I have a check-in to make …

This is a post that I had posted way back in 2013 (in my old wordpress blog). This was during my engineering days. This was around the time I got back to Synopsys from a short stint (my first stint) at Microsoft. I found this somewhere and it brought a smile. Reposting it.

I sauntered down the steps, two at a time. The sun was just beginning to rise. The river was its best – shining, shimmering. The clamour of feet. So many others rushing down to the river as well. She can take any number of people though. She is the Ganga, after all. I slip down the last step and slink into the water. The tingling freshness of the chill water. The warm breeze blowing ever so lightly over my body. I dunk three times. And slip into my morning ablution rituals.

I climb back up into the first step, and with a sprightly step walk back up. My mind racing still on the algorithmic problem I have been trying to solve. I think I have the answer. I just need to try one more thing. Just one more thing, and I am done. I am almost at the top of the steps, when I notice the brightly dressed young man, the old woman, and the van parked next to them. The young man had this mesmerizing smile and looked into me. Almost piercing. So piercing that I could not look away. He smiled again and lifted his hands towards me in a gesture of requesting me to come close to him.

“Can you please help me get this old woman into the van?”

A flurry of thoughts rushed into my mind. Why was he just asking me? There were so many people around me. Most of them seemingly genuine enough to help other people in need. Something about these two did not seem right. A flash in my mind tells me that, these two were staring at me when I was rushing towards the river. I had not given much thought then. Should I help them? Should I not? Is it wrong to not help people asking for help? The scriptures talk about ‘karma’.

I flung all these thoughts to the side, and I said, “No!”, in my most indignant manner ever. A few passers-by stopped and stared.

“I know about you types. I know how you hire. I know how you do personality tests. This is why I hate you, you white search engine company! I have told you a dozen times, that I do not want to come join you. And you still persist.”

“You think I cannot see your logo with the three multi-colored rings in small print on the bumper of your van? Think again.”

“And for heaven’s sakes. Could you not get a better costume designer? Someone who could be more natural. The old lady looks exactly like the one in all of Kamal Hassan’s movies.”

“And now if you will excuse me, I have a check-in to make”.

And I bolted up the stairs. I had the last piece of my solution to the problem.

Note: This is a transcript of an early morning dream that I had a couple of days ago. One of the very few dreams that I actually remembered after I woke up.

The Mini City – Kumbh Mela

First the quote:

On the sandbanks of the river Ganges at Allahabad, bureaucrats and workers from Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state and one of its poorest, took less than three months to build a tent city for 2m residents complete with hard roads, toilets, running water, electricity, food shops, garbage collection and well-manned police stations…..

…..Devesh Chaturvedi, a senior official who is divisional commissioner of Allahabad, is proud of the “huge task” that he and perhaps 100,000 workers have completed in organising this year’s festival. He mentions 165km of roads on the sand made of steel plates, 18 pontoon bridges, 560km of water supply lines, 670km of electricity lines, 22,500 street lights and 200,000 electricity connections, as well as 275 food shops for essential supplies such as flour, rice, milk and cooking gas.

Wow. I read this through here and here. Both articles attribute it to faith. The fact that the entire administration could accomplish this in 3 months is because of the faith that, this is ‘real’ service to the pilgrims attending the event. This is considered paramount in the Hindu doctrine. Doing service to ‘servitors to God’ is considered higher than serving the God himself – according to the Periya puranam.

While giving me faith that things like this are practically possible to accomplish, I wonder whether it would be feasible. I doubt if the various bickering political parties that fight to rule (and loot) our country, have the inclination. In our country, turning members of one religious community against other, seems to be the most common political mileage gaining stunt. Given this, accomplishing things like the Kumbh mela, based on faith, would just be a dream. Like millions of Indians (who are the receiving end of the Secular Government Tamasha), I do wish the dream come true some time though.