To hail or not to hail a CAB?

Arvind Passey
December 2019

Difficult question. Primarily because as I write this piece I am in London and have realized that public transport is any day better than hailing a cab. Public transport is cheaper and is quick enough unless one is in a hurry to reach somewhere or is stuck in the dead of night when hailing a cab seems to be the right thing to do.

What if a cab isn’t just a conventional mode of transport and happens to be the Citizen Amendment Bill? The easy answer will be to say that these decisions must be left to the elected representatives because, after all, legislating laws is their job. Lawyers, civil rights activists, academics, and thinkers jumping in may sound reasonable but the moment this happens, one realizes that almost everyone has also joined them in the pool. There is an amateur law-enthusiast in each of us, an arm-chair academic in every mind, and please do not dare to even mention that anyone isn’t a thinker or an activist as these are no longer the exclusive domains of a few involved and dedicated souls. But what happens to the poor pool?

Ah! The pool. The pool obviously protests and dissents until some intellectual points out that protesting isn’t just speaking out against a cause or a political event but can also be about whining, bitching, and walking around with shirts off and arrogant stances ON.

‘And dissent?’ asked the pool, ‘Isn’t the word about expressing a different opinion?’

‘Yes, it is,’ says some lone small voice that hasn’t bothered to jump into the pool, ‘But remember, a different opinion is also an opposing opinion and in a world full of them one can easily be tempted to believe that every other opinion is just anotherhot air balloon that must be grounded… or its progress arrested… or its flight detained… or simply hounded on the virtual battle-ground of our social media platforms.’

Sooner than one expects, the issue, politicians, protesters, dissenters, and even the flurry of opinions find themselves in a schizophrenic ice-cream churner and all that the lone small voice waiting outside gets to experience is a hot-looking cool amorphous lump of something that definitely isn’t affordable any more.

Bring in the jigsaw logic, please.

Before life becomes unaffordable and before cacophony rules lives, it is by far better to let go discordant consonants and vowels. When they leave, they also leave behind large empty slots in certain shapes and sizes. Life (and a nation as well) then takes the form of a jigsaw that can be completed only if the right shapes are created and used as a part of governance. Jigsaws, as we all know, are rather stern about what is right what isn’t. Jigsaws are no-nonsense games that entertain, inform, and make life more fun. Jigsaws make us smarter. Let us just say that creating the right jigsaw is the intelligent way to creating a cohesive nation and that it is this attitude that may finally be able to transcendthe chaos that we witness today. This virtual-world chaos is apparently a by-product of our urge to brandish words and concepts (like secular, bigotry, security, citizenship, and religion) because FOMO reigns supreme.

I’m sure there will be some people asking, ‘Are you saying that everyone just keep quiet and accept?’

Did I say this?

Well, hailing or not hailing a cab may be important but what is equally vital is for education to go on unimpeded. Yes, yes, I know that even a protest march is like a classroom… well, I give up. I raise my hands in protest… both against issues that create chaos and chaos that creates issues!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here