Daniel, a painter born and raised in Manipur, roams Imphal on his bicycle. It offers…..
He says the first ‘good morning’ of the day to his driver, who answers every ‘good morning’ with a smile.
The driver starts his conversation with the question: “Have you ever seen a rich man get ‘really’ punished by the court?”
The journalist goes through his memories and says, “No, I have never seen that.”
-Then, is the rule of law only for the poor like us?
-So far yes, it’s only harsh on the poor.
-Every morning the very sight of police frightens me. But I don’t get scared when you are with me. The police don’t mess with journalists like you.
-You have not committed any crime. So relax you have no reason to be scared of the police.
-Without any reason, the police once picked me up. My family had to sell a piece of land to get me back. Since then that trauma lives with me.
-How are your children?
-They are studying. I want them to get into police.
-Very good, they will get to serve society. With a smile he says, “The police doesn’t serve society, they rule. They are even more powerful than God. They decide poor people’s life and death.”
-So you want your sons to be merchants of life and death. You want them to take bribes.
Link to the podcast narrated by Munazza Siddiqui.
Maskwaith Ahsan's satire ‘Money Virus’ narrated by Munazza Siddiqui.Read the text below link: https://ongshumali.com/en/money-virus/
Posted by Ongshumali অংশুমালী on Saturday, May 18, 2019
He gets confused. After all, he’s a happy man, friendly, non-violent and thoroughly honest.
The conversation comes to an end as they reach the university campus. The journalist takes media studies classes for he believes that journalism students will become agents of change. He explains how there is no meaning of nationalism, politics and country without there being a welfare state.
But the students learn a different definition of success from the affluent class displaying their flashy lives on social media; they are more interested in making money than learning ethical journalism. In their twenties, yet they want the affluence of those in their forties and fifties.
The illusions of an affluent society teaches them that reading books is the loser’s way to go about life and making money by any means is the gainer’s way.
Fed up of all this money talk in class, he wonders how the definition of success set by the affluent class is able to haunt them all the time, even though the students come of solvent middle class families with no financial demands on them.
On his way back from the University the driver tells him, “I have changed my mind. ‘Don’t want my sons to be police. I want them to be happy, just like the old man at the parking said, in life all that matters is happiness.”
Surprised at such an enlightened expression from a common man the journalist realizes that wisdom is not always achieved from degrees, it more often comes from common men.
In the evening he goes for coffee with friends. Conversation starts with and continues to roam around buying an apartment as an investment with the bottom line being how the housing company owner is corrupt but should still be considered a success story.
-Should we inspire corruption by considering a corrupt man a success story?
A friend argues, “Why not? A matric dropout businessman should be appreciated when he becomes a tycoon.”
-By approving corrupt tycoons we are setting faulty standards for our young. They are being misled by the definition of success created by the kind of people who have made money their God.
To lighten up the conversation, others start discussing about Keto diet, gyms and other means to lose weight. They order green tea and talk about new restaurants popular in the city, while the journalist thinks about the old man at the University parking lot who provided the quote of the day; “all that matters is happiness.”