Yesterday was another of those days which reaffirm the future of the country and the potential we hold. I met another interesting auto driver, Yogendra not as awesome as Rashid (the auto-racing champ) but wise. Our conversation started when he drove into a pothole:
Y: Sorry about that.
R: Its fine.
Y: Stupid government did not even repair the roads in the election year.
R: Yes, but they rebuilt the roads for the CYG though all lie in tatters now.
Y: Totally useless government. These guys build lousy roads. God knows what will happen when it rains. Calcutta is so much better than this place.
R: You are from Cal?
Y: No, went there last year with a friend. Very nice place, cheap food, much better public transport, enjoyed my stay! Unfortunately I am a bramin and do not eat meat, stuff was so cheap there.
R: Where are you from btw?
Y: MP, my village is near Jabalpur.
R: Excellent, I too am from MP, Dad is in Bhopal. How long have you been here?
Y: For 6 years, will go back as soon as possible. The quality of life is much better there.
R: Are you married.
Y: No, will get married next year.
R: Long term plan eh!
Y: Yes, I bought a place in Jabalpur this year so relatives said that I should hold off the marriage for next year, Laxmi should enter the house only once a year.
R: Why not buy land in your village? Why do you want to stay in the city?
Y: I passed 8th standad, failed my 10th. However, I can not read. The quality of education is very bad in the villages. Atleast my children will get good education. Anyways, my brother handles the farming on our land in the village so I should let him. Distance makes the heart fonder and there will be no bickering in the family. My father has 2 sons if both of us take to farming, soon the land will become unsustainable for both families. It is better aggregated. I can visit anytime I want.
R: What do you plan to do when you go back?
Y: Lets see, the place is coming up, has plenty of water, roads may not be exceptional but neither are Pune roads. Only thing missing is electricity. It has the potential, by the time I go back, hopefully there will be work for everyone. If these MNS guys continue to roam the streets freely I don’t see how this place will progress.
R: Who do you support for these elections?
Y: Congress. The BJP has a strangle hold of my zila. There is so much they could have done but have not.
R: But the Congress has an impotent government at the centre. With so much potential, they have done so little in the last five years?
Y: I guess all of us should become anti-imcumbent. A rotation of power between BJP and Congress every 5 years will force them to govern better…
So the conversation went on for half an hour.