felt that Ana Hazare was doing all this to get his statue erected after his death. I was perplexed as I could not understand what he was getting at. I really wanted to know so I asked him why he had said that. The answer was to the point. For him Ana Hazare did not have a family and hence would be forgotten by one and all unless he did something that would make the Nation remember him. Hence his need to do something big. I guess this is a way of looking at it.
Ana Hazare brought the topic of corruption and then very quickly the one of price rise. I guess they are linked in the perceptions of the common man. Every one present joined the chorus to complain about the price rise in vegetables, food, petrol, electricity. Life was becoming very difficult for one and all particularly for people like Kailash and his colleagues who were at the mercy of their employer. If they ask for a salary increase they run the risk of losing their jobs unlike unionised workers and state employees. Kailsah who always has to come up with something unique stated with humour: thee politicians shouls come and spend a month living like us to understand the harsh realities of the common man adding with a twinkle in his eye: and we would love to spend that month in their homes! Reminded me of TV shows like trading places!