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Monday, 12 May 2008

Pehale Aap

Crawling along the Delhi traffic on a hot summer afternoon, with the car AC valiantly trying to make a wee bit of a difference but not really succeeding, it is very difficult to keep cool with all kinds of road gymnastics being performed by drivers all around. The Zen on my left is desperately trying to get into my lane ahead of me. There is a motorcyle on the other side also vying for the same spot. But an auto manouevers itself deftly, beating both the contenders and
nearly scratching my car in the process. As I mutter an expletive under my breath, cursing the ancestry of all three drivers, I raise the volume of my radio and take a deep breath. The traffic starts moving, and the auto loses the ground it had gained with such great pains. As I cross the
traffic light which immediately thereafer turns red I notice that all the three aforementioned gymnasts are left on its wrong side. So much for the painstakingly gained ground.

This sets off a chain of thought in my mind. Most of the stress faced by us today is about getting ahead of the others. Be it on the road or in a queue, this constant jostling for one place ahead of the other person can be witnessed all around us. More often than not, the gains are notional, while the loss is actual - loss of peace of mind, hypertension, ulcers.It strikes me like a thunderbolt - the perfect solution! What we Delhiites need is a little bit of Lucknow in our lives. Instead of the mad rush to get ahead of each other, how about adopting a 'pehale aap' (after you) approach? Maybe a 'pehale aap' movement could be started, possible something like 'bhagidari'. If the idea catches on, Delhi would be so much better a place to live in.

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