A Voice from Within

Satish lives in the same residential complex as we live in. He also has a dog and that is how we met. We quite often meet each other in mornings or evenings while taking our dogs for walk. We discuss general things of our complex or at times what is going on in our country.

A few months ago when Anna Hazare had launched his stir against corruption, he asked me to join him and go for showing support to the movement. I politely declined as I feel that one need not be there physically as the support to any noble cause has to come from within by following what one preaches. He was visibly disturbed at my refusal. On the said day he went to the rally carrying a huge placard. Since that day his attitude towards me showed little cooling off. I never said anything as I knew it is matter of time when we get back to normal.

Two days ago it so happened that we both had to go for some errand towards the same market. As I was carrying a packet of clothes to give for alteration, I took my car. On the way he started talking of his participation in that anti-corruption rally. That caused a little distraction in my driving concentration and before I realized I had jumped a traffic light which turned red just as I was midway. On the other side I was pulled up by a traffic police team. A Head Constable came over with his pad open asking me to show my license and other papers. I politely told him I was sorry and would pay relevant fine while showing him documents asked for. I had to pay Rs 200 as fine.

As we moved off from there, Satish called me a fool to pay that fine. He said that I could have just offered Rs 50 or maximum 100 to that police officer and got away without challan. That is when I looked at him squarely and told him that he attended that anti-corruption rally led by Anna Hazare while I did not but I support the cause by not paying bribe. I further added that one need not take part in rallies or morchas to show support to the cause but practice it own self by not indulging in corruption.

C K Lowe