The Experience of a Bandh (Strike)

Published April 17, 2012 by vishalvkale

April 9th to April 11th… 3 days without milk, kirana…  1 day even without medicines.

For 3 days, not a single shop (not of any relevance, at any rate) opened. Only irrelevant immaterial shops opened – apparel etc. That taught me a lesson – if food is not available, then nothing else matters! Seriously, it did cause me to pause and wonder – all the shops that were open with all their customary splendor were not able to attract me, as my eyes searched for the elusive samosa…

Samosa to chhodo, even a cut chai or a paani-puri would have done admirably well. I was 17 kilometers from my residence – and not a single thhelaa gaadi in sight anywhere, let alone shops. And believe me guys, for those 3 days there was not a single thhelaa gaadi on the roads vending samosa-pohaa-chai etc. Most disconcerting, let me tell you. My mind went to the bachelors and students who are dependent on these thhelaas and bhojanalyas for their sustenance… and, with even More, Big Bazaar, Reliance Fresh being closed, even the pack of noodles was not available for them. They must have had a tough 3 days…

I do not recall seeing such a stupendously successful strike ever in my life. 100% attendance (if you can call it attendance). Compliance, more like. But it brought the city to a complete standstill for 3 whole days. Only good thing to come out of it was it gave the people normally involved in serving us a 3-days holiday. Unpaid holiday – but still a holiday. Hope they had a good time- we sure didn’t, I can assure you. Another good thing was it allowed some nice, decent, upright, law-abiding, caring, soft, gentle “gentlemen” a chance to make some profit. Tons of it, if rumors are to be believed. You don’t get a chance to see milk @ 50 a litre every day, after all. And those poor destitute people, why should they be satisfied with only piffling profits if they can earn 20+ a litre? Sach hai. Common Sense. Money is meant to be kept in rotation – ask any distributor, he /she will readily confirm that more rotations mean more money. So, in effect, these profiteers were doing The Sovereign, Secular, Democratic Republic of India a very great benefit – they were keeping money in rotation. Since they were the only ones trading on those 3 days, they quite logically had to up the prices so that the total money in circulation did not reduce. Besides, they also kept the banks busy!

All the decency, behavioural norms etc were forgotten even by normal residents as we rushed to the milk shops to stock up on the commodity. There was a 6-deep line. (Thinking only 6? Think again. Six in one line, at least 10-15 lines in a shop with an 8-foot front). Every decency was forgotten, every courtesy ignored as everyone scrambled to get milk. You could have dropped a pot of pure 24-carat gold with complete assurance that it would still be there an hour later – no one would have cared to even look at the aforesaid Gold. You cant eat or drink gold, my friend. All anyone cared about was getting milk for I-me-myself – just like those images on television in war ravaged areas, with hungry people besieging a food vehicle. Seriously, everyone should go through one such experience! People with a normal consumption of 3 litres in 3 days were asking for 5 litres and more… it was like pandemonium

Eh? What’s That you said? Ethics? Morals? Never heard of these words. Dont speak Greek or Latin, mate. Only Marathi, English and Hindi.

2 comments on “The Experience of a Bandh (Strike)

  • I can understand.
    Thats terrible and it happens mostly in our part of the world only.
    No one gets nothing out of these Bands but alas!! looks like no one can do nothing about them either.

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